Gille Sarah T.

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Sarah T.

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  • Article
    Delivering sustained, coordinated, and integrated observations of the Southern Ocean for global impact
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-08) Newman, Louise ; Heil, Petra ; Trebilco, Rowan ; Katsumata, Katsuro ; Constable, Andrew ; van Wijk, Esmee ; Assmann, Karen ; Beja, Joana ; Bricher, Phillippa ; Coleman, Richard ; Costa, Daniel P. ; Diggs, Stephen ; Farneti, Riccardo ; Fawcett, Sarah E. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Hendry, Katharine R. ; Henley, Sian ; Hofmann, Eileen E. ; Maksym, Ted ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Meijers, Andrew J. S. ; Meredith, Michael M. ; Moreau, Sebastien ; Ozsoy, Burcu ; Robertson, Robin ; Schloss, Irene ; Schofield, Oscar M. E. ; Shi, Jiuxin ; Sikes, Elisabeth L. ; Smith, Inga J. ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Wahlin, Anna ; Williams, Guy ; Williams, Michael J. M. ; Herraiz-Borreguero, Laura ; Kern, Stefan ; Lieser, Jan ; Massom, Robert A. ; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica ; Miloslavich, Patricia ; Spreen, Gunnar
    The Southern Ocean is disproportionately important in its effect on the Earth system, impacting climatic, biogeochemical, and ecological systems, which makes recent observed changes to this system cause for global concern. The enhanced understanding and improvements in predictive skill needed for understanding and projecting future states of the Southern Ocean require sustained observations. Over the last decade, the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) has established networks for enhancing regional coordination and research community groups to advance development of observing system capabilities. These networks support delivery of the SOOS 20-year vision, which is to develop a circumpolar system that ensures time series of key variables, and delivers the greatest impact from data to all key end-users. Although the Southern Ocean remains one of the least-observed ocean regions, enhanced international coordination and advances in autonomous platforms have resulted in progress toward sustained observations of this region. Since 2009, the Southern Ocean community has deployed over 5700 observational platforms south of 40°S. Large-scale, multi-year or sustained, multidisciplinary efforts have been supported and are now delivering observations of essential variables at space and time scales that enable assessment of changes being observed in Southern Ocean systems. The improved observational coverage, however, is predominantly for the open ocean, encompasses the summer, consists of primarily physical oceanographic variables, and covers surface to 2000 m. Significant gaps remain in observations of the ice-impacted ocean, the sea ice, depths >2000 m, the air-ocean-ice interface, biogeochemical and biological variables, and for seasons other than summer. Addressing these data gaps in a sustained way requires parallel advances in coordination networks, cyberinfrastructure and data management tools, observational platform and sensor technology, two-way platform interrogation and data-transmission technologies, modeling frameworks, intercalibration experiments, and development of internationally agreed sampling standards and requirements of key variables. This paper presents a community statement on the major scientific and observational progress of the last decade, and importantly, an assessment of key priorities for the coming decade, toward achieving the SOOS vision and delivering essential data to all end-users.
  • Article
    Constraining Southern Ocean air-sea-ice fluxes through enhanced observations
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-31) Swart, Sebastiaan ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Delille, Bruno ; Josey, Simon A. ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Newman, Louise ; Thompson, Andrew F. ; Thomson, James M. ; Ward, Brian ; du Plessis, Marcel ; Kent, Elizabeth ; Girton, James B. ; Gregor, Luke ; Heil, Petra ; Hyder, Patrick ; Pezzi, Luciano Ponzi ; de Souza, Ronald Buss ; Tamsitt, Veronica ; Weller, Robert A. ; Zappa, Christopher J.
    Air-sea and air-sea-ice fluxes in the Southern Ocean play a critical role in global climate through their impact on the overturning circulation and oceanic heat and carbon uptake. The challenging conditions in the Southern Ocean have led to sparse spatial and temporal coverage of observations. This has led to a “knowledge gap” that increases uncertainty in atmosphere and ocean dynamics and boundary-layer thermodynamic processes, impeding improvements in weather and climate models. Improvements will require both process-based research to understand the mechanisms governing air-sea exchange and a significant expansion of the observing system. This will improve flux parameterizations and reduce uncertainty associated with bulk formulae and satellite observations. Improved estimates spanning the full Southern Ocean will need to take advantage of ships, surface moorings, and the growing capabilities of autonomous platforms with robust and miniaturized sensors. A key challenge is to identify observing system sampling requirements. This requires models, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs), and assessments of the specific spatial-temporal accuracy and resolution required for priority science and assessment of observational uncertainties of the mean state and direct flux measurements. Year-round, high-quality, quasi-continuous in situ flux measurements and observations of extreme events are needed to validate, improve and characterize uncertainties in blended reanalysis products and satellite data as well as to improve parameterizations. Building a robust observing system will require community consensus on observational methodologies, observational priorities, and effective strategies for data management and discovery.
