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The transient response of Southern Ocean circulation to geothermal heating in a global climate model

Citation

Downes, SM and McC Hogg, A and Griffies, SM and Samuels, BL, The transient response of Southern Ocean circulation to geothermal heating in a global climate model, Journal of Climate, 29, (16) pp. 5689-5708. ISSN 0894-8755 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0458.1

Abstract

Model and observational studies have concluded that geothermal heating significantly alters the global overturning circulation and the properties of the widely distributed Antarctic Bottom Water. Here two distinct geothermal heat flux datasets are tested under different experimental designs in a fully coupled model that mimics the control run of a typical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) climate model. The regional analysis herein reveals that bottom temperature and transport changes, due to the inclusion of geothermal heating, are propagated throughout the water column, most prominently in the Southern Ocean, with the background density structure and major circulation pathways acting as drivers of these changes. While geothermal heating enhances Southern Ocean abyssal overturning circulation by 20%–50%, upwelling of warmer deep waters and cooling of upper ocean waters within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region decrease its transport by 3–5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The transient responses in regional bottom temperature increases exceed 0.1°C. The large-scale features that are shown to transport anomalies far from their geothermal source all exist in the Southern Ocean. Such features include steeply sloping isopycnals, weak abyssal stratification, voluminous southward flowing deep waters and exported bottom waters, the ACC, and the polar gyres. Recently the Southern Ocean has been identified as a prime region for deep ocean warming; geothermal heating should be included in climate models to ensure accurate representation of these abyssal temperature changes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:geothermal heating, climate model
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Climate Change Models
Author:Downes, SM (Dr Stephanie Downes)
ID Code:114136
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-02-07
Last Modified:2017-03-02
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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