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Modelling the Variability of the Antarctic Slope Current : Volume 8, Issue 1 (11/01/2011)

By Mathiot, P.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003972964
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 38
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Modelling the Variability of the Antarctic Slope Current : Volume 8, Issue 1 (11/01/2011)  
Author: Mathiot, P.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Goosse, H., Barnier, B., Fichefet, T., Mathiot, P., & Gallée, H. (2011). Modelling the Variability of the Antarctic Slope Current : Volume 8, Issue 1 (11/01/2011). Retrieved from

Description: TECLIM, Earth and Life Institute, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium. One of the main features of the oceanic circulation along Antarctica is the Antarctic Slope Current (ASC). This circumpolar current flows westward and allows communication between the three major basins around Antarctica. The ASC is not very well known due to difficult access and the presence of sea ice during several months, allowing in situ study only during summertime. Moreover, only few numerical studies of this current have been carried out. Here, we investigate the sensitivity of this current to two different atmospheric forcing sets and to four different resolutions in a coupled ocean-sea ice model (NEMO-LIM). Two sets of simulation are conducted. For the first set, global model configurations are run at coarse (2°) to eddy permitting resolutions (0.25°) with the same atmospheric forcing. For the second set, simulations with two different atmospheric forcing sets are performed with a regional circumpolar configuration (south of 30° S) at 0.5° resolution. The first atmospheric forcing set is based on ERA40 reanalysis and CORE data, while the second one is based on a downscaling of the reanalysis ERA40 by the MAR regional atmospheric model.

Sensitivity experiments to resolution show that a minimum model resolution of 0.5° is needed to capture the dynamics of the ASC in term of transport and recirculation. Sensitivity of the ASC to atmospheric forcing fields shows that the wind speed along the Antarctic coast strongly controls the transport and the seasonal cycle of the ASC. An increase of the Easterlies by about 30% leads to an increase of the mean transport of ASC by about 40%. Similar effects are obtained on the seasonal cycle: using a forcing fields with a stronger amplitude of the seasonal cycle leads to double the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of the ASC. To confirm the importance of the wind speed, a simulation, where the seasonal cycle of the wind speed is removed, is carried out. This simulation shows a decrease by more than 50% of the amplitude of the seasonal cycle without changing the mean value of ASC transport.

Modelling the variability of the Antarctic Slope Current

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