  • Article
    Global observations of fine-scale ocean surface topography with the surface water and ocean topography (SWOT) mission
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-05-15) Morrow, Rosemary ; Fu, Lee-Lueng ; Ardhuin, Fabrice ; Benkiran, Mounir ; Chapron, Bertrand ; Cosme, Emmanuel ; d’Ovidio, Francesco ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Lapeyre, Guillaume ; Le Traon, Pierre-Yves ; Pascual, Ananda ; Ponte, Aurélien
    The future international Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission, planned for launch in 2021, will make high-resolution 2D observations of sea-surface height using SAR radar interferometric techniques. SWOT will map the global and coastal oceans up to 77.6∘ latitude every 21 days over a swath of 120 km (20 km nadir gap). Today’s 2D mapped altimeter data can resolve ocean scales of 150 km wavelength whereas the SWOT measurement will extend our 2D observations down to 15–30 km, depending on sea state. SWOT will offer new opportunities to observe the oceanic dynamic processes at scales that are important in the generation and dissipation of kinetic energy in the ocean, and that facilitate the exchange of energy between the ocean interior and the upper layer. The active vertical exchanges linked to these scales have impacts on the local and global budgets of heat and carbon, and on nutrients for biogeochemical cycles. This review paper highlights the issues being addressed by the SWOT science community to understand SWOT’s very precise sea surface height (SSH)/surface pressure observations, and it explores how SWOT data will be combined with other satellite and in situ data and models to better understand the upper ocean 4D circulation (x, y, z, t) over the next decade. SWOT will provide unprecedented 2D ocean SSH observations down to 15–30 km in wavelength, which encompasses the scales of “balanced” geostrophic eddy motions, high-frequency internal tides and internal waves. This presents both a challenge in reconstructing the 4D upper ocean circulation, or in the assimilation of SSH in models, but also an opportunity to have global observations of the 2D structure of these phenomena, and to learn more about their interactions. At these small scales, ocean dynamics evolve rapidly, and combining SWOT 2D SSH data with other satellite or in situ data with different space-time coverage is also a challenge. SWOT’s new technology will be a forerunner for the future altimetric observing system, and so advancing on these issues today will pave the way for our future.
  • Article
    Episodic Southern Ocean heat loss and its mixed layer impacts revealed by the farthest south multiyear surface flux mooring
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-05-28) Ogle, Sarah E. ; Tamsitt, Veronica ; Josey, Simon A. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Ceroveˇcki, Ivana ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Weller, Robert A.
    The Ocean Observatories Initiative air‐sea flux mooring deployed at 54.08°S, 89.67°W, in the southeast Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, is the farthest south long‐term open ocean flux mooring ever deployed. Mooring observations (February 2015 to August 2017) provide the first in situ quantification of annual net air‐sea heat exchange from one of the prime Subantarctic Mode Water formation regions. Episodic turbulent heat loss events (reaching a daily mean net flux of −294 W/m2) generally occur when northeastward winds bring relatively cold, dry air to the mooring location, leading to large air‐sea temperature and humidity differences. Wintertime heat loss events promote deep mixed layer formation that lead to Subantarctic Mode Water formation. However, these processes have strong interannual variability; a higher frequency of 2 σ and 3 σ turbulent heat loss events in winter 2015 led to deep mixed layers (>300 m), which were nonexistent in winter 2016.
