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Dynamical Evaluation of Ocean Models Using the Gulf Stream as an Example
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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The Gulf Stream is the focus of an effort aimed at dynamical understanding and evaluation of current systems simulated by eddy-resolving Ocean General Circulation Models OGCMs, including examples with and without data assimilation and results from four OGCMs IIYCOM. MICOM, NEMO, and POP, the first two including Lagrangian isopycnal coordinates in the vertical and the last two using fixed depths. The Gulf Stream has been challenging to simulate and understand. While different non-assimilative models have at times simulated a realistic Gulf Stream pathway, the simulations are very sensitive to small changes, such as subgrid-scale parameterizations and parameter values. Thus it is difficult to obtain consistent results and serious flaws are often simulated upstream and downstream of Gulf Stream separation from the coast at Cape Hatteras. In realistic simulations, steering by a key abyssal current and a Gulf Stream feedback mechanism constrain the latitude of the Gulf Stream near 68.5 deg W.
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