Observations to Quantify Air-Sea Fluxes and Their Role in Climate Variability and Predictability

Fairall, C.W.; Barnier, B.; Berry, D.I; Bourassa, M.A.; Bradley, E.F.; Clayson, C.A.; de Leeuw, G.; Drennan, W.M.; Gille, S.T.; Gulev, S.K.; Kent, E.C.; McGillis, W.R.; Quartly, G.D.; Ryabinin, V.; Smith, S.R.; Weller, R.A.; Yelland, M.J.; Zhang, H-M.. 2010 Observations to Quantify Air-Sea Fluxes and Their Role in Climate Variability and Predictability. In: Hall, J.; Harrison, D.E.; Stammer, D., (eds.) Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society, Vol. 2. Noordwijk, The Netherlands, European Space Agency, 299-313. (ESA Special Publication, WPP-306).

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Flux products quantifying exchanges between ocean and atmosphere are needed for forcing models, understanding ocean dynamics, investigating the ocean’s role in climate, and assessing coupled models. Research experiments are essential to improve flux parameterizations, and longer research deployments are required to sample rare events. Urgently needed technological improvements include longer battery life, more robust sensors and improvement of sensors for humidity, precipitation and direct gas and particle fluxes. A range of different flux products are needed, incorporating data from ships, satellites and models in different combinations and using different methods. All products must be characterized with uncertainty estimates. Dataset validation requires high quality observations from ocean flux reference sites and from ships. The continued development of flux products from satellites provides much-needed sampling. Continual intercomparisons among products and with high quality observations will lead to improved flux datasets, while improvements to the flux data management system would facilitate these intercomparisons.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Additional Keywords: air-sea interaction, ocean observing system, surface ocean heat exchange
Date made live: 16 Dec 2009 +0 (UTC)

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