scispace - formally typeset

Journal ArticleDOI

How long to oceanic tracer and proxy equilibrium

01 Apr 2008-Quaternary Science Reviews (Pergamon)-Vol. 27, Iss: 7, pp 637-651

AbstractThe various time scales for distribution of tracers and proxies in the global ocean are critical to the interpretation of data from deep-sea cores. To obtain some basic physical insight into their behavior, a global ocean circulation model, forced to least-square consistency with modern data, is used to find lower bounds for the time taken by surface-injected passive tracers to reach equilibrium. Depending upon the geographical scope of the injection, major gradients exist, laterally, between the abyssal North Atlantic and North Pacific, and vertically over much of the ocean, persisting for periods longer than 2000 years and with magnitudes bearing little or no relation to radiocarbon ages. The relative vigor of the North Atlantic convective process means that tracer events originating far from that location at the sea surface will tend to display abyssal signatures there first, possibly leading to misinterpretation of the event location. Ice volume (glacio-eustatic) corrections to deep-sea δ 18 O values, involving fresh water addition or subtraction, regionally at the sea surface, cannot be assumed to be close to instantaneous in the global ocean, and must be determined quantitatively by modelling the flow and by including numerous more complex dynamical interactions.

...read more

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

Citations
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: An evaluation of the historical record of volcanic eruptions shows that subaerial volcanism increases globally by two to six times above background levels between 12 ka and 7 ka, during the last deglaciation. Increased volcanism occurs in deglaciating regions. Causal mechanisms could include an increase in magma production owing to the mantle decompression caused by ablation of glaciers and ice caps or a more general pacing of when eruptions occur by the glacial variability. A corollary is that ocean ridge volcanic production should decrease with the rising sea level during deglaciation, with the greatest effect at slow spreading ridges. CO 2 output from the increased subaerial volcanism appears large enough to influence glacial/interglacial CO 2 variations. We estimate subaerial emissions during deglaciation to be between 1000 and 5000 Gt of CO 2 above the long term average background flux, assuming that emissions are proportional to the frequency of eruptions. After accounting for equilibration with the ocean, this additional CO 2 flux is consistent in timing and magnitude with ice core observations of a 40 ppm increase in atmospheric CO 2 concentration during the second half of the last deglaciation. Estimated decreases in CO 2 output from ocean ridge volcanoes compensate for only 20% of the increased subaerial flux. If such a large volcanic output of CO 2 occurs, then volcanism forges a positive feedback between glacial variability and atmospheric CO 2 concentrations: deglaciation increases volcanic eruptions, raises atmospheric CO 2 , and causes more deglaciation. Such a positive feedback may contribute to the rapid passage from glacial to interglacial periods. Conversely, waning volcanic activity during an interglacial could lead to a reduction in CO 2 and the onset of an ice age. Whereas glacial/interglacial variations in CO 2 are generally attributed to oceanic mechanisms, it is suggested that the vast carbon reservoirs associated with the solid Earth may also play an important role.

229 citations


Cites background from "How long to oceanic tracer and prox..."

  • ..., 2007), or longer (Wunsch and Heimbach, 2008), and we assign wide bounds on τ of 300–2000 yr....

    [...]

  • ...Estimates of the equilibration time scale, τ, range from ~300 yr (Archer, 2005) to ~1800 yr (Montenegro et al., 2007), or longer (Wunsch and Heimbach, 2008), and we assign wide bounds on τ of 300–2000 yr....

    [...]


Journal Article
TL;DR: This work presents a stricter approach to improve intercomparison of palaeoclimate sensitivity estimates in a manner compatible with equilibrium projections for future climate change, and reveals a climate sensitivity over the past 65 million years of 0.3–1.9 at 95% or 68% probability.
Abstract: Many palaeoclimate studies have quantified pre-anthropogenic climate change to calculate climate sensitivity (equilibrium temperature change in response to radiative forcing change), but a lack of consistent methodologies produces a wide range of estimates and hinders comparability of results. Here we present a stricter approach, to improve intercomparison of palaeoclimate sensitivity estimates in a manner compatible with equilibrium projections for future climate change. Over the past 65 million years, this reveals a climate sensitivity (in K W−1 m2) of 0.3–1.9 or 0.6–1.3 at 95% or 68% probability, respectively. The latter implies a warming of 2.2–4.8 K per doubling of atmospheric CO2, which agrees with IPCC estimates.

