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date: 26 November 2020

Ocean Mixinglocked

  • Carl WunschCarl WunschDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University; Deptartment of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT

Summary

Oceanic mixing is one of the major determinants of the ocean circulation and its climatological influences. Existing distributions of mixing properties determine the rates of storage and redistribution within the climate system of fundamental scalar tracers including heat, fresh water, oxygen, carbon, and others. Observations have overturned earlier concepts that mixing rates might be approximately uniform throughout the ocean volume, with profound implications for determining the circulation and its properties. Inferences about past and potential future oceanic circulations and the resulting climate influence require determination of changed energy inputs and the expected consequent adjustment of mixing processes and their influence.

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