The Impact of Climate Change on Ocean Submesoscale Activity

Seminar by Prof. Kelvin Richards from University of Hawaii

13 May 2022
KST 14:00 – 15:00

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

The physical structure of the upper ocean is an important control on ocean-atmosphere exchange of momentum, heat, freshwater, and gases such as carbon dioxide. It also regulates the distribution of nutrients and their delivery to the sunlit upper ocean, thereby impacting biological production. Processes occurring at horizontal scales of 1–10 km (the so-called submesoscale) play an important role in structuring the upper ocean. Here we will consider how these processes may change under global warming. We find, associated with a warming of the upper ocean, a significant decrease in submesoscale activity and a reduction in the associated vertical flux of heat. The results strongly suggest changes at these scales and their impact on the upper ocean need to be taken into account when assessing the impact of global warming.