  • Article
    Polar ocean observations: A critical gap in the observing system and its effect on environmental predictions from hours to a season
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-06) Smith, Gregory C. ; Allard, Richard ; Babin, Marcel ; Bertino, Laurent ; Chevallier, Matthieu ; Corlett, Gary ; Crout, Julia ; Davidson, Fraser J. M. ; Delille, Bruno ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Hebert, David ; Hyder, Patrick ; Intrieri, Janet ; Lagunas, José ; Larnicol, Gilles ; Kaminski, Thomas ; Kater, Belinda ; Kauker, Frank ; Marec, Claudie ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Metzger, E. Joseph ; Mordy, Calvin W. ; O’Carroll, Anne ; Olsen, Steffen M. ; Phelps, Michael W. ; Posey, Pamela ; Prandi, Pierre ; Rehm, Eric ; Reid, Philip C. ; Rigor, Ignatius ; Sandven, Stein ; Shupe, Matthew ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Smedstad, Ole Martin ; Solomon, Amy ; Storto, Andrea ; Thibaut, Pierre ; Toole, John M. ; Wood, Kevin R. ; Xie, Jiping ; Yang, Qinghua ; WWRP PPP Steering Group
    There is a growing need for operational oceanographic predictions in both the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. In the former, this is driven by a declining ice cover accompanied by an increase in maritime traffic and exploitation of marine resources. Oceanographic predictions in the Antarctic are also important, both to support Antarctic operations and also to help elucidate processes governing sea ice and ice shelf stability. However, a significant gap exists in the ocean observing system in polar regions, compared to most areas of the global ocean, hindering the reliability of ocean and sea ice forecasts. This gap can also be seen from the spread in ocean and sea ice reanalyses for polar regions which provide an estimate of their uncertainty. The reduced reliability of polar predictions may affect the quality of various applications including search and rescue, coupling with numerical weather and seasonal predictions, historical reconstructions (reanalysis), aquaculture and environmental management including environmental emergency response. Here, we outline the status of existing near-real time ocean observational efforts in polar regions, discuss gaps, and explore perspectives for the future. Specific recommendations include a renewed call for open access to data, especially real-time data, as a critical capability for improved sea ice and weather forecasting and other environmental prediction needs. Dedicated efforts are also needed to make use of additional observations made as part of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP; 2017–2019) to inform optimal observing system design. To provide a polar extension to the Argo network, it is recommended that a network of ice-borne sea ice and upper-ocean observing buoys be deployed and supported operationally in ice-covered areas together with autonomous profiling floats and gliders (potentially with ice detection capability) in seasonally ice covered seas. Finally, additional efforts to better measure and parameterize surface exchanges in polar regions are much needed to improve coupled environmental prediction.
  • Article
    Ocean observations to improve our understanding, modeling, and forecasting of subseasonal-to-seasonal variability
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-08) Subramanian, Aneesh C. ; Balmaseda, Magdalena A. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Chattopadhyay, Rajib ; Cornuelle, Bruce D. ; DeMott, Charlotte ; Flatau, Maria ; Fujii, Yosuke ; Giglio, Donata ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Hamill, Thomas M. ; Hendon, Harry ; Hoteit, Ibrahim ; Kumar, Arun ; Lee, Jae-Hak ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Matsueda, Mio ; Nam, SungHyun ; Paturi, Shastri ; Penny, Stephen G. ; Rydbeck, Adam ; Sun, Rui ; Takaya, Yuhei ; Tandon, Amit ; Todd, Robert E. ; Vitart, Frederic ; Yuan, Dongliang ; Zhang, Chidong
    Subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasts have the potential to provide advance information about weather and climate events. The high heat capacity of water means that the subsurface ocean stores and re-releases heat (and other properties) and is an important source of information for S2S forecasts. However, the subsurface ocean is challenging to observe, because it cannot be measured by satellite. Subsurface ocean observing systems relevant for understanding, modeling, and forecasting on S2S timescales will continue to evolve with the improvement in technological capabilities. The community must focus on designing and implementing low-cost, high-value surface and subsurface ocean observations, and developing forecasting system capable of extracting their observation potential in forecast applications. S2S forecasts will benefit significantly from higher spatio-temporal resolution data in regions that are sources of predictability on these timescales (coastal, tropical, and polar regions). While ENSO has been a driving force for the design of the current observing system, the subseasonal time scales present new observational requirements. Advanced observation technologies such as autonomous surface and subsurface profiling devices as well as satellites that observe the ocean-atmosphere interface simultaneously can lead to breakthroughs in coupled data assimilation (CDA) and coupled initialization for S2S forecasts. These observational platforms should also be tested and evaluated in ocean observation sensitivity experiments with current and future generation CDA and S2S prediction systems. Investments in the new ocean observations as well as model and DA system developments can lead to substantial returns on cost savings from disaster mitigation as well as socio–economic decisions that use S2S forecast information.
