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Global Estimation of the Eddy Kinetic Energy Dissipation from a Diagnostic Energy Balance
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  • Romain Torres,
  • Robin Waldman,
  • Julian Mak,
  • Roland Séférian
Romain Torres

Corresponding Author:romain.torres@meteo.fr

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Robin Waldman
Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM), Météo France/CNRS
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Julian Mak
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Roland Séférian
CNRM (Météo-France/CNRS)
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Mesoscale eddies regulate the ocean heat and carbon budgets. However, how and where the kinetic energy flows out from the mesoscale reservoir remains uncertain. In this study, a simplified equation of the mesoscale energy budget is used to obtain a global estimation of the eddy dissipation rate. This framework is first validated in a global ocean model and then applied to a density climatology and a global reconstruction of the eddy kinetic energy field. We find a global disipation rate of 0.66±0.19 TW for the mesoscale kinetic energy, in agreement with recent independent estimates. The results also show an intense dissipation near western boundary currents and in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, where both large levels of energy and baroclinic conversion occur. The resulting geographical distribution of the dissipation rate brings new insights for closing the ocean kinetic energy budget, as well as constraining future mesoscale parameterizations and associated mixing processes.
01 Jun 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
01 Jun 2023Published in ESS Open Archive