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Invited researcher Bernard Barnier
Contract number
Time span of the project

As of 30.01.2020

Number of staff members
scientific publications
General information
Name of the project:  Mesoscale and synoptic vortices of the ocean in the dynamics of general circulation and climate change

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: е

Goals and objectives

Research directions:

  • Analysis of mechanisms of impact of synoptic and mesoscale vortices on internal changes in the ocean and quantitative assessment of the role of this variability in formation of long-term changes of the state of the ocean and its large-scale circulation. 
  • Assessment of impact of synoptic and mesoscale vortices in the ocean and internal variability related to it on dynamics of climate at the global and the regional scales and on formation of energy flows between the ocean and the atmosphere.
  • Study of mechanisms of generation and assessment of impact of mesoscale and synoptic vortices on heat flows, pulses, flotation, as well as processes of transfer of terrigenous substances and contaminations in internal and boundary seas and coastal aquatic areas

Project objective: Achieving a new level of understanding of the role of synoptic mesoscale vortices in formation of oceanic circulation at the global and the regional scales, as well as their impact on climate change

The practical value of the study

  • We have conducted configuration, development and adaptation of the ORCA025 global models as well as NATL25 and NATL12 regional models.
  • The Laboratory has developed a new regional configuration of the model for the Northern part of the Northern Atlantic with resolution of 1/12 of degree.
  • Our researchers have created an array of boundary conditions for global and regional experiments with circulation models. This allowed to conduct numerical experiments in initialization of global and regional circulation models and analysis of model solutions.
  • We have developed and adapted algorithms of diagnostics, including computations of transfers, vertically and zonally integrated functions of current, velocities of transformation of water masses. Experiments allowed to conduct diagnostics of mean state of the ocean in long-term experiments with models having various resolutions.
  • We have prepared configuration of models for internal seas of Russia and high-resolution fields of boundary states for these seas based on atmospheric modeling.
  • The Laboratory has analyzed experiments with global circulation models of climate. We have conducted analysis of correlation between dynamics of ice cover and change of ocean-atmosphere currents in climate models.
  • We have found conformity determined between re-analysis and models from values of square of surface that is freer of ice. However. there are no correlations between square of ice-free surface and currents neither at the year-to-year scale, nor at the scale of five-year mean. This indicates that the nature of ice condition, in particular, in the spring period, does not play the key role in forming heat currents.

Implemented results of research:

  • Our researchers have developed a method for assessing potential of ocean flows for producing ecologically clean energy.
  • We have conducted computations with a high-resolution models that allowed to demonstrate efficiency of usage of oceanic surface currents for producing energy.

Education and career development:

  • We have conducted the International Youth School and Conference in Computational and Information Technology for Environmental Studies CITES-2017.
  • The Laboratory has developed the lecture course «Numerical modeling of oceanic circulation».

Other results: On the grounds of the Laboratory we have conducted conferences «Ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions in the Arctic and the Northern part of the Pacific ocean: the key to predictability of climate change in middle latitudes» and the seminar «Ocean energy, nonlinear processes in coastal zones».


  • Research Computing Center pf the Moscow State University (Russia): joint research, usage of supercomputers «Lomonosov», «Lomonosov-2», conducting lasting computations pf circulation in the Northern Atlantic with high resolution
  • A. I. Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (Russia): building a united model of the ocean and the atmosphere for climate research, building a test configuration of the unified model, conducting test experiments

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Reznik G.
Wave Boundary Layers in a Stratified Fluid. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 833: 512–537 (2017).
Bashmachnikov I.L., Sokolovskiy M.A., Belonenko T.V., Volkov D.L., Isachsen P.E., Carton X.
On the Vertical Structure and Stability of the Lofoten Vortex in the Norwegian Sea. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 128: 1–27 (2017).
Verezemskaya P., Tilinina N., Gulev S., Renfrew I.A., Lazzara M.
Southern Ocean Mesocyclones and Polar Lows from Manually Tracked Satellite Mosaics. Geophysical Research Letters 44(15): 7985–7993 (2017).
Zavialov P.O., Izhitskiy A.S., Sedakov R.O.
Sea of Azov Waters in the Black Sea: Do they Enhance Wind-Driven Flows on the Shelf? // The Ocean in Motion / M.G. Velarde, R.Yu. Tarakanov, A.V. Marchenko (eds.). – Springer, Cham., 2017. – Pp. 461–474.
Studholme J., Gulev S.
Concurrent Changes to Hadley Circulation and the Meridional Distribution of Tropical Cyclones. Journal of Climate 31(11): 4367–4389 (2018).
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