  • Preprint
    Winter mesoscale circulation on the shelf slope region of the southern Drake Passage
    ( 2013-02-20) Zhou, Meng ; Zhu, Yiwu ; Measures, Christopher I. ; Hatta, Mariko ; Charette, Matthew A. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Frants, Marina ; Jiang, Mingshun ; Mitchell, B. Gregory
    An austral winter cruise in July-August 2006 was conducted to study the winter circulation and iron delivery processes in the Southern Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait. Results from current and hydrographic measurements revealed a circulation pattern similar to that of the austral summer season observed in previous studies: The Shackleton Transverse Ridge (STR) in the southern Drake Passage blocks a part of the eastward Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) which forces the ACC to detour southward, produces a Taylor Column over the STR, and forms an ACC jet within the Shackleton Gap, a deep channel between the STR and the shelf of Elephant Island. Observations show that to the west of the STR, the Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) intruded onto the shelf around the South Shetland Islands while to the east of the STR, shelf waters were transported off the northern shelf of Elephant Island. Along a similar west-east transect approximately 50 km off the shelf, the northward transport of shelf waters was approximately 2.4 and 1.2 Sv in the austral winter and summer, respectively. The waters around Elephant Island primarily consist of the UCDW that has been modified by local cooling and freshening, unmodified UCDW that has recently intruded onto the shelf, and Bransfield Current water that is a mixture of shelf and Bransfield Strait waters. Weddell Sea outflows were observed which affect the hydrography and circulation in the Bransfield Strait and indirectly affect the circulation patterns in the southern Drake Passage and around Elephant Island. Two Fe enrichment and transport mechanisms are proposed that intrusions of the UCDW onto the northern shelf region of the South Shetland Islands is considered as the results of Ekman pumping due to prevailing westerly wind in the region while the offshelf transport of shelf waters in the shelf region east of Elephant Island is due to acquisition of positive vorticity by shelf waters from horizontal mixing with onshelf intruded ACC waters.
  • Preprint
    Bathymetry from space : rationale and requirements for a new, high-resolution altimetric mission
    ( 2006-04-26) Sandwell, David T. ; Smith, Walter H. F. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Kappel, Ellen ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Soofi, Khalid ; Coakley, Bernard ; Geli, Louis
    Bathymetry is foundational data, providing basic infrastructure for scientific, economic, educational, managerial, and political work. Applications as diverse as tsunami hazard assessment, communications cable and pipeline route planning, resource exploration, habitat management, and territorial claims under the Law of the Sea all require reliable bathymetric maps to be available on demand. Fundamental Earth science questions, such as what controls seafloor shape and how seafloor shape influences global climate, also cannot be answered without bathymetric maps having globally uniform detail. Current bathymetric charts are inadequate for many of these applications because only a small fraction of the seafloor has been surveyed. Modern multibeam echosounders provide the best resolution, but it would take more than 200 ship-years and billions of dollars to complete the job. The seafloor topography can be charted globally, in five years, and at a cost under $100M. A radar altimeter mounted on an orbiting spacecraft can measure slight variations in ocean surface height, which reflect variations in the pull of gravity caused by seafloor topography. A new satellite altimeter mission, optimized to map the deep ocean bathymetry and gravity field, will provide a global map of the world's deep oceans at a resolution of 6-9 km. This resolution threshold is critical for a large number of basic science and practical applications, including: • Determining the effects of bathymetry and seafloor roughness on ocean circulation, mixing, climate, and biological communities, habitats, and mobility. • Understanding the geologic processes responsible for ocean floor features unexplained by simple plate tectonics, such as abyssal hills, seamounts, microplates, and propagating rifts. • Improving tsunami hazard forecast accuracy by mapping the deep ocean topography that steers tsunami wave energy. • Mapping the marine gravity field to improve inertial navigation and provide homogeneous coverage of continental margins. • Providing bathymetric maps for numerous other practical applications, including reconnaissance for submarine cable and pipeline routes, improving tide models, and assessing potential territorial claims to the seabed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Article
    FluxSat: measuring the ocean-atmosphere turbulent exchange of heat and moisture from space
    (MDPI, 2020-06-03) Gentemann, Chelle L. ; Clayson, Carol A. ; Brown, Shannon ; Lee, Tong ; Parfitt, Rhys ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Bourassa, Mark A. ; Minnett, Peter J. ; Seo, Hyodae ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Zlotnicki, Victor
    Recent results using wind and sea surface temperature data from satellites and high-resolution coupled models suggest that mesoscale ocean–atmosphere interactions affect the locations and evolution of storms and seasonal precipitation over continental regions such as the western US and Europe. The processes responsible for this coupling are difficult to verify due to the paucity of accurate air–sea turbulent heat and moisture flux data. These fluxes are currently derived by combining satellite measurements that are not coincident and have differing and relatively low spatial resolutions, introducing sampling errors that are largest in regions with high spatial and temporal variability. Observational errors related to sensor design also contribute to increased uncertainty. Leveraging recent advances in sensor technology, we here describe a satellite mission concept, FluxSat, that aims to simultaneously measure all variables necessary for accurate estimation of ocean–atmosphere turbulent heat and moisture fluxes and capture the effect of oceanic mesoscale forcing. Sensor design is expected to reduce observational errors of the latent and sensible heat fluxes by almost 50%. FluxSat will improve the accuracy of the fluxes at spatial scales critical to understanding the coupled ocean–atmosphere boundary layer system, providing measurements needed to improve weather forecasts and climate model simulations.
