Uncertainties in Ocean Latent Heat Flux Variations over Recent Decades in Satellite-Based Estimates and Reduced Observation Reanalyses

Type Article
Date 2020-10
Language English
Author(s) Robertson Franklin R.1, Roberts Jason B.1, Bosilovich Michael G.2, Bentamy Abderrahim3, Clayson Carol Anne4, Fennig Karsten5, Schröder Marc5, Tomita Hiroyuki6, Compo Gilbert P.7, 8, Gutenstein Marloes5, Hersbach Hans9, Kobayashi Chiaki10, Ricciardulli Lucrezia11, Sardeshmukh Prashant7, 8, Slivinski Laura C.7, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
2 : NASA GSFC Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Greenbelt, Maryland
3 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Spatiale, Institut Français pour la Recheche et l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), Brest, France
4 : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
5 : Satellite-Based Climate Monitoring, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany
6 : Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
7 : Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
8 : NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
9 : European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
10 : Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
11 : Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, California
Source Journal Of Climate (0894-8755) (American Meteorological Society), 2020-10 , Vol. 33 , N. 19 , P. 8415-8437
DOI 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0954.1
WOS© Times Cited 13

Four state-of-the-art satellite-based estimates of ocean surface latent heat fluxes (LHFs) extending over three decades are analyzed, focusing on the interannual variability and trends of near-global averages and regional patterns. Detailed intercomparisons are made with other datasets including 1) reduced observation reanalyses (RedObs) whose exclusion of satellite data renders them an important independent diagnostic tool; 2) a moisture budget residual LHF estimate using reanalysis moisture transport, atmospheric storage, and satellite precipitation; 3) the ECMWF Reanalysis 5 (ERA5); 4) Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) singlesensor passive microwave and scatterometer wind speed retrievals; and 5) several sea surface temperature (SST) datasets. Large disparities remain in near-global satellite LHF trends and their regional expression over the 1990–2010 period, during which time the interdecadal Pacific oscillation changed sign. The budget residual diagnostics support the smaller RedObs LHF trends. The satellites, ERA5, and RedObs are reasonably consistent in identifying contributions by the 10-m wind speed variations to the LHF trend patterns. However, contributions by the near-surface vertical humidity gradient from satellites and ERA5 trend upward in time with respect to the RedObs ensemble and show less agreement in trend patterns. Problems with wind speed retrievals from Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder satellite sensors, excessive upward trends in trends in Optimal Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST AVHRR-Only) data used in most satellite LHF estimates, and uncertainties associated with poor satellite coverage before the mid-1990s are noted. Possibly erroneous trends are also identified in ERA5 LHF associated with the onset of scatterometer wind data assimilation in the early 1990s.

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Robertson Franklin R., Roberts Jason B., Bosilovich Michael G., Bentamy Abderrahim, Clayson Carol Anne, Fennig Karsten, Schröder Marc, Tomita Hiroyuki, Compo Gilbert P., Gutenstein Marloes, Hersbach Hans, Kobayashi Chiaki, Ricciardulli Lucrezia, Sardeshmukh Prashant, Slivinski Laura C. (2020). Uncertainties in Ocean Latent Heat Flux Variations over Recent Decades in Satellite-Based Estimates and Reduced Observation Reanalyses. Journal Of Climate, 33(19), 8415-8437. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0954.1 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00654/76588/