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Quantifying the contribution of ocean advection and surface flux to the upper-ocean salinity variability resolved by climate model simulations
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  • Lucas Cardoso Laurindo,
  • Leo Siqueira,
  • Justin Small,
  • LuAnne Thompson,
  • Ben P. Kirtman
Lucas Cardoso Laurindo
University of Miami

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Leo Siqueira
University of Miami
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Justin Small
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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LuAnne Thompson
University of Washington
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Ben P. Kirtman
University of Miami
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This study examines the impact of ocean advection and surface freshwater flux on the non-seasonal, upper-ocean salinity variability in two climate model simulations with eddy-resolving and eddy-parameterized ocean components (HR and LR, respectively). We assess the realism of each simulation by comparing their sea surface salinity (SSS) variance with satellite and Argo float estimates. Our results show that, in the extratropics, the HR variance is about five times larger than that in LR and agrees with the Argo estimates. In turn, the extratropical satellite SSS variance is smaller than that from HR and Argo by about a factor of two, potentially reflecting the low sensitivity of radiometers to SSS in cold waters. Using a simplified salinity conservation equation for the upper-50-m ocean layer, we find that the advection-driven variance in HR is, on average, one order of magnitude larger than the surface flux-driven variance, reflecting the action of mesoscale processes.
16 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
30 Sep 2023Published in ESS Open Archive