  • Article
    Characterizing the transition from balanced to unbalanced motions in the Southern California Current
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-02-21) Chereskin, Teresa K. ; Rocha, Cesar B. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Menemenlis, Dimitris ; Passaro, Marcello
    As observations and models improve their resolution of oceanic motions at ever finer horizontal scales, interest has grown in characterizing the transition from the geostrophically balanced flows that dominate at large‐scale to submesoscale turbulence and waves that dominate at small scales. In this study we examine the mesoscale‐to‐submesoscale (100 to 10 km) transition in an eastern boundary current, the southern California Current System (CCS), using repeated acoustic Doppler current profiler transects, sea surface height from high‐resolution nadir altimetry and output from a (1/48)° global model simulation. In the CCS, the submesoscale is as energetic as in western boundary current regions, but the mesoscale is much weaker, and as a result the transition lacks the change in kinetic energy (KE) spectral slope observed for western boundary currents. Helmholtz and vortex‐wave decompositions of the KE spectra are used to identify balanced and unbalanced contributions. At horizontal scales greater than 70 km, we find that observed KE is dominated by balanced geostrophic motions. At scales from 40 to 10 km, unbalanced contributions such as inertia‐gravity waves contribute as much as balanced motions. The model KE transition occurs at longer scales, around 125 km. The altimeter spectra are consistent with acoustic Doppler current profiler/model spectra at scales longer than 70/125 km, respectively. Observed seasonality is weak. Taken together, our results suggest that geostrophic velocities can be diagnosed from sea surface height on scales larger than about 70 km in the southern CCS.
  • Article
    Super sites for advancing understanding of the oceanic and atmospheric boundary layers
    (Marine Technology Society, 2021-05-01) Clayson, Carol A. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Cronin, Meghan F. ; Edson, James B. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Parfitt, Rhys ; Riihimaki, Laura D. ; Smith, Shawn R. ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Vandemark, Douglas ; Villas Bôas, Ana B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Zhang, Dongxiao
    Air‐sea interactions are critical to large-scale weather and climate predictions because of the ocean's ability to absorb excess atmospheric heat and carbon and regulate exchanges of momentum, water vapor, and other greenhouse gases. These exchanges are controlled by molecular, turbulent, and wave-driven processes in the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers. Improved understanding and representation of these processes in models are key for increasing Earth system prediction skill, particularly for subseasonal to decadal time scales. Our understanding and ability to model these processes within this coupled system is presently inadequate due in large part to a lack of data: contemporaneous long-term observations from the top of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL) to the base of the oceanic mixing layer. We propose the concept of “Super Sites” to provide multi-year suites of measurements at specific locations to simultaneously characterize physical and biogeochemical processes within the coupled boundary layers at high spatial and temporal resolution. Measurements will be made from floating platforms, buoys, towers, and autonomous vehicles, utilizing both in-situ and remote sensors. The engineering challenges and level of coordination, integration, and interoperability required to develop these coupled ocean‐atmosphere Super Sites place them in an “Ocean Shot” class.
  • Article
    Connections between ocean bottom topography and Earth’s climate
    (Oceanography Society, 2004-03) Jayne, Steven R. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Gille, Sarah T.
