|COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER||10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.58|
Using Global Arrays to Investigate Internal-Waves and Mixing
Jennifer MacKinnon(1), Matthew Alford(2), Pascale Bouruet-Aubertot(3), Nathan Bindoff(4), Shane Elipot(5), Sarah Gille(6), James Girton(2), Mike Gregg(2), Robert Hallberg(7), Eric Kunze(8), Alberto Naveira Garabato(9), Helen Phillips(4), Rob Pinkel(6), Kurt Polzin(10), Tom Sanford(11), Harper Simmons(12), Kevin Speer(13)
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Turbulent diapycnal mixing in the ocean controls the transport of heat, freshwater, dissolved gases, nutrients, and pollutants. Though many present generation climate models represent turbulent mixing with a simplistic diffusivity below the surface mixed layer, the last two decades of ocean mixing research have instead revealed dramatic spatial and temporal heterogeneity in ocean mixing. Climate models that do not appropriately represent the turbulent fluxes of heat, momentum, and CO2 across critical interfaces will not accurately represent the ocean's role in present or future climate.
An accurate picture of the worldwide geography of mixing requires a vastly increased database of observations. Unfortunately, traditional microstructure estimates of turbulent mixing are expensive, difficult, and rare. A key development of the last decade has been the development of tools to estimate the turbulent mixing rate from finescale (order 10-50 meter
resolution) measurements of internal-wave shear and vertical strain. Global arrays such as the Argo program provide an unprecedented and as yet underdeveloped opportunity to define the global internal wave climate, and in turn identify mixing patterns and hotspots.
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This paper shall be cited as:
MacKinnon, J. & Co-Authors (2010). "Using Global Arrays to Investigate Internal-Waves and Mixing " in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.58
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