WP3.1 – Variability and trends of Atlantic Ocean circulation in high-resolution ocean models

This project aims at simulating the changes in the Atlantic Ocean during the last decades by means of numerical model experiments. The ocean-ice model uses a fine mesh (1/20°) to realistically capture the important frontal zones (transition zones between water masses of different temperatures and salinities, e. g. the North Atlantic Current in the subpolar North Atlantic), narrow boundary currents and intense eddying motions. The model allows to compute the response of ocean currents and water properties such as temperature and salinity to the atmospheric forcing variability of the last six decades. The model results will help to advance our understanding of the causes and mechanisms of ocean variability, and will aid the interpretation of local observations by providing a basin-scale and longer-term context.


  • Obtaining realistic model simulations of Atlantic Ocean changes during the last decades
  • Investigating the causes and regional impacts of variability and trends in the basin-scale circulation
  • Supporting the interpretation of observational programmes


  • Global ocean-ice model with high resolution (1/20°, i.e. 3 – 5 km grid size) in the Atlantic sector
  • Simulating the response to the atmospheric variability of the last six decades
  • Model experiments to identify the important mechanisms governing ocean changes

Model simulation of the surface speed (m/s) in the Atlantic. (Image: Geomar Kiel)


Claus Böning, GEOMAR Kiel

Arne Biastoch, GEOMAR Kiel


Markus Scheinert, GEOMAR Kiel

Klaus Getzlaff, GEOMAR Kiel