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Thursday, March 29, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


The Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Ocean. Theory and Numerical Modelling

Geoffrey Vallis
Princeton University

I will present an idealized but quantitative conceptual model (i.e., a theory) of the interhemispheric meridional overturning circulation (MOC) of the ocean and the associated stratification. The theory provides predictions of the strength and structure of the MOC based on such problem parameters as wind strength, buoyancy forcing and diapycnal diffusivity. Although the theory seems to work (i.e., compare well to numerical models) in an idealized setting, the relevance to the real world is not yet demonstrated. To this end, I will also discuss what type of numerical experiments might be useful to connect the theory to the real world and whether these experiments might be possible with the comprehensive ocean models of today or tomorrow.

Host: Beth Wingate, CCS-2 ,