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ArticleUncertainties in ocean latent heat flux variations over recent decades in satellite-based estimates and reduced observation reanalyses(American Meteorological Society, 2020-08-31) Robertson, Franklin R. ; Roberts, Jason B. ; Bosilovich, Michael G. ; Bentamy, Abderrahim ; Clayson, Carol A. ; Fennig, Karsten ; Schröder, Marc ; Tomita, Hiroyuki ; Compo, Gilbert P. ; Gutenstein, Marloes ; Hersbach, Hans ; Kobayashi, Chiaki ; Ricciardulli, Lucrezia ; Sardeshmukh, Prashant ; Slivinski, LauraFour 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) single-sensor 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.
ArticleAir-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, DongxiaoTurbulent 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.