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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 837432, 18 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Downscaling of the Impact of Climate Change on the Ocean Circulation in the Galápagos Archipelago

1Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8208, USA
2Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33129-1098, USA
3Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA, Miami, FL 33129-1026, USA
4Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403-5606, USA

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 8 May 2013; Accepted 2 June 2013

Academic Editor: Bin Liu

Copyright © 2013 Yanyun Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The regional impact of global climate change on the ocean circulation around the Galápagos Archipelago is studied using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) configured for a four-level nested domain system. The modeling system is validated and calibrated using daily atmospheric forcing derived from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis dataset from 1951 to 2007. The potential impact of future anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the Galápagos region is examined using the calibrated HYCOM with forcing derived from the IPCC-AR4 climate model. Results show that although the oceanic variability in the entire Galápagos region is significantly affected by global climate change, the degree of such effects is inhomogeneous across the region. The upwelling region to the west of the Isabella Island shows relatively slower warming trends compared to the eastern Galápagos region. Diagnostic analysis suggests that the variability in the western Galápagos upwelling region is affected mainly by equatorial undercurrent (EUC) and Panama currents, while the central/east Galápagos is predominantly affected by both Peru and EUC currents. The inhomogeneous responses in different regions of the Galápagos Archipelago to future AGW can be explained by the incoherent changes of the various current systems in the Galápagos region as a result of global climate change.