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Russell, JL, Kamenkovich I, Bitz C, Ferrari R, Gille ST, Goodman PJ, Hallberg R, Johnson K, Khazmutdinova K, Marinov I, Mazloff M, Riser S, Sarmiento JL, Speer K, Talley LD, Wanninkhof R.  2018.  Metrics for the evaluation of the Southern Ocean in coupled climate models and earth system models. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:3120-3143.   10.1002/2017jc013461   AbstractWebsite

The Southern Ocean is central to the global climate and the global carbon cycle, and to the climate's response to increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, as it ventilates a large fraction of the global ocean volume. Global coupled climate models and earth system models, however, vary widely in their simulations of the Southern Ocean and its role in, and response to, the ongoing anthropogenic trend. Due to the region's complex water-mass structure and dynamics, Southern Ocean carbon and heat uptake depend on a combination of winds, eddies, mixing, buoyancy fluxes, and topography. Observationally based metrics are critical for discerning processes and mechanisms, and for validating and comparing climate and earth system models. New observations and understanding have allowed for progress in the creation of observationally based data/model metrics for the Southern Ocean. Metrics presented here provide a means to assess multiple simulations relative to the best available observations and observational products. Climate models that perform better according to these metrics also better simulate the uptake of heat and carbon by the Southern Ocean. This report is not strictly an intercomparison, but rather a distillation of key metrics that can reliably quantify the "accuracy" of a simulation against observed, or at least observable, quantities. One overall goal is to recommend standardization of observationally based benchmarks that the modeling community should aspire to meet in order to reduce uncertainties in climate projections, and especially uncertainties related to oceanic heat and carbon uptake. Plain Language Summary Observationally based metrics are essential for the standardized evaluation of climate and earth system models, and for reducing the uncertainty associated with future projections by those models.

Talley, LD.  2013.  Closure of the Global Overturning Circulation Through the Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans: Schematics and Transports. Oceanography. 26:80-97. AbstractWebsite

The overturning pathways for the surface-ventilated North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and the diffusively formed Indian Deep Water (IDW) and Pacific Deep Water (PDW) are intertwined. The global overturning circulation (GOC) includes both large wind-driven upwelling in the Southern Ocean and important internal diapycnal transformation in the deep Indian and Pacific Oceans. All three northern-source Deep Waters (NADW, IDW, PDW) move southward and upwell in the Southern Ocean. AABW is produced from the denser, salty NADW and a portion of the lighter, low oxygen IDW/PDW that upwells above and north of NADW. The remaining upwelled IDW/PDW stays near the surface, moving into the subtropical thermoclines, and ultimately sources about one-third of the NADW. Another third of the NADW comes from AABW upwelling in the Atlantic. The remaining third comes from AABW upwelling to the thermocline in the Indian-Pacific. Atlantic cooling associated with NADW formation (0.3 PW north of 32 degrees S; 1 PW = 1015 W) and Southern Ocean cooling associated with AABW formation (0.4 PW south of 32 degrees S) are balanced mostly by 0.6 PW of deep diffusive heating in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; only 0.1 PW is gained at the surface in the Southern Ocean. Thus, while an adiabatic model of NADW global overturning driven by winds in the Southern Ocean, with buoyancy added only at the surface in the Southern Ocean, is a useful dynamical idealization, the associated heat changes require full participation of the diffusive Indian and Pacific Oceans, with a basin-averaged diffusivity on the order of the Munk value of 10(-4) m(2) s(-1).

Chereskin, TK, Talley LD, Sloyan BM.  2010.  Nonlinear vorticity balance of the Subantarctic Front in the southeast Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2009jc005611   AbstractWebsite

Direct velocity observations from shipboard and lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers are used to examine the velocity and vorticity structure of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) between the East Pacific Rise and Drake Passage from surveys made in 2005 and 2006. The SAF is characterized by meanders of horizontal wavelength approximately 250-300 km in this region of relatively smooth topography. The depth-averaged SAF jet is observed to be closely aligned with the flow at 150 m, as in an equivalent barotropic flow. The barotropic or depth-averaged vorticity exhibits a balance between advection of planetary vorticity and relative vorticity, as would be seen in a Doppler-shifted short barotropic Rossby wave in a mean flow. The implied wave speed is consistent with the observed range of current speeds. An exponential fit to the vertical structure of the current consistent with the vorticity balance suggests a vertical decay scale of about 1900 m. The vorticity balance at 150 m implies a surface divergence which must be balanced at depth by a divergence of the opposite sign. The calculation confirms the tentative conclusions of Hughes (2005) for this region, which were based on a surface climatology but indicates a larger vertical decay scale and wave speed.