Bjerknes Compensation in the Bergen Climate Model

Stephen Outten
Seminar Date: 
7. February 2013 - 12:30 - 13:00
Lecture room, Ground Floor, NERSC

The meridional transport of heat, through both the ocean and atmosphere, is a basic component for maintaining Earth’s climate. Understanding the decadal to multi-decadal changes of these transports provides an insight into the natural variability of the climate system. In 1964, Jacob Bjerknes proposed that large anomalies in the oceanic heat transport should be balanced by opposing variations in the atmospheric heat transport; a process later named Bjerknes Compensation.

Bjerknes compensation has been identified in the 600 year control run of the Bergen Climate Model by examining the anomalies of the implied meridional heat transports in both the ocean and atmosphere. These anomalies show strong anti-correlation (r=-0.81, p≤0.05) and a multi-decadal variability. Current and future work on this topic will also be discussed.