    The seafloor is one of the critical controls on the ocean’s general circulation. Its influence comes through a variety of mechanisms including the contribution of mixing in the ocean’s interior through the generation of internal waves created by currents flowing over rough topography. The influence of topographic roughness on the ocean’s general circulation occurs through a series of connected processes. First, internal waves are generated by currents and tides flowing over topographic features in the presence of stratification. Some portion of these waves is sufficiently nonlinear that they immediately break creating locally enhanced vertical mixing. The majority of the internal waves radiate away from the source regions, and likely contribute to the background mixing observed in the ocean interior. The enhancement of vertical mixing over regions of rough topography has important implications for the abyssal stratification and circulation. These in turn have implications for the storage and transport of energy in the climate system, and ultimately the response of the climate system to natural and anthropogenic forcing. Finally, mixing of the stratified ocean leads to changes in sea level; these changes need to be considered when predicting future sea level.
  • Article
    Air-sea fluxes with a focus on heat and momentum
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-31) Cronin, Meghan F. ; Gentemann, Chelle L. ; Edson, James B. ; Ueki, Iwao ; Bourassa, Mark A. ; Brown, Shannon ; Clayson, Carol A. ; Fairall, Christopher W. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Gulev, Sergey ; Josey, Simon A. ; Kato, Seiji ; Katsumata, Masaki ; Kent, Elizabeth ; Krug, Marjolaine ; Minnett, Peter J. ; Parfitt, Rhys ; Pinker, Rachel T. ; Stackhouse, Paul W., Jr. ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Tomita, Hiroyuki ; Vandemark, Douglas ; Weller, Robert A. ; Yoneyama, Kunio ; Yu, Lisan ; Zhang, Dongxiao
    Turbulent and radiative exchanges of heat between the ocean and atmosphere (hereafter heat fluxes), ocean surface wind stress, and state variables used to estimate them, are Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) influencing weather and climate. This paper describes an observational strategy for producing 3-hourly, 25-km (and an aspirational goal of hourly at 10-km) heat flux and wind stress fields over the global, ice-free ocean with breakthrough 1-day random uncertainty of 15 W m–2 and a bias of less than 5 W m–2. At present this accuracy target is met only for OceanSITES reference station moorings and research vessels (RVs) that follow best practices. To meet these targets globally, in the next decade, satellite-based observations must be optimized for boundary layer measurements of air temperature, humidity, sea surface temperature, and ocean wind stress. In order to tune and validate these satellite measurements, a complementary global in situ flux array, built around an expanded OceanSITES network of time series reference station moorings, is also needed. The array would include 500–1000 measurement platforms, including autonomous surface vehicles, moored and drifting buoys, RVs, the existing OceanSITES network of 22 flux sites, and new OceanSITES expanded in 19 key regions. This array would be globally distributed, with 1–3 measurement platforms in each nominal 10° by 10° box. These improved moisture and temperature profiles and surface data, if assimilated into Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, would lead to better representation of cloud formation processes, improving state variables and surface radiative and turbulent fluxes from these models. The in situ flux array provides globally distributed measurements and metrics for satellite algorithm development, product validation, and for improving satellite-based, NWP and blended flux products. In addition, some of these flux platforms will also measure direct turbulent fluxes, which can be used to improve algorithms for computation of air-sea exchange of heat and momentum in flux products and models. With these improved air-sea fluxes, the ocean’s influence on the atmosphere will be better quantified and lead to improved long-term weather forecasts, seasonal-interannual-decadal climate predictions, and regional climate projections.
  • Preprint
    Characteristics of colliding sea breeze gravity current fronts : a laboratory study
    ( 2017-02) van der Wiel, Karin ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Llewellyn Smith, Stefan ; Linden, P. F. ; Cenedese, Claudia
    Sea and land breeze circulations driven by surface temperature differences between land and sea often evolve into gravity currents with sharp fronts. Along narrow peninsulas, islands and enclosed seas, sea/land breeze fronts from opposing shorelines may converge and collide and may initiate deep convection and heavy precipitation. Here we investigate the collision of two sea breeze gravity current fronts in an analogue laboratory setting. We examine these collisions by means of ‘lock-exchange’ experiments in a rectangular channel. The effects of differences in gravity current density and height are studied. Upon collision, a sharp front separating the two currents develops. For symmetric collisions (the same current densities and heights) this front is vertical and stationary. For asymmetric collisions (density differences, similar heights) the front is tilted, changes shape in time and propagates in the same direction as the heavier current before the collision. Both symmetric and asymmetric collisions lead to upward displacement of fluid from the gravity currents and mixing along the plane of contact. The amount of mixing along the collision front decreases with asymmetry. Height differences impact post-collision horizontal propagation: there is significant propagation in the same direction as the higher current before collision, independent of density differences. Collisions of two gravity current fronts force sustained ascending motions which increase the potential for deep convection. From our experiments we conclude that this potential is larger in stationary collision fronts from symmetric sea breeze collisions than in propagating collision fronts from asymmetric sea breeze collisions.
