In this paper we study upwelling pathways and timescales of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) in a hierarchy of models using a Lagrangian particle tracking method. Lagrangian timescales of CDW upwelling decrease from 87 years to 31 years to 17 years as the ocean resolution is refined from 1° to 0.25° to 0.1°. We attribute some of the differences in timescale to the strength of the eddy fields, as demonstrated by temporally degrading high-resolution model velocity fields. Consistent with the timescale dependence, we find that an average Lagrangian particle completes 3.2 circumpolar loops in the 1° model in comparison to 0.9 loops in the 0.1° model. These differences suggest that advective timescales and thus interbasin merging of upwelling CDW may be overestimated by coarse-resolution models, potentially affecting the skill of centennial scale climate change projections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Circumpolar Deep Water
- Southern Ocean
- eddy parameterization
- meridional overturning circulation
- ocean modeling