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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Overturning Ideas: Disentangling the Climate System using Thermodynamic Coordinates Seminar

3:00 - 4:00
7 November 2012
Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre National Oceanography Centre Southampton Visitors should check before travelling to attend the seminar.

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Aurelie Duchez and Gerard McCarthy on +44 (0) 23 80596175 .

Event details

To many, the concept of the 'Overturning Circulation' embodies the role of the ocean in the climate system.

There is, however, a mismatch between the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), as diagnosed from models, and the conceptual view many of us have of a circualtion which moves heat and fresh water around the globe. To this end, a new way of looking at the circulation is introduced: the thermohaline streamfunction. The thermohaline streamfunction represents the net pathway of the ocean circulation in temperature-salinity coordinates. The streamfunction describes a thermohaline circualtion with 'global cell', a warm 'tropical cell' and a deep 'bottom water cell'. A re-projection from thermohaline to physical coordinates reveals a circulation reminiscent of the schematised ’global conveyor’. Preliminary work will be presented on using thermodynamic coordinates in the couple ocean-atmosphere system and other aspects of the earth system.

Speaker information

Jan Zika,Jan Zika is a NERC Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK. His research is on the large-scale physics of the ocean and climate. He studies the way in which the ocean moves heat and moisture around the globe and its interaction with the atmosphere and ice systems.

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