BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

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-33.1 Earth 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

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)