Slab Ocean Model

Summary

A slab ocean model configuration allows the user to run a full atmopshere model on top a much simplified ocean model. The simplified ocean model is essentially a 0-dimension model running at every ocean point on the globe and meant to be an approximation of the well-mixed ocean mixed layer. The thermodynamic calculation should have a mixed-layer depth specified, and the temperature of the slab is calculated based on the depth and the surface energy fluxes. This configuration is useful for understanding the climate sensitivtiy of the whole couped simulation, where, on the timescale of decades, the ocean mixed layer depth is the dominant player. It also useful for a simple analysis of the coupled system where only simple interactions with just the mixed layer ocean are of interest e.eg the Madden Julian Oscillation (i.e., situations in which the role of ocean dynamics is minimal).

CESM Options

Running the slab ocean model (SOM) in CESM requires a number of steps in order to get a stable slab-ocean simulation.

CESM SOM-Aquaplanet 

Running the slab-ocean aquaplanet is not currently (CESM1) implemented as a standard compset. An experimental configuration can be achieved with a few steps. Notes on one approach are included in the file available for download here.