Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Marta Moreno Ibáñez

Polar lows are small and short-lived intense maritime cyclones that develop at high latitudes during the cold season. The strong winds associated with polar lows, combined with the large temperature difference between the sea surface and the atmosphere, leads to a large heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere. Despite the potential impact of polar lows on the ocean circulation, the current global climate models are too coarse to correctly represent them. Marta will work with John Cassano, Mark Serreze and Amy Solomon to analyze how the characteristics of polar lows and their impact on the ocean vary with increased horizontal resolution of an atmospheric model. In particular, Marta will use the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), which is a limited-area, fully coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere-land model. This study will provide evidence on the minimum atmospheric resolution required to represent the impact of PLs on the ocean circulation.