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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-164
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-164
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 17 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 17 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

The Whole Antarctic Ocean Model (WAOM v1.0): Development and Evaluation

Ole Richter1,2, David E. Gwyther1, Benjamin K. Galton-Fenzi3, and Kaitlin A. Naughten4 Ole Richter et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 129, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia
  • 2Geography & Spatial Sciences, School of Technology, Environments and Design, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia
  • 3Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, TAS, 7050, Australia
  • 4British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK

Abstract. The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), including an ice shelf component, has been applied on a circum-Antarctic domain to derive estimates of ice shelf basal melting. Significant improvements made compared to previous models of this scale are the inclusion of tides and a horizontal spatial resolution of 2 km, which is sufficient to resolve onshelf heat transport by bathymetric troughs and eddy scale circulation. We run the model with ocean-atmosphere-sea ice conditions from the year 2007, to represent nominal present day climate. We force the ocean surface with buoyancy fluxes derived from sea ice concentration observations and wind stress from ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis. At the northern boundaries ocean conditions are derived from the ECCO2 reanalysis and tides are incorporated as sea surface height and barotropic currents. The accuracy of tidal height signals close to the coast is comparable to those simulated from widely-used barotropic tide models, while off-shelf hydrography agrees well with the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) model. On the shelf, most details of ice shelf-ocean interaction are consistent with results from regional modelling and observational studies, although a paucity of observational data (particularly taken during 2007) prohibits a full verification. We conclude that our improved model is well suited to derive a new estimate of present day Antarctic ice shelf melting at high resolution and is able to quantify its sensitivity to tides.

Ole Richter et al.

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Ole Richter et al.

Model code and software

WAOM source code and configuration files O. Richter https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3738985

Python and Matlab scripts used to generate the grid and forcing files and to perform the analysis on the model output O. Richter https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3738998

Ole Richter et al.

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Latest update: 10 Jul 2020
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Short summary
Here we present an improved model of the Antarctic continental shelf ocean and demonstrate that it is capable of reproducing present day conditions. The improvements are fundamental and regard the inclusion of tides and ocean eddies. We conclude that the model is well suited to gain new insights into processes that are important for Antarctic ice sheet retreat and global ocean changes. Hence, the model will ultimately help to improve projections of sea level rise and climate change.
Here we present an improved model of the Antarctic continental shelf ocean and demonstrate that...
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