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Is the Atlantic MOC in a climate model with a Layered Ocean more stable than one with z-coordinates?

Adam Blaker, Alex Megann, Adrian New, Peter Challenor
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK
(Abstract received 01/07/2011 for session X)

RAPIT (Risk Assessment, Probability and Impacts Team) is a UK NERC funded project which is part of the wider RAPID-WATCH programme, which maintains the observational mooring array across 26.5N in the Atlantic. The main aim of the project is to estimate the risk of collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) using modern statistical methods for the analysis of coupled climate models. The main focus of the project will be analysis of large parameter and CO2 scenario perturbation ensembles of the UK Met Office HadCM3 coupled climate model and CHIME (Coupled Hadley Isopycnal Model Experiment). The two models are identical apart from the ocean component, where in CHIME the z-layer ocean of HadCM3 has been replaced with HYCOM, the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model. We will also be using FAMOUS, a low resolution version of HadCM3 to explore the effects of resolution. In order to run sufficiently large ensembles we will be using the framework. We know from transient increasing CO2 experiments of HadCM3 and CHIME conducted under a previous project that the maximum Atlantic MOC in the two models respond similarly to the same forcing, although they responded differently to a 0.1 Sv hosing over the North Atlantic between 50N and 70N.

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2011 LOM Workshop, Miami, Florida February 7 - 9, 2011