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Proceedings Paper

Sensitivity of modeled ocean heat content to errors in short wave radiation and its attenuation with depth
Author(s): Igor Shulman; Richard W. Gould; Stephanie Anderson; Peter Sakalaukus
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Paper Abstract

Short wave radiation (SWR) and its attenuation with depth have a major impact on the vertical distribution of the oceanic water temperature, dynamical processes, and ocean-atmosphere interactions. In numerical modeling of oceanic processes, the SWR usually comes from the atmospheric model predictions, while the short wave attenuation schemes are internally prescribed (estimated) inside the oceanic dynamical model. It has been reported that atmospheric models show a tendency to overestimate the shortwave radiation due to underestimation of predicted low-level clouds. Most existing schemes to specify the attenuation of SWR with depth in numerical models are based on: the Jerlov (1976) water-types classification; climatological estimates of attenuation coefficients or from the biological model predictions of light-absorbing and scattering water constituents. All of the above attenuation schemes are prone to introducing errors in the attenuation of short wave radiation with depth. As a result, we have to deal with two types of errors in the oceanic modeling: those due to the incorrect specification of the magnitude of SWR at the surface (from the atmospheric model), and those due to inaccurate vertical attenuation of SWR (prescribed in the oceanic model). We have developed an approach for estimating errors in the oceanic model heat budget due to errors in surface values of SWR and in its attenuation with depth. Based on this approach, we present examples illustrating sensitivities of the heat budget of the water column to the changes in specification of surface SWR and its attenuation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2016
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9827, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VIII, 98270S (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2229251
Show Author Affiliations
Igor Shulman, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Richard W. Gould, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Stephanie Anderson, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Peter Sakalaukus, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9827:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VIII
Weilin W. Hou; Robert A. Arnone, Editor(s)

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