CLIMODE is a project to study the dynamics of 'Eighteen Degree Water' (EDW), the subtropical mode water of the North Atlantic. EDW is but one example of a pervasive tendency for mode waters to form adjacent to strong baroclinic fronts in all the world's oceans. EDW is a canonical example of a subtropical mode water, all of which are found in regions of significant air-sea exchange. EDW is created in the winter just south of the Gulf Stream, by convection in the presence of strong shear, with competing effects of vertical/lateral mixing and advection/stirring colluding to set its properties. This project stems from two years of CLIVAR planning (with advice and support of both the Atlantic and US CLIVAR committees) to develop an experiment to attack a key process that is poorly understood and poorly represented in ocean climate models - i.e. the treatment of convection, eddy and mixing processes in setting properties of subtropical mode waters, the associated air-sea interaction, and the exchange of fluid between the mixed layer and the upper ocean. The scientific goals of CLIMODE are focused in 4 areas:
Our program is a mix of in situ and satellite-based observations, and modeling which will, over a 5 year period beginning October 2004, lead to improved parameterization of air-sea fluxes in a high exchange region of the oceans, and improved ocean physics in climate models, capturing the eddy-mixed layer interactions in a region with both strong flows within the ocean and atmosphere and large wintertime exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. CLIMODE is working with a CLIVAR "Critical Process Team" (CPT-emilie) to develop better climate models.