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Evaluation of a dynamically downscaled atmospheric reanalyse in the prospect of forcing long term simulations of the ocean circulation in the Gulf of Lions

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Jacob,  D.
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
B 2 - Land Use and Land Cover Change, Research Area B: Climate Manifestations and Impacts, The CliSAP Cluster of Excellence, External Organizations;

/persons/resource/persons37216

Kotlarski,  S.
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Langlais, C., Barnier, B., Molines, J. M., Fraunie, P., Jacob, D., & Kotlarski, S. (2009). Evaluation of a dynamically downscaled atmospheric reanalyse in the prospect of forcing long term simulations of the ocean circulation in the Gulf of Lions. Ocean Modelling, 30, 270-286. doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.07.004.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-F8DF-5
Abstract
The paper evaluates atmospheric reanalysis as possible forcing of model simulations of the ocean circulation inter-annual variability in the Gulf of Lions in the Western Mediterranean Sea between 1990 and 2000. The sensitivity of the coastal atmospheric patterns to the model resolution is investigated using the REMO regional climate model (18 km, I h), and the recent global atmospheric reanalysis ERA40 (125 km, 6 h). At scales from a few years to a few days, both atmospheric data sets exhibit a very similar weather, and agreement between REMO and ERA40 is especially good on the seasonal cycle and at the daily variability scale. At smaller scales, REMO reproduces more realistic spatio-temporal patterns in the ocean forcing: specific wind systems, particular atmospheric behaviour on the shelf, diurnal cycle, sea-breeze. Ocean twin experiments (1990-1993) clearly underline REMO skills to drive dominant oceanic processes in this microtidal area. Finer wind patterns induce a more realistic circulation and hydrology of the shelf water: unique shelf circulation, upwelling, temperature and salinity exchanges at the shelf break. The hourly sampling of REMO introduces a diurnal forcing which enhances the behaviour of the ocean mixed layer. In addition, the more numerous wind extremes modify the exchanges at the shelf break: favouring the export of dense shelf water, enhancing the mesoscale variability and the interactions of the along slope current with the bathymetry.