218 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
28 Nov 2012-Nature
Abstract: Many palaeoclimate studies have quantified pre-anthropogenic climate change to calculate climate sensitivity (equilibrium temperature change in response to radiative forcing change), but a lack of consistent methodologies produces a wide range of estimates and hinders comparability of results. Here we present a stricter approach, to improve intercomparison of palaeoclimate sensitivity estimates in a manner compatible with equilibrium projections for future climate change. Over the past 65 million years, this reveals a climate sensitivity (in K W -1 m 2) of 0.3-1.9 or 0.6-1.3 at 95% or 68% probability, respectively. The latter implies a warming of 2.2-4.8 K per doubling of atmospheric CO 2, which agrees with IPCC estimates. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

206 citations


Journal Article
Abstract: If model parameterizations of unresolved physics, such as the variety of upper ocean mixing processes, are to hold over the large range of time and space scales of importance to climate, they must be strongly physically based. Observations, theories, and models of oceanic vertical mixing are surveyed. Two distinct regimes are identified: ocean mixing in the boundary layer near the surface under a variety of surface forcing conditions (stabilizing, destabilizing, and wind driven), and mixing in the ocean interior due to internal waves, shear instability, and double diffusion (arising from the different molecular diffusion rates of heat and salt). Mixing schemes commonly applied to the upper ocean are shown not to contain some potentially important boundary layer physics. Therefore a new parameterization of oceanic boundary layer mixing is developed to accommodate some of this physics. It includes a scheme for determining the boundary layer depth h, where the turbulent contribution to the vertical shear of a bulk Richardson number is parameterized. Expressions for diffusivity and nonlocal transport throughout the boundary layer are given. The diffusivity is formulated to agree with similarity theory of turbulence in the surface layer and is subject to the conditions that both it and its vertical gradient match the interior values at h. This nonlocal “K profile parameterization” (KPP) is then verified and compared to alternatives, including its atmospheric counterparts. Its most important feature is shown to be the capability of the boundary layer to penetrate well into a stable thermocline in both convective and wind-driven situations. The diffusivities of the aforementioned three interior mixing processes are modeled as constants, functions of a gradient Richardson number (a measure of the relative importance of stratification to destabilizing shear), and functions of the double-diffusion density ratio, Rρ. Oceanic simulations of convective penetration, wind deepening, and diurnal cycling are used to determine appropriate values for various model parameters as weak functions of vertical resolution. Annual cycle simulations at ocean weather station Papa for 1961 and 1969–1974 are used to test the complete suite of parameterizations. Model and observed temperatures at all depths are shown to agree very well into September, after which systematic advective cooling in the ocean produces expected differences. It is argued that this cooling and a steady salt advection into the model are needed to balance the net annual surface heating and freshwater input. With these advections, good multiyear simulations of temperature and salinity can be achieved. These results and KPP simulations of the diurnal cycle at the Long-Term Upper Ocean Study (LOTUS) site are compared with the results of other models. It is demonstrated that the KPP model exchanges properties between the mixed layer and thermocline in a manner consistent with observations, and at least as well or better than alternatives.

188 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This study uses a sector configuration of an ocean general circulation model to examine the sensitivity of circumpolar transport and meridional overturning to changes in Southern Ocean wind stress and global diapycnal mixing. At eddy-permitting, and finer, resolution, the sensitivity of circumpolar transport to forcing magnitude is drastically reduced. At sufficiently high resolution, there is little or no sensitivity of circumpolar transport to wind stress, even in the limit of no wind. In contrast, the meridional overturning circulation continues to vary with Southern Ocean wind stress, but with reduced sensitivity in the limit of high wind stress. Both the circumpolar transport and meridional overturning continue to vary with diapycnal diffusivity at all model resolutions. The circumpolar transport becomes less sensitive to changes in diapycnal diffusivity at higher resolution, although sensitivity always remains. In contrast, the overturning circulation is more sensitive to change in diapycnal...

