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Influence of global warming on baroclinic Rossby radius in the ocean: a model intercomparison

PI: Oleg Saenko
Institution: Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Abstract:
The first baroclinic Rossby radius of deformation plays a fundamental role in ocean dynamics. It is a natural scale that often is associated with boundary phenomena, such as boundary currents and fronts, and with eddies. In addition, the speed of long (nondispersive) baroclinic Rossby waves, which are one of the key players in the large-scale oceanic adjustment to perturbations, is proportional to the squared baroclinic Rossby radius of deformation.

Using results from the IPCC AR4 coupled climate models, we evaluate the increase of the baroclinic Rossby radius associated with the increase of oceanic stratification in a plausible future warmer climate. The warming-induced increase in the speed of baroclinic gravity waves (in particular, the increase in the speed of equatorial Kelvin waves carrying ENSO-related signals along the Equator) is also evaluated.
Publications:
  • Saenko, O.A., 2006: Influence of global warming on baroclinic Rossby radius in the ocean: a model intercomparison. J. Climate, 19, 1354-1360. Abstract. Edit.

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