Heat balance in the Nordic Seas in a global 1/12° coupled model

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Treguier Anne-Marie5, Mathiot Pierre2, Graham Tim2, Copsey Dan2, Lique CamilleORCID3, Sterlin Jean4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, 29280, Brest, France
2 : Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3LX, UK
3 : Univ. Brest, Ifremer, CNRS, IRD, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, 29280, Brest, France
4 : Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
5 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, 29280, Brest, France
Source Journal Of Climate (0894-8755) (American Meteorological Society), 2021-01 , Vol. 34 , N. 1 , P. 89-106
DOI 10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0063.1
Keyword(s) Arctic, Atmosphere-ocean interaction, Ocean dynamics, Eddies, Climate models, Oceanic variability
Abstract

The Nordic Seas are a gateway to the Arctic Ocean, where Atlantic water undergoes a strong cooling during its transit. Here we investigate the heat balance of these regions in the high resolution Met Office Global Coupled Model GC3 with a 1/12_ grid. The GC3 model reproduces resolution Met Office Global Coupled Model GC3 with a 1/12_ grid. The GC3 model reproduces the contrasted ice conditions and ocean heat loss between the eastern and western regions of the Nordic Seas. In the west (Greenland and Iceland seas), the heat loss experienced by the ocean is stronger than the atmospheric heat gain, because of the cooling by ice melt. The latter is a major contribution to the heat loss over the path of the East Greenland Current and west of Svalbard. In the model, surface fluxes balance the convergence of heat in each of the eastern and western regions. The net east-west heat exchange, integrated from Fram Strait to Iceland, is relatively small: the westward heat transport of the Return Atlantic Current over Knipovich Ridge balances the eastward heat transport by the East Icelandic Current. Time fluctuations, including eddies, are a significant contribution to the net heat transports. The eddy flux represents about 20% of the total heat transport in Denmark Strait and across Knipovich Ridge. The coupled ocean-atmosphere-ice model may overestimate the heat imported from the Atlantic and exported to the Arctic by 10 or 15%. This confirms the tendency toward higher northward heat transports as model resolution is refined, which will impact scenarios of future climate.

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