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Regional Versus Remote Atmosphere‐Ocean Drivers of the Rapid Projected Intensification of the East Australian Current

Abstract : Like many western boundary currents, the East Australian Current (EAC) extension is projected to get stronger and warmer in the future. The CMIP5 multimodel mean (MMM) projection suggests up to 5°C of warming under an RCP85 scenario by 2100. Previous studies employed Sverdrup balance to associate a trend in basin wide zonally integrated wind stress curl (resulting from the multidecadal poleward intensification in the westerly winds over the Southern Ocean) with enhanced transport in the EAC extension. Possible regional drivers are yet to be considered. Here we introduce the NEMO-OASIS-WRF coupled regional climate model as a framework to improve our understanding of CMIP5 projections. We analyze a hierarchy of simulations in which the regional atmosphere and ocean circulations are allowed to freely evolve subject to boundary conditions that represent present-day and CMIP5 RCP8.5 climate change anomalies. Evaluation of the historical simulation shows an EAC extension that is stronger than similar ocean-only models and observations. This bias is not explained by a linear response to differences in wind stress. The climate change simulations show that regional atmospheric CMIP5 MMM anomalies drive 73% of the projected 12 Sv increase in EAC extension transport whereas the remote ocean boundary conditions and regional radiative forcing (greenhouse gases within the domain) play a smaller role. The importance of regional changes in wind stress curl in driving the enhanced EAC extension is consistent with linear theory where the NEMO-OASIS-WRF response is closer to linear transport estimates compared to the CMIP5 MMM. Plain Language Summary In recent decades, enhanced warming, severe marine heatwaves, and increased transport by the East Australian Current have led to the invasion of nonnative species and the destruction of kelp forests east of Tasmania. The East Australian Current extension is projected to get stronger and warmer in the future. We seek to better understand coupled climate model projections for the Tasman Sea. This is difficult because there is large model diversity and considerable uncertainty as to how and where future changes will occur. In addition, little is known about the possible importance of regional versus large-scale changes in surface time-mean winds in driving future circulation changes. Here we use a single limited-domain ocean-atmosphere coupled model that takes the average model projections as its inputs and finds that changes in the regional wind stress are most important for the enhanced projected East Australian Current extension. We also find that these projected changes are consistent with simple linear theory and the simulated regional changes in wind stress.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03001068
Contributeur : Nicolas Jourdain <>
Soumis le : jeudi 15 avril 2021 - 15:31:38
Dernière modification le : vendredi 16 avril 2021 - 03:26:04

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2019JC015889.pdf
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INSU | UGA | CNRS | IGE | IRD

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Christopher Bull, Andrew Kiss, Alex Sen Gupta, Nicolas Jourdain, Daniel Argüeso, et al.. Regional Versus Remote Atmosphere‐Ocean Drivers of the Rapid Projected Intensification of the East Australian Current. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2020, 125 (7), ⟨10.1029/2019JC015889⟩. ⟨hal-03001068⟩

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