U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Current Ocean Model Approximation Uncertain in Polar Regions
Published: January 11, 2010
Posted: January 20, 2010

Ocean general circulation models (OGCMs) treat the ocean as a thin, rotating fluid, where motions are predominantly horizontal with limited vertical velocities and accelerations. Although these approximate equations have been successful in modeling ocean circulation there are phenomena, such as deep convection and flow instabilities that play a role in the large-scale circulation. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have shown that key approximations made in OGCMs favor eddy producing instabilities in some regimes over other types of instabilities, suppress growth rates for some instabilities, and create symmetry in internal wave production. This work implies that errors due to these approximations are most predominant in the Polar Regions and suggests new directions for modeling Deep Ocean mixing.

Reference: Jeffery, N., and B. Wingate, 2009: The Effect of Tilted Rotation on Shear Instabilities at Low Stratifications. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 39, 3147-3161.

Contact: Anjuli Bamzai, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0294, Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)