Search Results

You are looking at 11 - 14 of 14 items for

  • Author or Editor: James A. Screen x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Saffron J. O'Neill, Mike Hulme, John Turnpenny, and James A. Screen
Full access
James A. Screen, Nathan P. Gillett, David P. Stevens, Gareth J. Marshall, and Howard K. Roscoe

Abstract

The role of eddies in modulating the Southern Ocean response to the southern annular mode (SAM) is examined, using an ocean model run at multiple resolutions from coarse to eddy resolving. The high-resolution versions of the model show an increase in eddy kinetic energy that peaks 2–3 yr after a positive anomaly in the SAM index. Previous work has shown that the instantaneous temperature response to the SAM is characterized by predominant cooling south of 45°S and warming to the north. At all resolutions the model captures this temperature response. This response is also evident in the coarse-resolution implementation of the model with no eddy mixing parameterization, showing that eddies do not play an important role in the instantaneous response. On the longer time scales, an intensification of the mesoscale eddy field occurs, which causes enhanced poleward heat flux and drives warming south of the oceanic Polar Front. This warming is of greater magnitude and occurs for a longer period than the initial cooling response. The results demonstrate that this warming is surface intensified and strongest in the mixed layer. Non-eddy-resolving models are unable to capture the delayed eddy-driven temperature response to the SAM. The authors therefore question the ability of coarse-resolution models, such as those commonly used in climate simulations, to accurately represent the full impacts of the SAM on the Southern Ocean.

Full access
James A. Screen, Nathan P. Gillett, Alexey Yu Karpechko, and David P. Stevens

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that simulated sea surface temperature (SST) responses to the southern annular mode (SAM) in phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) climate models compare poorly to the observed response. The reasons behind these model inaccuracies are explored. The ocean mixed layer heat budget is examined in four of the CMIP3 models and by using observations–reanalyses. The SST response to the SAM is predominantly driven by sensible and latent heat flux and Ekman heat transport anomalies. The radiative heat fluxes play a lesser but nonnegligible role. Errors in the simulated SST responses are traced back to deficiencies in the atmospheric response to the SAM. The models exaggerate the surface wind response to the SAM leading to large unrealistic Ekman transport anomalies. During the positive phase of the SAM, this results in excessive simulated cooling in the 40°–65°S latitudes. Problems with the simulated wind stress responses, which relate partly to errors in the simulated winds themselves and partly to the transfer coefficients used in the models, are a key cause of the errors in the SST response. In the central Pacific sector (90°–150°W), errors arise because the simulated SAM is too zonally symmetric. Substantial errors in the net shortwave radiation are also found, resulting from a poor representation of the changes in cloud cover associated with the SAM. The problems in the simulated SST responses shown by this study are comparable to deficiencies previously identified in the CMIP3 multimodel mean. Therefore, it is likely that the deficiencies identified here are common to other climate models.

Full access
Thomas Spengler, Ian A. Renfrew, Annick Terpstra, Michael Tjernström, James Screen, Ian M. Brooks, Andrew Carleton, Dmitry Chechin, Linling Chen, James Doyle, Igor Esau, Paul J. Hezel, Thomas Jung, Tsubasa Kohyama, Christof Lüpkes, Kelly E. McCusker, Tiina Nygård, Denis Sergeev, Matthew D. Shupe, Harald Sodemann, and Timo Vihma
Full access