165 citations


Cites background from "How long to oceanic tracer and prox..."

  • ...This is short with respect to the spin up time of the ocean, which may extend to multimillennial timescales (Wunsch and Heimbach 2008; Allison et al. 2011; Jones et al. 2011)....

    [...]


References
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The NCEP and NCAR are cooperating in a project (denoted “reanalysis”) to produce a 40-year record of global analyses of atmospheric fields in support of the needs of the research and climate monitoring communities. This effort involves the recovery of land surface, ship, rawinsonde, pibal, aircraft, satellite, and other data; quality controlling and assimilating these data with a data assimilation system that is kept unchanged over the reanalysis period 1957–96. This eliminates perceived climate jumps associated with changes in the data assimilation system. The NCEP/NCAR 40-yr reanalysis uses a frozen state-of-the-art global data assimilation system and a database as complete as possible. The data assimilation and the model used are identical to the global system implemented operationally at the NCEP on 11 January 1995, except that the horizontal resolution is T62 (about 210 km). The database has been enhanced with many sources of observations not available in real time for operations, provided b...

26,349 citations


Book
31 Dec 1959
Abstract: This classic account describes the known exact solutions of problems of heat flow, with detailed discussion of all the most important boundary value problems.

21,797 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: If model parameterizations of unresolved physics, such as the variety of upper ocean mixing processes, are to hold over the large range of time and space scales of importance to climate, they must be strongly physically based. Observations, theories, and models of oceanic vertical mixing are surveyed. Two distinct regimes are identified: ocean mixing in the boundary layer near the surface under a variety of surface forcing conditions (stabilizing, destabilizing, and wind driven), and mixing in the ocean interior due to internal waves, shear instability, and double diffusion (arising from the different molecular diffusion rates of heat and salt). Mixing schemes commonly applied to the upper ocean are shown not to contain some potentially important boundary layer physics. Therefore a new parameterization of oceanic boundary layer mixing is developed to accommodate some of this physics. It includes a scheme for determining the boundary layer depth h, where the turbulent contribution to the vertical shear of a bulk Richardson number is parameterized. Expressions for diffusivity and nonlocal transport throughout the boundary layer are given. The diffusivity is formulated to agree with similarity theory of turbulence in the surface layer and is subject to the conditions that both it and its vertical gradient match the interior values at h. This nonlocal “K profile parameterization” (KPP) is then verified and compared to alternatives, including its atmospheric counterparts. Its most important feature is shown to be the capability of the boundary layer to penetrate well into a stable thermocline in both convective and wind-driven situations. The diffusivities of the aforementioned three interior mixing processes are modeled as constants, functions of a gradient Richardson number (a measure of the relative importance of stratification to destabilizing shear), and functions of the double-diffusion density ratio, Rρ. Oceanic simulations of convective penetration, wind deepening, and diurnal cycling are used to determine appropriate values for various model parameters as weak functions of vertical resolution. Annual cycle simulations at ocean weather station Papa for 1961 and 1969–1974 are used to test the complete suite of parameterizations. Model and observed temperatures at all depths are shown to agree very well into September, after which systematic advective cooling in the ocean produces expected differences. It is argued that this cooling and a steady salt advection into the model are needed to balance the net annual surface heating and freshwater input. With these advections, good multiyear simulations of temperature and salinity can be achieved. These results and KPP simulations of the diurnal cycle at the Long-Term Upper Ocean Study (LOTUS) site are compared with the results of other models. It is demonstrated that the KPP model exchanges properties between the mixed layer and thermocline in a manner consistent with observations, and at least as well or better than alternatives.

