Validating Ocean Surface Mixed Layer Variability in GFDL’s OM4

Hosts: Brandon Reichl, Alistair Adcroft, Stephen Griffies

The near-surface layer of the ocean experiences strong mixing due to wind, waves, and convective plumes.  This mixing results in the formation of a mixed layer that is nearly uniform in properties such as temperature and salinity.  The presence of this layer is extremely important in determining how properties such as heat and carbon dioxide are cycled and exchanged between the ocean interior and the atmosphere. The properties of this layer vary on daily, seasonal, and interannual timescales due to their coupling with weather, seasonal cycles of solar heating, and long-term climate variability.

In this project the intern will utilize observations of the upper ocean temperature and salinity structure from floats and platforms to evaluate the ability of GFDL’s global ocean simulations to capture the properties of this layer and its variability over multiple timescales.  By identifying model strengths and weaknesses the intern will have the opportunity to contribute to model development and analysis efforts.  The ideal candidate for this project will have interests in Physics and Oceanography and will be comfortable working on computers.  Prior experience using Python analysis software and Jupyter notebooks will be particularly useful.