Modelling air-sea exchange in the Barents Sea by using a coupled regional ice-ocean model. Evaluation of modelling strategies
Schrum, Corinna; Harms, Ingo H.; Hatten, Kerstin
The Barents Sea is known as a key region in the northern hemispheric climate system. Assessment of the low frequency variability of regional climate relevant processes and assessment of the regional oceans role in the climate system is therefore of major interest for understanding the North Atlantic climate variability. Here we present a meso-scale Barents Sea model which was developed and used to assess different model configurations with respect to their suitability for investigations of climatic processes in the Barents Sea. The focus of the present contribution is on the modelling of air-sea heat exchange. A set of sensitivity experiments was carried out and analyzed with special emphasis on the relation between variability of the different numerical experiments and natural inter-annual variability. The results of these investigations are used to conclude on the models suitability for studying the intensity of inter-annual variability and to define an optimum configuration and the necessary requirements for future regional modelling strategies. The results highlight in particular the importance of realistic boundary conditions for the water mass exchange with the North Atlantic and the appropriate treatment of meso-scale ocean dynamics, which significantly impact on the air-sea exchange. Further requirement for a realistic simulation is the appropriate consideration of tidal mixing, a process which was found to contribute significantly to the air-sea heat budget in the Barents Sea.