  • Thesis
    Dynamics of the Antarctic circumpolar current : evidence for topographic effects from altimeter data and numerical model output
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1995-02) Gille, Sarah T.
    Geosat altimeter data and numerical model output are used to examine the circulation and dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The mean sea surface height across the ACC has been reconstructed from height variability measured by the Geosat altimeter, without assuming prior knowledge of the geoid. For this study, an automated technique has been developed to estimate mean sea surface height for each satellite ground track using a meandering Gaussian jet model, and errors have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulation. The results are objectively mapped to produce a picture of the mean Subantarctic and Polar Fronts, which together comprise the major components of the ACC. The locations of the fronts are consistent with in situ observations and indicate that the fronts are substantially steered by bathymetry. The jets have an average Gaussian width of about 44 km in the meridional direction and meander about 75 km to either side of their mean locations. The width of the fronts is proportional to 1/f, indicating that with constant stratification, the width is proportional to the baroclinic. Rossby radius. The average height difference across the Subantarctic Front (SAF) is 0.7 m and across the Polar Front (PF) 0.6 m. The mean widths of the fronts are correlated with the size of the baroclinic Rossby radius. The meandering jet model explains between 40% and 70% of the height variance along the jet axes. Bathymetric constrictions are associated with increased eddy variability, a smaller percentage of which may be explained by the meandering of the ACC fronts, indicating that propagating eddies and rings may be spawned at topographic features. Detailed examination of spatial and temporal variability in the altimeter data indicates a spatial decorrelation scale of 85 km and a temporal e-folding scale of 34 days. The sea surface height variability is objectively mapped using these scales to define autocovariance functions. The resulting maps indicate substantial evidence of mesoscale eddy activity. Over 17-day time intervals, meanders of the PF and SAF appear to elongate, break off as rings, and propagate. Statistical analysis of ACC variability from altimeter data is conducted using empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs ). The first mode EOF describes 16% of the variance in total sea surface height across the ACC; reducing the domain into basin scales does not significantly increase the variance represented by the first EOF, suggesting that the scales of motion are relatively short, and may be determined by local instability mechanisms rather than larger basin scale processes. Likewise, frequency domain EOFs indicate no statistically significant traveling wave modes. The momentum balance of the ACC has been investigated using both output from a high resolution primitive equation model and sea surface height measurements from the Geosat altimeter. In the Semtner-Chervin general circulation model, run with approximately quarter-degree resolution and time varying ECMWF winds, topographic form stress is the dominant process balancing the surface wind forcing. Detailed examination of form stress in the model indicates that it is due to three large topographic obstructions located at Kerguelen Island, Campbell Plateau, and Drake Passage. In order to reduce the effects of standing eddies, the model momentum balance is considered in stream coordinates; vertically integrated through the entire water column, topographic form drag is the dominant balance for wind stress. However, at mid-depth the cross-stream momentum transfer is dominated by horizontal biharmonic friction. In the upper ocean, horizontal friction, mean momentum flux divergence, transient momentum flux divergence, and mean vertical flux divergence all contribute significantly to the momentum balance. Although the relative importance of individual terms in the momentum balance does not vary substantially along streamlines, elevated levels of eddy kinetic energy are associated with the three major topographic features. In contrast, altimeter data show elevated energy levels at many more topographic features of intermediate scales, suggesting that smaller topographic effects are better able to communicate with the surface in the real ocean than in the model. Transient Reynolds stress terms play a small role in the the overall momentum balance; nonetheless, altimeter and model measurements closely agree, and suggest that transient eddies tend to accelerate the mean flow, except in the region between the major fronts which comprise the ACC. Potential vorticity is considered in the model output along Montgomery streamfunction. Even at about 1000 m depth, it varies in response to wind forcing, largely as a result of changes in vertical stratification, indicating that forcing and dissipation do not locally balance in the Southern Ocean. In order to compare model and altimeter potential vorticity estimates, two different proxies for potential vorticity on surface streamlines are considered. Both proxies show very similar results for model and altimeter, suggesting that differences in surface streamlines estimated by the altimeter and the model are not significant in explaining the Southern Ocean flow. The proxies are both roughly conserved along surface height contours but undergo substantial jumps near topographic features. However, they cannot capture stratification changes which may be critically important to the overall potential vorticity balance.
