Sensitivity of simulated salinity in a three-dimensional ocean model to upper ocean transport of salt from sea-ice formation
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 24, Issue 11, pages 1323–1326, 1 June 1997
How to Cite
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 APR 1997
- Manuscript Received: 23 DEC 1996
We show that explicit representation of sinking of salt rejected during sea-ice formation dramatically improves simulated salinity in an ocean general circulation model (OGCM). In our “control” simulation, rejected salt goes into the top model layer, and simulated salinities are typical of OGCMs: the deep ocean is too fresh, and the intermediate-depth salinity minimum associated with Antarctic Intermediate Water is absent. These problems are eliminated in our “test” simulation, in which we distribute rejected salt uniformly over the upper 160 m. Also, the strength of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is more realistic in this simulation. These results show the need for, but do not provide, a better representation of sinking of rejected salt. The sensitivity of our model to sinking of rejected salt suggests that a similar sensitivity may exist in the real ocean, and that loss of Antarctic sea ice might have major effects.