TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 61 (No. 2), pp. 213-233, 2005

A Coupled Ice-Ocean Model in the Pan-Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean: Simulation of Seasonal Cycles

Jia Wang1*, Qinzheng Liu2, Meibing Jin1, Motoyoshi Ikeda3 and Francois J. Saucier4

1International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, U.S.A.
2Center for Marine Environmental Forecasts, State Oceanic Administration, Beijing, China
3Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
4Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Mont-Joli, Quebec G5H 3Z4, Canada

(Received 29 September 2003; in revised form 22 June 2004; accepted 22 June 2004)

Abstract: A coupled ice-ocean model is configured for the pan-Arctic and northern North Atlantic Ocean with a 27.5 km resolution. The model is driven by the daily atmospheric climatology averaged from the 40-year NCEP reanalysis (1958-1997). The ocean model is the Princeton Ocean Model (POM), while the sea ice model is based on a full thermodynamical and dynamical model with plastic-viscous rheology. A sea ice model with multiple categories of thickness is utilized. A systematic model-data comparison was conducted. This model reasonably reproduces seasonal cycles of both the sea ice and the ocean. Climatological sea ice areas derived from historical data are used to validate the ice model performance. The simulated sea ice cover reaches a maximum of 14 × 106 km2 in winter and a minimum of 6.7 × 106 km2 in summer. This is close to the 95-year climatology with a maximum of 13.3 × 106 km2 in winter and a minimum of 7 × 106 km2 in summer. The simulated general circulation in the Arctic Ocean, the GIN (Greenland, Iceland, and Norwegian) seas, and northern North Atlantic Ocean are qualitatively consistent with historical mapping. It is found that the low winter salinity or freshwater in the Canada Basin tends to converge due to the strong anticyclonic atmospheric circulation that drives the anticyclonic ocean surface current, while low summer salinity or freshwater tends to spread inside the Arctic and exports out of the Arctic due to the relaxing wind field. It is also found that the warm, saline Atlantic Water has little seasonal variation, based on both simulation and observations. Seasonal cycles of temperature and salinity at several representative locations reveals regional features that characterize different water mass properties.

*Corresponding author E-mail: jwang@iarc.uaf.edu

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