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Evaluating Uncertainty in the Rate of Oceanic Heat Uptake

PI: Andrei Sokolov
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
We would like to continue work on comparing the rates of oceanic heat uptake in different AOGCM started as a CMIP subproject #20. The objective of this study is to estimate uncertainty in the heat uptake by the deep ocean among existing coupled AOGCMs.
As shown in Sokolov et al 2003, the MIT 2D climate model of intermediate complexity can match the behaviors of different AOGCMs in transient climate change simulation with the appropriate choice of two parameters, modelís climate sensitivity and effective diffusivity for ocean heat anomalies. Then values of the effective diffusion coefficient provide quantitative estimates for ocean heat uptake for different models. Detailed description of this approach is given in Sokolov et al. (2003) together with the results based on the CMIP2 simulations. Availability of the results of the transient simulations with different forcings for each model will allow evaluation of the robustness of the estimates obtained.

Data required for this study are surface air temperature, heat fluxes at the tropopause and at the surface and sea level change due to thermal expansion of the ocean (or data from which it can be calculated).

Analysis will be done by Andrei Sokolov, MIT Joint Program on Science and Policy of Global Change.

Sokolov AP, Forest CE and Stone PH. Comparing oceanic heat uptake in AOGCM transient climate change experiments. J. of Climate, 2003, V15, 1573-1582.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate