Climate Dynamics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

Bifurcations of the thermohaline circulation in a simplified three-dimensional model of the world ocean and the effects of inter-basin connectivity

  •  N. Edwards
  •  J. Shepherd


A coarse-resolution, global, three-dimensional, idealised model of the world ocean, based on the thermocline equations, is described. It is demonstrated that, at suitable resolution, such a model can be integrated for hundreds or thousands of millenia, and could therefore form a component of an earth system model designed to investigate climate change on these time scales. As in other ocean models, the thermohaline circulation is found to exhibit multiple stable states. The bifurcation structure of the model has been explored, as a function of surface saline forcing, and is found to depend on the inter-basin connectivity, the topography, and the form of the imposed wind forcing.


Climate Change Stable State Idealise Model Ocean Model Earth System 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  •  N. Edwards
    • 1
  •  J. Shepherd
    • 2
  1. 1.LEGI, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble, cedex 9, France
  2. 2.Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

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