Differences between two estimates of air-sea turbulent heat fluxes over the Atlantic Ocean

Type Article
Date 2011-09
Language English
Author(s) Santorelli A.1, Pinker R. T.1, Bentamy Abderrahim2, Katsaros Kristina2, 3, Drennan W. M.3, Mestas-Nunez A. M.4, Carton J. A.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Maryland, Dept Atmospher & Ocean Sci, College Pk, MD 20742 USA.
2 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : Univ Miami, Rosenstiel Sch Marine & Atmospher Sci, Miami, FL 33149 USA.
4 : Texas A&M Univ Corpus Christi, Dept Phys & Environm Sci, Corpus Christi, TX 78412 USA.
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans (0148-0227) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2011-09 , Vol. 116 , N. C09028 , P. 19 pp.
DOI 10.1029/2010JC006927
WOS© Times Cited 9
Abstract Uncertainties in turbulent ocean-atmosphere heat flux estimates, both among the estimates and between them and ground truth, suggest that further comparisons are needed. We analyze estimates from the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Objectively Analyzed air-sea Fluxes (WHOI OAFlux). The IFREMER products are based on satellite observations and the WHOI OAFlux ones on data from satellites, buoys, and ships assimilated into numerical analyses. We focus on the Atlantic sector (70 degrees W-30 degrees E, 45 degrees S-45 degrees N) during 1996-2005, where the variables that enter the bulk formulae for computing fluxes (wind speed, sea surface and air temperature, and specific humidity) can be evaluated against buoys in the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic (PIRATA). Since WHOI assimilates PIRATA observations, we have added two independent buoy data sets: FETCH and ROMEO. To examine how each variable contributes to the difference between estimated and buoy fluxes, the method of Bourras (2006) is applied. His so-called Q terms showed that specific air humidity and air temperature contributed the most to the biases of IFREMER latent and sensible heat fluxes, respectively, at both independent buoys. For WHOI OAFlux products, deviations from FETCH values were mainly due to wind speed and sea surface temperature differences, while in comparison with ROMEO fluxes, WHOI OAFlux biases were primarily due to specific humidity and sea surface temperature estimates. Modified estimates of turbulent fluxes with the IFREMER approach using the 10 m specific humidity and air temperature products of Jackson et al. (2009) show significant improvement in three test cases at PIRATA buoys.
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Santorelli A., Pinker R. T., Bentamy Abderrahim, Katsaros Kristina, Drennan W. M., Mestas-Nunez A. M., Carton J. A. (2011). Differences between two estimates of air-sea turbulent heat fluxes over the Atlantic Ocean. Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans, 116(C09028), 19 pp. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JC006927 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00048/15915/