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Greenhouse Warming Reduces Global Energy Conversion into Oceanic Lee Waves
  • Zhibin Yang,
  • Zhao Jing,
  • Xiaoming Zhai
Zhibin Yang
Frontier Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System (FDOMES) and Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China
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Zhao Jing
Ocean University of China

Corresponding Author:jingzhao198763@sina.com

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Xiaoming Zhai
University of East Anglia
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Oceanic lee waves play an important role in dissipating wind-driven ocean circulations and powering turbulent diapycnal mixing. Here we investigate impacts of the greenhouse warming on global energy conversion into lee waves using a linear theory of lee wave generation and output from a high-resolution (0.1° for the ocean) coupled global climate model. The global energy conversion rate into lee waves under the historical (1930s) climate condition is estimated to be 193.0±3.0 GW. Under the high carbon emission scenario, this conversion rate is projected to decrease by about 20% by the end of 21st century, due to weakened bottom large-scale mean flows, mesoscale eddies and stratification. The decrease of the conversion rate is widespread and particularly pronounced in the Gulf Stream and Drake Passage. Our results suggest significant response of oceanic lee waves to the greenhouse warming, with implications for future changes of global ocean circulations and climate.
10 May 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive