The theme Storms and Ocean will focus on the ability of the SR-ESMs to realistically represent the surface energy budget over the tropical ocean, as well as atmosphere-ocean coupling. It will do so by studying the role of high-frequency coupling, upper ocean and atmospheric boundary layer processes in the tropics, and assumptions related to ocean and atmosphere discretisation and vertical mixing, so as to optimise existing or develop/propose new representations. Particular attention will be given to air-sea interaction across fine scale oceanic features and during intense tropical cyclones. Extensive use will be made of data from three field studies over the tropical Atlantic: EUREC4A in the trade-winds, BOW- TIE/TOOC and buoy measurements in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) region, and within the project Benguela Niños: Physical processes and long-period variability (BANINO) in the Eastern Boundary Current region, as well as 10 years of data collected to observe upper ocean mixing and satellite observations.
This theme will explore how resolving convective storms, ocean mesoscale eddies, and air-sea interaction on these scales influences the development of tropical SST anomalies; how this influences the mean climate (ITCZ biases), variability (diurnal to inter-annual), global teleconnections, and extremes; and how this alters the simulation of climate change. There will be a specific focus on the tropical Atlantic (where model biases are large with implications for high impact events), including the effects on the West African Monsoon, and the intensity, number and spatial distribution of Atlantic Hurricanes.