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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-17
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-17
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Apr 2019

Research article | 26 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

Synthesis and evaluation of historical meridional heat transport from midlatitudes towards the Arctic

Yang Liu1,2, Jisk Attema1, Ben Moat3, and Wilco Hazeleger1,2 Yang Liu et al.
  • 1Netherlands eScience Center, 1098 XG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2Wageningen University, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 3National Oceanography Center, SO14 3ZH, Southampton, United Kingdom

Abstract. Meridional Energy Transport (MET), both in the atmosphere (AMET) and ocean (OMET), has significant impact on the climate in the Arctic. In this study, we quantify AMET and OMET at subpolar latitudes from six reanalyses datasets. We investigate the differences between the datasets and we check the coherence between MET and the Arctic climate variability from annual to interannual scales. The results indicate that, although the mean transport in all datasets agree well, the spatial distribution and temporal variations of AMET and OMET differ substantially among the reanalysis datasets. For the ocean, only after 2010 the low-frequency signals for all reanalyses products agree well. A further comparison with observed heat transports at 26.5° N and the subpolar Atlantic, and a high-resolution ocean model hindcast confirm that the OMET estimated from reanalyses are consistent with independent observations. For the atmosphere, the variations among reanalyses datasets are large. This can be attributed to differences in temperature transport. A further analysis of linkages between the Arctic climate variability and AMET shows that atmospheric reanalyses differ substantially from each other. Among all the chosen atmospheric products, ERA-Interim results are most consistent with results obtained with coupled climate models. For the ocean, ORAS4 and SODA3 agree well on the relation between OMET and sea ice concentration (SIC), while GLORYS2V3 deviates from those data sets. Our study suggests, since the reanalyses products are not designed for the quantification of energy transport, the AMET and OMET estimated from reanalyses should be used with great care, especially when studying variability and interactions between the Arctic and midlatitudes beyond annual time scales.

Yang Liu et al.
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Yang Liu et al.
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Short summary
Poleward meridional energy transport, both in the atmosphere (AMET) and ocean (OMET), has significant impact on the climate in the Arctic. In this study, we quantify and intercompare AMET and OMET at subpolar latitudes from six reanalyses datasets. The results indicate that the spatial distribution and temporal variations of AMET and OMET differ substantially among the reanalysis datasets. Our study suggests that the AMET and OMET estimated from reanalyses should be used with great care.
Poleward meridional energy transport, both in the atmosphere (AMET) and ocean (OMET), has...
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