Impact of global ocean model resolution on sea-level variability with emphasis on interannual time scales

Type Article
Date 2010-02
Language English
Author(s) Penduff Thierry1, 2, 3, Juza Melanie1, 2, Brodeau L.1, 2, Smith G. C.4, Barnier B.1, 2, Molines J. -M.1, 2, Treguier Anne-Marie5, 6, Madec G4, 7, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : CNRS, UMR 5519, Lab Ecoulements Geophys & Ind, F-38041 Grenoble, France.
2 : Univ Grenoble, F-38041 Grenoble, France.
3 : Florida State Univ, Dept Oceanog, Tallahassee, FL 32306 USA.
4 : Natl Oceanog Ctr, Southampton, Hants, England.
5 : IFREMER, CNRS, UMR 6523, Lab Phys Oceans, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
6 : UBO, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
7 : IPSL, CNRS, UMR 7159, Lab Oceanog & Climat Experimentat & Approches Num, F-75252 Paris, France.
8 : UPMC, F-75252 Paris, France.
Source Ocean Science (1812-0784) (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh), 2010-02 , Vol. 6 , N. 1 , P. 269-284
DOI 10.5194/os-6-269-2010
WOS© Times Cited 103
Abstract Four global ocean/sea-ice simulations driven by the same realistic 47-year daily atmospheric forcing were performed by the DRAKKAR group at 2 degrees, 1 degrees, 1/2 degrees, and 1/4 degrees resolutions. Simulated mean sea-surface heights (MSSH) and sea-level anomalies (SLA) are collocated over the period 1993-2004 onto the AVISO dataset. MSSH fields are compared with an inverse estimate. SLA datasets are filtered and compared over various time and space scales with AVISO regarding three characteristics: SLA standard deviations, spatial correlations between SLA variability maps, and temporal correlations between observed and simulated band-passed filtered local SLA timeseries. Beyond the 2 degrees-1 degrees transition whose benefits are moderate, further increases in resolution and associated changes in subgrid scale parameterizations simultaneously induce (i) strong increases in SLA standard deviations, (ii) strong improvements in the spatial distribution of SLA variability, and (iii) slight decreases in temporal correlations between observed and simulation SLA timeseries. These 3 effects are not only clear on mesoscale (14-180 days) and quasi-annual (5-18 months) fluctuations, but also on the slower (interannual), large-scale variability ultimately involved in ocean-atmosphere coupled processes. Most SLA characteristics are monotonically affected by successive resolution increases, but irregularly and with a strong dependance on frequency and latitude. Benefits of enhanced resolution are greatest in the 1 degrees-1/2 degrees and 1/2 degrees-1/4 degrees transitions, in the 14-180 day range, and within eddy-active mid-and high-latitude regions. In the real ocean, most eddy-active areas are characterized by a strong SLA variability at all timescales considered here; this localized, broad-banded temporal variability is only captured at 1/4 degrees resolution.
Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 16 2 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Penduff Thierry, Juza Melanie, Brodeau L., Smith G. C., Barnier B., Molines J. -M., Treguier Anne-Marie, Madec G (2010). Impact of global ocean model resolution on sea-level variability with emphasis on interannual time scales. Ocean Science, 6(1), 269-284. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :