Estimates of net heat fluxes over the Atlantic Ocean

Many studies have been undertaken to evaluate turbulent heat fluxes at the ocean-atmosphere interface; less was done on the total net heat flux. We will compare heat budgets at the ocean-atmosphere interface as derived from satellites and from blended products, compare them to in situ observations, identify the location of largest differences, and attempt to explain reasons for these differences. The results over the Atlantic Sector (50 degrees S-50 degrees N) for a 3 year period show that differences in the turbulent fluxes among two widely used approaches are overshadowed by differences in the radiative fluxes. While the maximum difference in sensible and latent heat fluxes can be about 30 W/m(2), the mean values for latent heat fluxes are -2.27 W/m(2) for January and 5.40 W/m(2) for July. For sensible heat, they are 2.82 W/m(2) for January and 5.64 W/m(2) for July. We show that the maximum difference in net radiative fluxes can be as high as 55 W/m(2), for January, the mean difference in net SW is 6.31 W/m(2) and in net LW it is 12.14 W/m(2). For July, the respective differences are -9.99 W/m(2) for the SW and 14.31 W/m(2) for the LW. Relationships between the fluxes and satellite derived surface wind speed, total precipitable water, and cloud cover provide insight on the dominant processes that control the net heat flux. This study is intended to present an estimate of uncertainties that still exist in the net heat flux at the ocean-atmosphere interface. Key Points Derived the total heat budget at ocean-atmosphere interface Differences in radiative fluxes at interface exceed turbulent flux differences Estimated magnitudes in energy balance terms at ocean-atmosphere interface


oceanic heat fluxes, oceanic net heat fluxes, ocean-atmosphere interface

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Pinker R. T., Bentamy Abderrahim, Katsaros Kristina, Ma Y., Li C. (2014). Estimates of net heat fluxes over the Atlantic Ocean. Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans. 119 (1). 410-427.,

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