The impact of satellite winds and latent heat fluxes in a numerical simulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean

Ayina, Ludos-Herve; Bentamy, Abderrahim; Mestas-Nuñez, Alberto M.; Madec, Gurvan. 2006 The impact of satellite winds and latent heat fluxes in a numerical simulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Journal of Climate, 19 (22). 5889-5902.

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Several oceanic operational programs use remotely sensed fluxes to complement atmospheric operational analyses from major national weather prediction centers. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the ability of the ocean model (ORCA) to correctly simulate the dynamic of the tropical Pacific Ocean in 1996–98 when forced by the satellite turbulent fluxes (wind stress and latent heat fluxes). The results are compared with the oceanic response resulting from forcing the model with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational analysis. Three sensitivity simulations forced with satellite and atmospheric analysis fields are performed. The control experiment is forced with the ECMWF fluxes. The solutions of these simulations are compared with data from the Tropical Atmosphere–Ocean (TAO) buoys and from sea surface temperatures analysis by Reynolds and Smith in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The analysis results indicate that the model reproduces well the major spatial and temporal oceanic structures including the main characteristics of the 1997–98 El Niño. More specifically, the comparisons with buoys indicate that the experiment forced by the winds and the satellite latent heat fluxes is closer to the observations. They provide weak rms difference and strong correlations along the whole 500-m depth column. Furthermore, the correlations with the SST analysis vary between 75% and 95% compared to 65% and 77% for the experiment forced by ECMWF fluxes. The currents in the first 350 m also show a strong sensitivity to satellite turbulent fluxes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0894-8755
Date made live: 10 Dec 2008 +0 (UTC)

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