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  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Variation in upper ocean heat content is a critical factor in understanding global climate variability. Using temperature anomaly budgets in a two-decade-long physically consistent ocean state estimate (ECCOv4r3, 1992-2015), we describe the balance between atmospheric forcing and ocean transport mechanisms for different depth horizons and at varying temporal and spatial resolutions. Advection dominates in the tropics, while forcing is most relevant at higher latitudes and in parts of the subtropics, but the balance of dominant processes changes when integrating over greater depths and considering longer time scales. While forcing is shown to increase with coarser resolution, overall the heat budget balance between it and advection is remarkably insensitive to spatial scale. A novel perspective on global ocean heat content variability was made possible by combining unsupervised classification with a measure of temporal variability in heat budget terms to identify coherent dynamical regimes with similar underlying mechanisms, which are consistent with prior research. The vast majority of the ocean includes significant contributions by both forcing and advection. However advection-driven regions were identified that coincide with strong currents, such as western boundary currents, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the tropics, while forcing-driven regions were defined by shallower wintertime mixed layers and weak velocity fields. This identification of comprehensive dynamical regimes and the sensitivity of the ocean heat budget analysis to exact resolution (for different depth horizons and at varying temporal and spatial resolutions) should provide a useful orientation for future studies of ocean heat content variability in specific ocean regions. 
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  2. Abstract

    Two coupled climate models, differing primarily in horizontal resolution and treatment of mesoscale eddies, were used to assess the impact of perturbations in wind stress and Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) melting on the Southern Ocean meridional overturning circulation (SO MOC), which plays an important role in global climate regulation. The largest impact is found in the SO MOC lower limb, associated with the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), which in both models is enhanced by wind and weakened by AIS meltwater perturbations. Even though both models under the AIS melting perturbation show similar AABW transport reductions of 4–5 Sv (50%–60%), the volume deflation of AABW south of 30°S is four times greater in the higher resolution simulation (−20 vs. −5 Sv). Water mass transformation (WMT) analysis reveals that surface‐forced dense water formation on the Antarctic shelf is absent in the higher resolution and reduced by half in the lower resolution model in response to the increased AIS melting. However, the decline of the AABW volume (and its inter‐model difference) far exceeds the surface‐forced WMT changes alone, which indicates that the divergent model responses arise from interactions between changes in surface forcing and interior mixing processes. This model divergence demonstrates an important source of uncertainty in climate modeling, and indicates that accurate shelf processes together with scenarios accounting for AIS melting are necessary for robust projections of the deep ocean's response to anthropogenic forcing.

     
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