QuestionsCategory: QuestionsExamining thermohaline circulation first with just temperature differences
Clean Harbors Staff asked 2 months ago

This is a set of differential equations originally produced by Stommel (1961) has been simplified in this source (

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The values of these parameters were picked (somewhat) arbitrarily. So, I am instead trying to think of an intuitive way to understand this through temperature first (without taking into account salinity). It makes sense that, in an absence of water flow, the system would tend toward the equilibrium temperature difference (ΔT_{equilibrium} – ΔT). When there is ocean flow, I am curious about describing this in an intuitive sense. Does it make sense (with just focusing on the temperature first) that the rate of circulation/ocean flow is directly proportional to these temperature differences (if we ignore salinity first)? How could this be adapted from these ODEs? Is this okay as a conceptual model? Are there too many things behing left unaccounted for even though this is meant to be a simple model? Could it simply be a constant times deltaT for the first equation instead of QdelT if only temperature is the focus at first? This is not meant to be predictive.