Earth system model sensitivity to ocean surface flux algorithm design

Jack Reeves Eyre and Xubin Zeng
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
The University of Arizona

Fluxes of latent and sensible heat and momentum across the ocean surface are controlled by atmospheric turbulence. Earth System Models cannot resolve turbulence, so they parameterize these fluxes based on bulk quantities like sea surface temperature and wind speed. So-called bulk parameterizations introduce biases and uncertainties into simulations of the atmosphere, ocean and entire coupled system. To better understand these uncertainties, we perform sensitivity analyses of the atmosphere and ocean model components by comparing three different bulk parameterizations in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model. Changing the parameterization affects not only the surface fluxes, but also other aspects of model climate throughout the ocean and atmosphere.  As well as assessing the significance of these changes, we test whether the sensitivity analysis procedure itself impacts the apparent results.

Video Presentation

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