Effects of ocean surface gravity waves: on turbulence, climate, and frontogenesis

Friday 31 March 2017 - 16:00 to 17:00
NOC Southampton - Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre (Waterfront Campus).
Prof Baylor Fox-Kemper (Brown University)

Effects of ocean surface gravity waves: on turbulence, climate, and frontogenesis.


Surface gravity waves are small (10-100m) and fast (1-10s), so they often are neglected in traditional oceanography where the emphasis is on slower, larger-scale motions.  However, it has recently become clear that these waves energize boundary layer turbulence and entrainment, which in turn affect the climate system.  Additionally, direct interactions between these waves and mesoscale and sub-mesoscale fronts, filaments, and instabilities have been theorized recently.  One challenge to this project has been the incorporation of wave models into climate and ocean models and their associated costs, but progress with statistical wave models shows that for many of these purposes a good estimate can be had even without a full wave model.  This talk will present our latest quantification and understanding of these interactions and describe their incorporation into climate modeling.  

Seminar category: 
Earth and Ocean Science seminars