3,442 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: A subgrid-scale form for mesoscale eddy mixing on isopycnal surfaces is proposed for use in non-eddy-resolving ocean circulation models. The mixing is applied in isopycnal coordinates to isopycnal layer thickness, or inverse density gradient, as well as to passive scalars, temperature and salinity. The transformation of these mixing forms to physical coordinates is also presented.

2,869 citations


"How long to oceanic tracer and prox..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...The underlying numerical code is that of Marshall et al. (1997) as modified by the ECCO projects in the interim, and includes the Large et al. (1994) mixed layer formulation, and the Gent and McWilliams (1990) eddy-flux parameterization....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A preconditioner is used which, in the hydrostatic limit, is an exact integral of the Poisson operator and so leads to a single algorithm that seamlessly moves from nonhydrostatic to hydrostatic limits, competitive with the fastest ocean climate models in use today.
Abstract: The numerical implementation of an ocean model based on the incompressible Navier Stokes equations which is designed for studies of the ocean circulation on horizontal scales less than the depth of the ocean right up to global scale is described. A "pressure correction" method is used which is solved as a Poisson equation for the pressure field with Neumann boundary conditions in a geometry as complicated as that of the ocean basins. A major objective of the study is to make this inversion, and hence nonhydrostatic ocean modeling, efficient on parallel computers. The pressure field is separated into surface, hydrostatic, and nonhydrostatic components. First, as in hydrostatic models, a two-dimensional problem is inverted for the surface pressure which is then made use of in the three-dimensional inversion for the nonhydrostatic pressure. Preconditioned conjugate-gradient iteration is used to invert symmetric elliptic operators in both two and three dimensions. Physically motivated preconditioners are designed which are efficient at reducing computation and minimizing communication between processors. Our method exploits the fact that as the horizontal scale of the motion becomes very much larger than the vertical scale, the motion becomes more and more hydrostatic and the three- dimensional Poisson operator becomes increasingly anisotropic and dominated by the vertical axis. Accordingly, a preconditioner is used which, in the hydrostatic limit, is an exact integral of the Poisson operator and so leads to a single algorithm that seamlessly moves from nonhydrostatic to hydrostatic limits. Thus in the hydrostatic limit the model is "fast," competitive with the fastest ocean climate models in use today based on the hydrostatic primitive equations. But as the resolution is increased, the model dynamics asymptote smoothly to the Navier Stokes equations and so can be used to address small- scale processes. A "finite-volume" approach is employed to discretize the model in space in which property fluxes are defined normal to faces that delineate the volumes. The method makes possible a novel treatment of the boundary in which cells abutting the bottom or coast may take on irregular shapes and be "shaved" to fit the boundary. The algorithm can conveniently exploit massively parallel computers and suggests a domain decomposition which allocates vertical columns of ocean to each processing unit. The resulting model, which can handle arbitrarily complex geometry, is efficient and scalable and has been mapped on to massively parallel multiprocessors such as the Connection Machine (CM5) using data-parallel FORTRAN and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology data-flow machine MONSOON using the implicitly parallel language Id. Details of the numerical implementation of a model which has been designed for the study of dynamical processes in the ocean from the convective, through the geostrophic eddy, up to global scale are set out. The "kernel" algorithm solves the incompressible Navier Stokes equations on the sphere, in a geometry as complicated as that of the ocean basins with ir- regular coastlines and islands. (Here we use the term "Navier Stokes" to signify that the full nonhydrostatic equations are being employed; it does not imply a particular constitutive relation. The relevant equations for modeling the full complex- ity of the ocean include, as here, active tracers such as tem- perature and salt.) It builds on ideas developed in the compu- tational fluid community. The numerical challenge is to ensure that the evolving velocity field remains nondivergent. Most

2,015 citations


"How long to oceanic tracer and prox..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...The underlying numerical code is that of Marshall et al. (1997) as modified by the ECCO projects in the interim, and includes the Large et al. (1994) mixed layer formulation, and the Gent and McWilliams (1990) eddy-flux parameterization....

    [...]