Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate

Watts Up With That?

Eddies pull carbon emissions into deep ocean, new model simulates complex process

A three-dimensional spatial structure of mixing in an idealized ocean simulation, computed using Lagrangian particle statistics. CREDIT Los Alamos National Laboratory A three-dimensional spatial structure of mixing in an idealized ocean simulation, computed using Lagrangian particle statistics. CREDIT Los Alamos National Laboratory

From DOE/LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 24, 2015–Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

“The model enables us to study the important processes of ocean storms, which move heat and carbon from the atmosphere into the deep ocean,” said Todd Ringler, who leads the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME) ocean science team at Los Alamos. “This happens very slowly, but over the next 1,000 years, much of the fossil fuel carbon emissions will end up in the deep ocean; ocean eddies make that happen.”

The Lagrangian In-situ, Global…

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