From coupled Earth System Models to a conceptual climate model and back; the case of the subpolar gyre


Thursday, March 14, 2024
11:00 - 12:00


Conceptual climate models are based on a physical understanding of the system of interest. What processes are at play? What are the interactions between different components? The results of studying a conceptual climate model in isolation, knowing the processes are reasonably realistic, are often used to infer aspects of the real system. The question is how well these results extend from a relatively simple system to a highly complex one. In this talk I will discuss this question using the example of the subpolar gyre.

The subpolar gyre in the North-Atlantic ocean is a key area for convection, which contributes to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The circulation itself is wind-driven, but the convection in its center is the result of different positive and negative feedback mechanisms. There exists a conceptual model representing the dynamics of this convection, which is based on studies of a limited number of coupled earth system models (ESMs). I will discuss how well the dynamics this model describes are represented in a large set of ESMs. Which parts of the dynamics are accurately captured? Which are not? And what are the consequences if we want to extend results from the conceptual model to the real system? I will end with an outlook and discussion of next steps.

This is a hybrid event, join online through:


Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP)


IAS second floor library room


Group Seminar


complexity, emergence


Swinda Falkena

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