A new framework for parameterization of heterogeneous ocean convection

Monday, 15 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Mehmet Ilicak1, Alistair Adcroft2 and Sonya Legg2, (1)Uni Research, Bergen, Norway, (2)Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States
We propose a new framework for parameterization of ocean convection processes. The new framework is termed ‘‘patchy convection’’ since our aim is to represent the heterogeneity of mixing processes that take place within the horizontal scope of a grid cell. We focus on applying this new scheme to represent the effect of pre-conditioning for deep convection by subgrid scale eddy variability. The new scheme relies on mesoscale eddy kinetic energy field.

We illustrate the patchy parameterization using a 1D idealized convection case. Next, the scheme is compared against observations. We employed the 1D case using the summer time ARGO floats from the Labrador Sea as initial conditions. We used ECMWF reanalysis atmospheric forcing and compared our results to the winter time ARGO floats. Finally we evaluate the scheme in two different global ocean-ice simulations with prescribed atmospheric forcing (CORE-I); (i) diagnosed eddy velocity field applied only in the Labrador Sea (ii) diagnosed global eddy velocity field. The global simulation results indicate that the patchy convection scheme improves the warm biases in the deep Atlantic Ocean and Southern Ocean. This proof-of-concept study is a first step in developing the patchy parameterization scheme, which will be extended in future to use a prognostic eddy field as well as to parameterize convection due to under-ice brine rejection. This study is funded through the CPT 2: Ocean Mixing Processes Associated with High Spatial Heterogeneity in Sea Ice and the Implications for Climate Models.