Climate Process Team on Internal Wave-Driven Ocean Mixing

TitleClimate Process Team on Internal Wave-Driven Ocean Mixing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMacKinnon JA, Zhao Z.X, Whalen C.B, Waterhouse A.F, Trossman D.S, Sun OM, St Laurent L.C, Simmons H.L, Polzin K., Pinkel R, Pickering A., Norton N.J, Nash J.D, Musgrave R., Merchant L.M, Melet A.V, Mater B., Legg S., Large W.G, Kunze E., Klymak J.M, Jochum M., Jayne SR, Hallberg R.W, Griffies S.M, Diggs S., Danabasoglu G., Chassignet E.P, Buijsman M.C, Bryan F.O, Briegleb B.P, Barna A., Arbic B.K, Ansong J.K, Alford MH
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Date Published2017/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0003-0007
Accession NumberWOS:000416963200013
Keywordsbaroclinic energy flux; deep-ocean; dissipation; general-circulation; gravity-waves; kinetic-energy; lee wave; near-inertial motions; oregon continental-slope; southern-ocean; turbulent

Diapycnal mixing plays a primary role in the thermodynamic balance of the ocean and, consequently, in oceanic heat and carbon uptake and storage. Though observed mixing rates are on average consistent with values required by inverse models, recent attention has focused on the dramatic spatial variability, spanning several orders of magnitude, of mixing rates in both the upper and deep ocean. Away from ocean boundaries, the spatiotemporal patterns of mixing are largely driven by the geography of generation, propagation, and dissipation of internal waves, which supply much of the power for turbulent mixing. Over the last 5 years and under the auspices of U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR), a National Science Foundation (NSF)- and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-supported Climate Process Team has been engaged in developing, implementing, and testing dynamics-based parameterizations for internal wave-driven turbulent mixing in global ocean models. The work has primarily focused on turbulence 1) near sites of internal tide generation, 2) in the upper ocean related to wind-generated near inertial motions, 3) due to internal lee waves generated by low-frequency mesoscale flows over topography, and 4) at ocean margins. Here, we review recent progress, describe the tools developed, and discuss future directions.

Short TitleBull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc.
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