  • Article
    Integrated observations of global surface winds, currents, and waves: Requirements and challenges for the next decade
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-24) Villas Bôas, Ana B. ; Ardhuin, Fabrice ; Ayet, Alex ; Bourassa, Mark A. ; Brandt, Peter ; Chapron, Bertrand ; Cornuelle, Bruce D. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Fewings, Melanie R. ; Fox-Kemper, Baylor ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Gommenginger, Christine ; Heimbach, Patrick ; Hell, Momme C. ; Li, Qing ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Merrifield, Sophia T. ; Mouche, Alexis ; Rio, Marie H. ; Rodriguez, Ernesto ; Shutler, Jamie D. ; Subramanian, Aneesh C. ; Terrill, Eric ; Tsamados, Michel ; Ubelmann, Clement ; van Sebille, Erik
    Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves being strongly coupled to the upper ocean circulation and the overlying atmosphere, efforts to improve ocean, atmospheric, and wave observations and models have evolved somewhat independently. From an observational point of view, community efforts to bridge this gap have led to proposals for satellite Doppler oceanography mission concepts, which could provide unprecedented measurements of absolute surface velocity and directional wave spectrum at global scales. This paper reviews the present state of observations of surface winds, currents, and waves, and it outlines observational gaps that limit our current understanding of coupled processes that happen at the air-sea-ice interface. A significant challenge for the coming decade of wind, current, and wave observations will come in combining and interpreting measurements from (a) wave-buoys and high-frequency radars in coastal regions, (b) surface drifters and wave-enabled drifters in the open-ocean, marginal ice zones, and wave-current interaction “hot-spots,” and (c) simultaneous measurements of absolute surface currents, ocean surface wind vector, and directional wave spectrum from Doppler satellite sensors.
  • Article
    Ocean mesoscale and frontal-scale ocean–atmosphere interactions and influence on large-scale climate: a review
    (American Meteorological Society, 2023-03-01) Seo, Hyodae ; O’Neill, Larry W. ; Bourassa, Mark A. ; Czaja, Arnaud ; Drushka, Kyla ; Edson, James B. ; Fox-Kemper, Baylor ; Frenger, Ivy ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Kirtman, Benjamin P. ; Minobe, Shoshiro ; Pendergrass, Angeline G. ; Renault, Lionel ; Roberts, Malcolm J. ; Schneider, Niklas ; Small, R. Justin ; Stoffelen, Ad ; Wang, Qing
    Abstract Two decades of high-resolution satellite observations and climate modeling studies have indicated strong ocean–atmosphere coupled feedback mediated by ocean mesoscale processes, including semipermanent and meandrous SST fronts, mesoscale eddies, and filaments. The air–sea exchanges in latent heat, sensible heat, momentum, and carbon dioxide associated with this so-called mesoscale air–sea interaction are robust near the major western boundary currents, Southern Ocean fronts, and equatorial and coastal upwelling zones, but they are also ubiquitous over the global oceans wherever ocean mesoscale processes are active. Current theories, informed by rapidly advancing observational and modeling capabilities, have established the importance of mesoscale and frontal-scale air–sea interaction processes for understanding large-scale ocean circulation, biogeochemistry, and weather and climate variability. However, numerous challenges remain to accurately diagnose, observe, and simulate mesoscale air–sea interaction to quantify its impacts on large-scale processes. This article provides a comprehensive review of key aspects pertinent to mesoscale air–sea interaction, synthesizes current understanding with remaining gaps and uncertainties, and provides recommendations on theoretical, observational, and modeling strategies for future air–sea interaction research. Significance Statement Recent high-resolution satellite observations and climate models have shown a significant impact of coupled ocean–atmosphere interactions mediated by small-scale (mesoscale) ocean processes, including ocean eddies and fronts, on Earth’s climate. Ocean mesoscale-induced spatial temperature and current variability modulate the air–sea exchanges in heat, momentum, and mass (e.g., gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide), altering coupled boundary layer processes. Studies suggest that skillful simulations and predictions of ocean circulation, biogeochemistry, and weather events and climate variability depend on accurate representation of the eddy-mediated air–sea interaction. However, numerous challenges remain in accurately diagnosing, observing, and simulating mesoscale air–sea interaction to quantify its large-scale impacts. This article synthesizes the latest understanding of mesoscale air–sea interaction, identifies remaining gaps and uncertainties, and provides recommendations on strategies for future ocean–weather–climate research.