Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ocean Sci., 1, 45-79, 2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
12 Sep 2005
Formulation of an ocean model for global climate simulations
S. M. Griffies1, A. Gnanadesikan1, K. W. Dixon1, J. P. Dunne1, R. Gerdes2, M. J. Harrison1, A. Rosati1, J. L. Russell3, B. L. Samuels1, M. J. Spelman1, M. Winton1, and R. Zhang3 1NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, USA
2Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
3Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton, USA
Abstract. This paper summarizes the formulation of the ocean component to the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's (GFDL) climate model used for the 4th IPCC Assessment (AR4) of global climate change. In particular, it reviews the numerical schemes and physical parameterizations that make up an ocean climate model and how these schemes are pieced together for use in a state-of-the-art climate model. Features of the model described here include the following: (1) tripolar grid to resolve the Arctic Ocean without polar filtering, (2) partial bottom step representation of topography to better represent topographically influenced advective and wave processes, (3) more accurate equation of state, (4) three-dimensional flux limited tracer advection to reduce overshoots and undershoots, (5) incorporation of regional climatological variability in shortwave penetration, (6) neutral physics parameterization for representation of the pathways of tracer transport, (7) staggered time stepping for tracer conservation and numerical efficiency, (8) anisotropic horizontal viscosities for representation of equatorial currents, (9) parameterization of exchange with marginal seas, (10) incorporation of a free surface that accomodates a dynamic ice model and wave propagation, (11) transport of water across the ocean free surface to eliminate unphysical ``virtual tracer flux" methods, (12) parameterization of tidal mixing on continental shelves. We also present preliminary analyses of two particularly important sensitivities isolated during the development process, namely the details of how parameterized subgridscale eddies transport momentum and tracers.

Citation: Griffies, S. M., Gnanadesikan, A., Dixon, K. W., Dunne, J. P., Gerdes, R., Harrison, M. J., Rosati, A., Russell, J. L., Samuels, B. L., Spelman, M. J., Winton, M., and Zhang, R.: Formulation of an ocean model for global climate simulations, Ocean Sci., 1, 45-79,, 2005.
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