Alberto Garabato from the University of Southampton is guest of Jochem Marotzke (MPI-M).
Time: 3:15 PM, Room 22/23 Bundestraße 53 (ground floor).
The power of the small: The emergent role of submesoscale turbulence in shaping ocean circulation and climate
Submesoscale turbulence is made up of oceanic currents with horizontal scales on the order of 1 km and time scales similar to an inertial period. This class of ocean flows has been traditionally ignored, because it is often less energetic than other types of ocean currents, and because it has only just started being partially resolved by some ocean circulation models in the last few years. In this talk, I will argue that submesoscale turbulence is important in shaping ocean circulation in key places at the ocean’s boundaries, where the ocean interacts with other elements of the climate system. To do this, I will draw on three recent observational experiments at the ocean’s interface with the atmosphere, the cryosphere and the Earth’s topography – and show that, in all three cases, submesoscale turbulence governs a significant aspect of the ocean’s climatic role.