Publications

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2019
Heimbach, P, Fukumori I, Hills CN, Ponte RM, Stammer D, Wunsch C, Campin JM, Cornuelle B, Fenty I, Forget G, Kohl A, Mazloff M, Menemenlis D, Nguyen AT, Piecuch C, Trossman D, Verdy A, Wang O, Zhang H.  2019.  Putting it all together: Adding value to the global ocean and climate observing systems with complete self-consistent ocean state and parameter estimates. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6   10.3389/fmars.2019.00055   AbstractWebsite

In 1999, the consortium on Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) set out to synthesize the hydrographic data collected by the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and the satellite sea surface height measurements into a complete and coherent description of the ocean, afforded by an ocean general circulation model. Twenty years later, the versatility of ECCO's estimation framework enables the production of global and regional ocean and sea-ice state estimates, that incorporate not only the initial suite of data and its successors, but nearly all data streams available today. New observations include measurements from Argo floats, marine mammal-based hydrography, satellite retrievals of ocean bottom pressure and sea surface salinity, as well as ice-tethered profiled data in polar regions. The framework also produces improved estimates of uncertain inputs, including initial conditions, surface atmospheric state variables, and mixing parameters. The freely available state estimates and related efforts are property-conserving, allowing closed budget calculations that are a requisite to detect, quantify, and understand the evolution of climate-relevant signals, as mandated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) protocol. The solutions can be reproduced by users through provision of the underlying modeling and assimilation machinery. Regional efforts have spun off that offer increased spatial resolution to better resolve relevant processes. Emerging foci of ECCO are on a global sea level changes, in particular contributions from polar ice sheets, and the increased use of biogeochemical and ecosystem data to constrain global cycles of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Challenges in the coming decade include provision of uncertainties, informing observing system design, globally increased resolution, and moving toward a coupled Earth system estimation with consistent momentum, heat and freshwater fluxes between the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and land.

2014
Orsi, AJ, Cornuelle BD, Severinghaus JP.  2014.  Magnitude and temporal evolution of Dansgaard-Oeschger event 8 abrupt temperature change inferred from nitrogen and argon isotopes in GISP2 ice using a new least-squares inversion. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 395:81-90.   10.1016/j.epsl.2014.03.030   AbstractWebsite

Polar temperature is often inferred from water isotopes in ice cores. However, non-temperature effects on 3180 are important during the abrupt events of the last glacial period, such as changes in the seasonality of precipitation, the northward movement of the storm track, and the increase in accumulation. These effects complicate the interpretation of 8180 as a temperature proxy. Here, we present an independent surface temperature reconstruction, which allows us to test the relationship between delta O-18(ice) and temperature, during Dansgaard-Oeschger event 8, 38.2 thousand yrs ago using new delta N-15 and delta Ar-40 data from the GISP2 ice core in Greenland. This temperature reconstruction relies on a new inversion of inert gas isotope data using generalized least-squares, and includes a robust uncertainty estimation. We find that both temperature and delta O-18 increased in two steps of 20 and 140 yrs, with an overall amplitude of 11.80 +/- 1.8 degrees C between the stadial and interstadial centennial-mean temperature. The coefficient alpha = d delta O-18/dT changes with each time-segment, which shows that non-temperature sources of fractionation have a significant contribution to the delta O-18 signal. When measured on century-averaged values, we find that alpha = d delta O-18/dT = 0.32 +/- 0.06%(0)/degrees C, which is similar to the glacial/Holocene value of 0.328%(o)/degrees C. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1996
Morawitz, WML, Sutton PJ, Worcester PF, Cornuelle BD, Lynch JF, Pawlowicz R.  1996.  Three-dimensional observations of a deep convective chimney in the Greenland sea during Winter 1988/89. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 26:2316-2343.   10.1175/1520-0485(1996)026<2316:tdooad>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

All available temperature data, including moored thermistor. hydrographic, and tomographic measurements, have been combined using least-squares inverse methods to study the evolution of the three-dimensional temperature field in the Greenland Sea during winter 1988/89. The data are adequate to resolve features with spatial scares of about 40 km and larger. A chimney structure reaching depths in excess of 1000 m is observed to the southwest of the gyre center during March 1989. The chimney has a spatial scale of about 50 km, near the limit of the spatial resolution of the data, and a timescale of about 10 days, The chimney structure breaks up and disappears in only 3-6 days. A one-dimensional vertical heat balance adequately describes changes in total heat content in the chimney region from autumn 1988 until the time of chimney breakup, when horizontal advection becomes important. A simple one-dimensional mixed layer model is surprisingly successful in reproducing autumn to winter bulk temperature and salinity changes, as well as the observed evolution of the mixed layer to depths in excess of 1000 m. Uncertainties in surface freshwater fluxes make it difficult to determine whether net evaporation minus precipitation, or ice advection, is responsible for the observed depth-averaged salinity increase from autumn to winter in the chimney region. Rough estimates of the potential energy balance In the mixed laver suggest that potential energy changes are reasonably consistent with turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production terms. Initially the TKE term parameterizing wind forcing and shear production is important, but as the mixed layer deepens the surface buoyancy production term dominates. The estimated average annual deep-water production rate in the Greenland Sea for 1988/89 is about 0.1 Sverdrups, comparable to production rates during the 1980s and early 1990s derived from tracer measurements. The location of the deep convection observed appears to be sensitively linked to the amount of Arctic Intermediate Water (AIW) present from autumn through spring. Although AIW is an important source of salt for the surface waters, too much AIW overstratifies the water column, preventing deep convection from occurring.

1993
Sutton, PJ, Worcester PF, Masters G, Cornuelle BD, Lynch JF.  1993.  Ocean Mixed Layers and Acoustic Pulse-Propagation in the Greenland Sea. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 94:1517-1526.   10.1121/1.408128   AbstractWebsite

A simple one-dimensional ocean mixed layer model is used to study the effect of the transition between summer and winter conditions in the Greenland Sea on range-independent acoustic propagation. Acoustic normal modes propagated through the evolving sound-speed profile simulate broadband acoustic receptions from the Greenland Sea Tomography Experiment. The resulting changes in arrival structure and travel time are compared with data recorded between two of the tomographic moorings. The starting state for the model is the average of measured summer temperature and salinity profiles. At each time step the surface layer is modified by the removal of heat (modeling heat loss to the atmosphere) and the removal of fresh water (modeling evaporation minus precipitation). When necessary, static stability is maintained by mixing the surface layer into deeper layers. The acoustic normal modes exhibit large changes in behavior as the profile changes. In both summer (seasonal thermocline) and winter (adiabatic sound-speed profile) individual modes show minimal frequency dispersion. Intermediate profiles with a shallow surface mixed layer give highly dispersive modes, delaying the final acoustic energy cutoff by several hundred milliseconds relative to the summer and winter cases. This is the largest travel time signal observed in the data. The largest peak in the late continuous acoustic energy is due to minimally dispersed modes and corresponds to ray arrivals with near horizontal receiver angles. The amplitude of the arrival is low when significant dispersion is present.