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  • Wang, Z. and M. P. Meredith, 2008: Density-driven Southern Hemisphere subpolar gyres in coupled climate models. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 35, doi:10.1029/2008GL034344.

We investigate the representation of Southern
Hemisphere subpolar gyres in 20 IPCC AR4 climate
models. The models reproduce three southern subpolar
gyres: the Weddell Gyre, Ross Gyre, and Australian-
Antarctic Gyre, in agreement with observations. Some
models simulate the presence of a subpolar ‘‘supergyre’’,
with strong connectivity between the three gyres. The gyre
strengths and structures show a great range across the
models. It is found that the link between the gyre strengths
and wind stress curls is weak, indicating that the Sverdrup
balance does not hold for the modelled southern subpolar
gyres; instead, the simulated gyre strengths are mainly
determined by upper layer meridional density gradients,
which are themselves determined predominantly by the
salinity gradients. These findings suggest that a correct
simulation of salinity is crucial in the simulation of southern
subpolar ocean circulation.

Full Article: http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0814/2008GL034344/2008GL034344.pdf

Last Updated: 2008-08-22

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