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On the momentum forcing of a large-scale sea-ice model


Stoessel,  A.
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

Claussen,  Martin
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Stoessel, A., & Claussen, M. (1993). On the momentum forcing of a large-scale sea-ice model. Climate Dynamics, 9(2), 71-80. doi:10.1007/BF00210010.

A large-scale sea-ice - oceanic mixed-layer model for the Southern Ocean is forced with daily atmospheric fields from operational numerical weather prediction analyses. The strength of the atmospheric forcing is modified considering atmospheric surface-layer physics, which is itself directly dependent on the instantaneous sea-ice condition provided by the sea-ice model. In earlier applications, the atmospheric drag on sea ice was computed from the local momentum transfer over ice. In the present study, this is replaced by a large-scale momentum flux, which is characterized by a large-scale stability function and a large-scale roughness length. The large-scale roughness length depends on the local skin drags and on the form drag, where the latter is given as a function of the ice-plus-snow free-board and the ice concentration, both provided by the sea-ice model. The thermodynamic part of the calculation is given by the local fluxes, which depend on the local stability of the atmospheric surface layer. This, physically more reasonable, description of the large-scale dynamic forcing generally leads to an increase of the momentum transfer via an increase of the roughness length and a decrease of the stability in the atmospheric surface layer. Finally, this yields improved model results, especially in terms of a more dynamic pattern of the ice-thickness distribution.