Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1378
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1378
28 May 2024
 | 28 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

CARIB12: A Regional Community Earth System Model / Modular Ocean Model 6 Configuration of the Caribbean Sea

Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo M. Marques, and Frank O. Bryan

Abstract. A new CESM/MOM6 ocean-only regional 1/12° configuration of the Caribbean Sea is presented and validated. The model configuration was developed as a response to the rising need of high-resolution models for climate impact applications. The configuration is validated for the period covering 2000–2020 against ocean reanalysis and a suite of observation-based datasets. Particular emphasis is paid to the configuration's ability to represent the dynamical regime and properties of the region across sub-seasonal, seasonal and inter-annual timescales. Near-surface fields of temperature, salinity and sea-surface height are well represented. In particular the seasonal cycle of sea-surface salinity and the spatial pattern of the low salinity associated with the Amazon and Orinoco river plumes is well captured. Surface speeds compare favorably against reanalysis and show the mean flows within the Caribbean Sea are well represented. We performed a case study to examine the origin of waters arriving to the Virgin Islands Basin and show the model reproduces known pathways and timing for river plume waters intruding the region. The seasonal cycle of the mixed layer depth is also well represented with biases of less than 3 m when comparing to ocean reanalysis. The vertical structure and stratification across the water column is represented favorably against ship-based observations with the largest simulated biases in the near-surface water mass and the sub-surface salinity maximum associated with the sub-tropical underwater mass. The temperature and salinity variability of the vertical structure is well represented in the model solution. We show that mean ocean mass transports across the multiple passages in the eastern Caribbean Sea compare favorably to observation-based estimates, but the model exhibits smaller variability compared to ocean reanalysis transport estimates. Furthermore, a brief comparison against a 1° CESM global ocean configuration shows that the higher resolution regional model improves significant biases in sea-surface salinity and mixed layer depth in particular. Additionally, the regional model better represents important features and variability within the Caribbean Sea compared to the 1° model. Overall, the regional model reproduces to a good degree the processes within the Caribbean Sea and opens the possibility of regional ocean climate studies in support of decision making within CESM.

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Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo M. Marques, and Frank O. Bryan

Status: open (until 23 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo M. Marques, and Frank O. Bryan

Data sets

Model configuration and input files for: "CARIB12: A Regional Community Earth System Model / Modular Ocean Model 6 Configuration of the Caribbean Sea" Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo Marques, and Frank O. Bryan https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11165668

Model output for: "CARIB12: A Regional Community Earth System Model / Modular Ocean Model 6 Configuration of the Caribbean Sea" Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo Marques, and Frank O. Bryan https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11264009

Trajectories of backtracked passive particles for: "CARIB12: A Regional Community Earth System Model / Modular Ocean Model 6 Configuration of the Caribbean Sea" Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis and Donata Giglio https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11267615

Model code and software

Model source code for CESM2 version cesm2_3_alpha16b as used in "CARIB12: A Regional Community Earth System Model / Modular Ocean Model 6 Configuration of the Caribbean Sea" Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo Marques, and Frank O. Bryan https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11289424

Giovanni G. Seijo-Ellis, Donata Giglio, Gustavo M. Marques, and Frank O. Bryan

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Short summary
A CESM/MOM6 regional configuration of the Caribbean Sea was developed as a response to the rising need of high-resolution models for climate impact studies. The configuration is validated for the period of 2000–2020 and improves significant errors in a low resolution model. Oceanic properties are well represented. Patterns of freshwater associated with the Amazon river are well captured and the mean flows across the multiple passages in the Caribbean Sea agree with observations.