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The impact of aerosol loading on estimates of the surface shortwave flux in the SOC climatology. COAPEC Project - Balancing the Atlantic Heat and Freshwater Budgets, Report No. 2

Grist, J.P.; Josey, S.A.. 2004 The impact of aerosol loading on estimates of the surface shortwave flux in the SOC climatology. COAPEC Project - Balancing the Atlantic Heat and Freshwater Budgets, Report No. 2. Southampton, UK, Southampton Oceanography Centre, 15pp. (Southampton Oceanography Centre Research & Consultancy Report, 88)

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Abstract/Summary

The uncertainty in empirical estimates of the shortwave flux in the Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) air-sea flux climatology due to neglect of tropospheric aerosols is investigated. The SOC shortwave flux fields were derived using a formula originally developed from data in an area of low aerosol loading and do not take into account the variability of aerosol content over the global ocean. We use the method of Tragou et al. (1999) to estimate the reduction that should be applied in order to correct for the effects of aerosol loading. Our results suggest that the mean global effect of not specifying atmospheric aerosol content is that the SOC shortwave flux is an overestimate, but by no more than 2 Wm-2. This equates to less than 7% of the global bias in the original climatology. At a regional level, the effect of the aerosols may be up to 40 Wm-2 in the tropical Atlantic and the Arabian Sea. Independent measurements of the shortwave flux from research buoys and satellites provide some support for our results. However, further analyses are required as only a few independent buoy measurements are currently available in regions of high aerosol loading.

Item Type: Publication - Report (Technical Report)
Additional Pages: & figs
Additional Keywords: aerosols, air-sea fluxes, Arabian Sea, COAPEC, project, shortwave radiation, SOC climatology
Date made live: 31 Jul 2013 14:29 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502830

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