The Parameterisation of Sea-ice in a General Circulation Climate ModelEntry ID: ASAC_80
Abstract: In this project a simplified computer model was developed to reflect the variation and influences of sea ice on the atmosphere. The model was incorporated into a global general circulation model. The data set resulting from the project consists of simulated sea ice characteristics (concentration etc.) available on a regular global grid.
From the abstracts of some of the referenced ... papers:
An observed ocean-drift data set is used as the basis of a wind-driven coupled ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere model including interaction and feedback. The observed characteristics of the Antarctic sea ice are described including the ice thickness, ice concentration and horizontal advection. The atmospheric model computes heat fluxes, sea-ice growth, changes in concentration and advection. Sensitivity studies show reasonable and stable simulations of the observed sea-ice characteristics for the present mean Antarctic winter climate. The response times and feedbacks of the ice-atmosphere system as represented by the model appear to allow scope for the development of some persistence of anomalies.
To assess the sensitivity of the southern hemisphere circulation to changes in the fraction of open water in the sea ice we have conducted four experiments with a July 21-wave General Circulation Model (GCM) with this fraction set to 5, 50, 80 and 100%. The mean surface temperatures and the surface atmospheric temperatures over the sea ice increased as the water fraction increased and the largest changes were simulated adjacent to the coast. Significant anomalies in the surface heat fluxes, particularly those of sensible heat, accompanied the decrease in the sea ice concentration. Substantial atmospheric warming was simulated over and in the vicinity of areas in which leads were considered. In all but one experiment there were anomalous easterlies between about 40 and 60S with westerly anomalies further to the south. The surface pressure at high latitudes appears to change in a consistent fashion with the fraction of open water, with the largest changes occurring in the Weddell and near the Ross Seas. Some of the feedbacks which may enhance the responses here, but which are not included in our model are discussed.
We present a simple parameterisation of the effect of open leads in a general circulation model of the atmosphere. We consider only the case where the sea ice distribution is prescribed (ie not alternative) and the fraction of open water in the ice is also prescribed and set at the same value at all points in the Southern Hemisphere and a different value in the Northern Hemisphere. We approximate the distribution of sea ice over a model 'grid box' as a part of the box being covered by solid ice of uniform thickness and the complement of the box consisting of open water at a fixed -1.8 degrees C. Because of the nonlinearity in the flux computations, separate calculations are performed over the solid sea ice and over the open leads. The net fluxes conveyed to the atmosphere over the grid box are determined by performing the appropriate area-weighted average over the two surface types.
We report on an experiment designed to assess the sensitivity of the modelled climate to the imposition of a 50% concentration in the winter Antarctic sea ice. Significant warming of up to 6 degrees C takes place in the vicinity of and above the Antarctic sea ice and is associated with significant changes in the zonal wind structure. Pressure reductions are simulated over the sea ice, being particularly marked in the Weddell Sea region, and an anomalous east-west aligned ridge is simulated at about 60S. Very large changes in the sensible heat flux (in excess of 200 W per square metre) are simulated near the coast of Antarctica.
Increasingly, many aspects of the study of Antarctica and the high southern latitudes are being aided by various types of numerical models. Among these are the General Circulation Models (GCMs), which are powerful tools that can be used to understand the maintenance of present atmospheric climate and determine its sensitivity to proposed changes. The changes in the ability of GCMSs used over the last two decades to simulate aspects of atmospheric climate at high southern latitudes are traced and it is concluded there has been a steady improvement in model products. The task of assessing model climates in high southern latitudes is made difficult by the uncertainties in the data used for the climatological statistics. It is suggested that the quality of the climates produced by most modern GCMs in many aspects cannot be said to be poor, especially considering the uncertainties in 'observed' climate. There is obviously need for improvements in both modelling and observations. Finally, some topics are highlighted in which the formulation of models could be improved, with special reference to better treatment of physical processes at high southern latitudes.
Start Date: 1990-09-30Stop Date: 1993-03-31
Latitude Resolution: 5
Longitude Resolution: 5
Temporal Resolution: 24 hr
ISO Topic Category
Quality Values provided in temporal coverage are approximate only. See the referenced papers for more information.
Fully coupled atmosphere-ocean models are still under development and, so far, have presented difficulties in simulating the full annual cycle of the observed atmosphere-ice-ocean system. Here we use an ... upper mixed-layer ocean for thermodynamics, including horizontal advection for the present climate, derived from the present mean ocean drift. It is assumed that the deep-ocean circulation and the circulation of the lower part of the mixed layer are controlled largely by the ocean bed topography, the mean wind forcing over the scale of a month and, to a smaller degree, the ocean geostrophic flow related to the deep ocean density structure. The surface ocean is assumed to be driven by both the surface wind on a daily time scale and a steadier deeper ocean flow.
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Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +61 3 9344 7216
Fax: +61 3 9344 7761
Email: simmonds at unimelb.edu.au
University of Melbourne School of Earth Sciences
Province or State: Victoria
Postal Code: 3052
Budd W.F., Simmonds I., Wu X. (1991) The physical basis for a dynamic Antarctic sea-ice model for use with an atmospheric GCM. Annals of Glaciology 15. 196
Simmonds I., Budd W.F. (1991) Sensitivity of the Southern Hemisphere circulation to leads in the Antarctic pack ice. Quarterly Journal of the Meteorological Society 117. 1003-1024
Simmonds I., Budd W.F. (1990) A simple ... parameterization of ice leads in a GCM and the sensitivity of climate to a change in Antarctic ice concentration. Annals of Glaciology 14. 266
Simmonds I. (1990) Improvements in General Circulation Model performance in simulating Antarctic climate. Antarctic Science 2. 287
Wu X. (1993) Cylcone behaviour response to changes in winter Southern Hemisphere sea ice concentration. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 119. 1121-1148
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2000-07-18
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-01-10