Climate Modelling Group
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Canadian Climate Research Network - Climate Variability

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Andrew J. Weaver
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700
Victoria, British Columbia

tel: (250) 472-4001
fax: (250) 472-4004

Major Outputs by March 31, 1995

1) - A coupled energy balance climate model/OGCM
Much of my research has focused on the stability and variability of the thermohaline circulation under mixed boundary conditions. This approach has serious shortcomings in its formulation of the atmospheric coupling. In specifying the SST and P-E flux almost independently of the oceanic state, there is a very weak feedback of oceanic heat transport on SST. However, there is no feedback of the SST on the hydrological cycle. In order to investigate simple feedbacks in the coupled air-sea system and their role in decadal-millennial climate variability, A. Fanning, a PhD student, and I will couple an energy-moisture balance model (EMBM) to both global, and more idealized, versions of the GFDL model. We shall use this coupled model to investigate the role of atmospheric feedbacks on the decadal variability found in ocean-only GCMs. By March 1995 we expect to have the EMBM developed and we further expect to have completed initial experiments with the fully coupled model.
2) - Flux corrections in coupled ocean-atmosphere models
Before any experiments can be conducted using the CCC GCM II the effects of flux corrections on decadal-interdecadal climate variability must be addressed. The surface heat and freshwater fluxes from equilibrium ocean (OGCM) and atmospheric (AGCM) general circulation model climates will be examined in order to determine the minimum flux correction required to prevent climate drift upon coupling. I hope to show that climate drift of the coupled system is inevitable unless climatological ocean heat and salt transports are used as constraints for tuning the AGCM present-day climatology. I hope to further show that the magnitude of the mismatch between OGCM and AGCM fluxes is not as important for climate drift as the difference in OGCM and implied AGCM heat and freshwater transports. Furthermore I wish to examine current methods used to determine flux corrections which lead to fields which are significantly larger than both AGCM and climatological fields over large regions. By March 1995 I expect to have written a manuscript on the use of flux corrections in ocean-atmosphere models.
3) - The seasonal cycle and the global thermohaline circulation
Using a global ocean model I propose to investigate the importance (or lack thereof) of the seasonal cycle in determining the present-day ocean climate. On January 1, 1995 Tertia Hughes, a Research Associate will begin analysing the heat budgets of the high latitude ocean in the global model which we have recently developed. By March 31, 1995 we expect to have completed the analysis and started writing a manuscript on the results.

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