Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 01

View Issue TOC
Volume 19, No. 1
Pages 104 - 117

OpenAccess

Measures of the Fidelity of Eddying Ocean Models

Julie L. McClean Mathew E. MaltrudFrank O. Bryan
First Paragraph

Computational simulation is now an essential methodology of science, along with theory and observation. The ability of scientists to understand and predict planetary climate variability largely depends on the veracity of the climate simulations produced by numerical models of the interacting components of the Earth system. Oceanic and atmospheric models are numerical approximations to continuous forms of the equations governing fluid flow and are “closed” by sub-grid-scale parameterizations that represent physical processes on temporal and spatial scales that are not resolved by the chosen model grid. In the past two decades, the rate at which the world’s fastest computers perform floating point operations (FLOPS) has increased by a factor of 10,000. This increase in computing capability has been exploited in several ways. Longer integrations for applications such as paleoclimate (Dijkstra and Ghil, 2005) and the inclusion into models of additional processes such as biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics (Moore et al., 2004), are two such examples. Another example, and the focus of the present study, is to increase the spatial resolution of models such that a greater fraction of the physical processes are explicitly resolved, and fewer are parameterized.

Citation

McClean, J.L., M.E. Maltrud, and F.O. Bryan. 2006. Measures of the fidelity of eddying ocean models. Oceanography 19(1):104–117, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.94.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.