Acute sensitivity of global ocean to eddy energy dissipation

Our paper led by former post doc Julian Mak has been published in Geophysical Research Letters on the Acute sensitivity of global ocean circulation and heat content to eddy energy dissipation time-scale. 

In this paper, we show that the timescale over which energy is removed from Southern Ocean eddies has a dramatic impact on the following: (a) the strength of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the largest current in the global ocean; (b) the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, responsible in part for the relatively mild climatic conditions over northwestern Europe; and (c) global ocean heat content, a key parameter in the global climate system. These results have significant implications for both past and future climates, and highlight the importance of combining observational, theoretical and modeling efforts to better understand and constrain the energy balance of ocean eddies.

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