A systematic intercomparison of three realistic eddy-permitting models of the North Atlantic circulation has been performed. The models use different concepts for the discretization of the vertical coordinate, namely geopotential levels, isopycnal layers, terrain-following (sigma) coordinates, respectively. Although these models were integrated under nearly identical conditions, the resulting large-scale model circulations show substantial differences. The results demonstrate that the large-scale thermohaline circulation is very sensitive to the model representation of certain localised processes, in particular to the amount and water mass properties of the overflow across the Greenland-Scotland region, to the amount of mixing within a few hundred kilometers south of the sills, and to several other processes at small or sub-grid scales. The different behaviour of the three models can to a large extent be explained as a consequence of the different model representation of these processes
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.