The Community Ocean Vertical Mixing (CVMix) project is a broadly used computational modeling framework to calculate the small-scale transport of heat and gases between the ocean surface and the deeper ocean. Because water covers 70 percent of the planet’s surface, these calculations are important for representing atmosphere-ocean interactions.
Sea surface temperature (SST) plays a major role in the atmosphere-ocean energy exchange, and vertical mixing in the ocean boundary layer (the upper 100 meters of the ocean) is one of many processes that affect SST. Vertical mixing transports atmospheric heat and carbon dioxide from the atmospheric boundary layer to the abyssal ocean. The magnitude of vertical mixing in the ocean is dependent on vertical and horizontal processes that range in size from a kilometer to a few meters. Small-scale mixing processes strongly influence water temperature, salinity, and density, and have an important influence on the coupled climate system.
Earth system models cannot represent this critical transport between the atmosphere and deep ocean due to coarse model resolution. While there are numerous techniques to represent vertical mixing processes, the developers of the CVMix project chose simpler, more computationally efficient schemes for use in earth system models. The goals are to provide the ocean modeling community:
- An easy-to-use library containing a range of parameterizations
- A stand-alone driver to test the library on its own.