Spatial distribution of air-sea heat fluxes over the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean
Figure S1: Winter mean climatology of the sea surface temperature from the ERAI 1979-2012. (1.088Mb)
Figure S2: Composite monthly mean Bowen Ratio for winter months during which the total turbulent heat flux at the Iceland Sea site is in the 10th or 90th percentile. (779.8Kb)
Table S1: Months in which the monthly total turbulent heat flux at the Iceland Sea site is in the 10th percentile. (31.5Kb)
Table S1: Months in which the monthly total turbulent heat flux at the Iceland Sea site is in the 10th percentile. (27.81Kb)
Table S2: Months in which the monthly total turbulent heat flux at the Iceland Sea site is in the 90th percentile. (37Kb)
MetadataShow full item record
On a variety of spatial and temporal scales, the energy transferred by air-sea heat and moisture fluxes plays an important role in both atmospheric and oceanic circulations. This is particularly true in the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean, where these fluxes drive water-mass transformations that are an integral component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Here we use the ECMWF Interim Reanalysis to provide a high-resolution view of the spatial structure of the air-sea turbulent heat fluxes over the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean. As has been previously recognized, the Labrador and Greenland Seas are areas where these fluxes are large during the winter months. Our particular focus is on the Iceland Sea region where, despite the fact that water-mass transformation occurs, the winter-time air-sea heat fluxes are smaller than anywhere else in the sub-polar domain. We attribute this minimum to a saddle point in the sea-level pressure field, that results in a reduction in mean surface wind speed, as well as colder sea surface temperatures associated with the regional ocean circulation. The magnitude of the heat fluxes in this region are modulated by the relative strength of the Icelandic and Lofoten Lows, and this leads to periods of ocean cooling and even ocean warming when, intriguingly, the sensible and latent heat fluxes are of opposite sign. This suggests that the air-sea forcing in this area has large-scale impacts for climate, and that even modest shifts in the atmospheric circulation could potentially impact the AMOC.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 39 (2012): L18806, doi:10.1029/2012GL053097.
Suggested CitationArticle: Moore, G. W. K., Renfrew, Ian A., Pickart, Robert S., "Spatial distribution of air-sea heat fluxes over the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean", Geophysical Research Letters 39 (2012): L18806, DOI:10.1029/2012GL053097, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/5523
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Evaluation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Coupled-Ocean Atmospheric Response Experiment (NOAA/COARE) air-sea gas transfer parameterization using GasEx data Hare, Jeffrey E.; Fairall, Christopher W.; McGillis, Wade R.; Edson, James B.; Ward, Brian; Wanninkhof, Rik (American Geophysical Union, 2004-07-16)During the two recent GasEx field experiments, direct covariance measurements of air-sea carbon dioxide fluxes were obtained over the open ocean. Concurrently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Coupled-Ocean ...
How well does wind speed predict air-sea gas transfer in the sea ice zone? A synthesis of radon deficit profiles in the upper water column of the Arctic Ocean Loose, Brice; Kelly, Roger P.; Bigdeli, Arash; Williams, W.; Krishfield, Richard A.; Rutgers van der Loeff, Michiel; Moran, S. Bradley (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-05-05)We present 34 profiles of radon-deficit from the ice-ocean boundary layer of the Beaufort Sea. Including these 34, there are presently 58 published radon-deficit estimates of air-sea gas transfer velocity (k) in the Arctic ...
Renault, Lionel; Chiggiato, Jacopo; Warner, John C.; Gomez, Marta; Vizoso, Guillermo; Tintore, Joaquin (American Geophysical Union, 2012-09-15)The coastal areas of the North-Western Mediterranean Sea are one of the most challenging places for ocean forecasting. This region is exposed to severe storms events that are of short duration. During these events, significant ...