Using a global tidal model it is shown that the supply of tidal energy to the deep ocean was larger during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 18,000-22,000 years BP). The results were used to modify the rate of vertical mixing in a coupled ocean-atmosphere model set up for the present and LGM oceans. The increased levels of mechanical energy during the LGM were countered by a fresher upper North Atlantic, which led to a reduced circulation and deep water formation in spite of a trebling of the implicit mixing energy. This identifies the significance of accurately representing vertical mixing in climate models to estimate the recovery time-scales and timings of rapid catastrophic paleoceanographic events. From the estimated levels of implicit energy in the vertical mixing scheme an amendment to diffusivity based mixing schemes is suggested.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)