Gentemann, C. L., Clayson, C. A., Brown, S., Lee, T., Parfitt, R., Farrar, J. T., et al. (2020). FluxSat: Measuring the Ocean-Atmosphere Turbulent Exchange of Heat and Moisture from Space.
Remote Sensing, 12(11), 1796.
Abstract: 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.
Cronin, M. F., Gentemann, C. L., Edson, J., Ueki, I., Bourassa, M., Brown, S., et al. (2019). Air-Sea Fluxes With a Focus on Heat and Momentum.
Front. Mar. Sci., 6.
Abstract: 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.
Villas Bôas, A. B., Ardhuin, F., Ayet, A., Bourassa, M. A., Brandt, P., Chapron, B., et al. (2019). Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade.
Front. Mar. Sci., 6.
Abstract: 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.
Bourassa, M. A., & Gille, S. (2008). U.S. CLIVAR working groups on high latitude surface fluxes.
U.S. CLIVAR Variations, 6(1), 8–11.
Morrison, T., Dukhovskoy, D. S., McClean, J., Gille, S. T., & Chassignet, E. (2018). Causes of the anomalous heat flux onto the Greenland continental shelf. In
American Geophysical Union (Vol. Fall Meeting).
Abstract: On the continental shelf around Greenland, warm-salty Atlantic water at depth fills the deep narrow fjords where Greenland's tidewater glaciers terminate. Changes in the quantity or properties of this water mass starting in the mid 1990s is thought to be largely responsible for increased ocean-driven melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using high-resolution (nominal 0.1-degree) ocean circulation models we cannot accurately resolve small-scale processes on the shelf or within fjords. However, we can assess changes in the flux of heat via Atlantic water onto the continental shelf. To understand the causes of the anomalous heat that has reached the shelf we examine heat content of subtropical gyre water and shifts in the North Atlantic and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations.
We compare changes in heat transport in two eddy permitting simulations: a global 0.1 degree (5-7km around Greenland) resolution coupled hindcast (1970-2009) simulation of the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and a regional 0.08 degree (3-5km around Greenland) resolution coupled HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) hindcast (1993-2016) simulation. Both models are coupled to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Ice CodE version 4 and forced by atmospheric reanalysis fluxes. In both models we look for processes that could explain the increase in heat; processes that are present in both are likely to be robust causes of warming.
Bourassa, M., Gille, S., Jackson, D., Roberts, J. B., & Wick, G. (2010). Ocean Winds and Turbulent Air-Sea Fluxes Inferred From Remote Sensing.
Oceanog., 23(4), 36–51.
Fairall, C. W., Barnier, B., Berry, D.I, Bourassa, M.A., Bradley, E.F., Clayson, C.A., de Leeuw, G., Drennan, W.M., Gille, S.T., Gulev, S.K., Kent, E.C., McGillis, W.R., Quartly, G.D., Ryabinin, V., Smith, S.R., Weller, R.A., Yelland, M.J. and Zhang, H-M. (2010). Observations to Quantify Air-Sea Fluxes and Their Role in Climate Variability and Predictability. In D.(eds.) D.E. and Stammer Harrison J. Hall (Ed.),
Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society, Vol. 2 (pp. 299–313). European Space Agency.
Bourassa, M. A., Gille, S. T., Bitz, C., Carlson, D., Cerovecki, I., Clayson, C. A., et al. (2013). High-Latitude Ocean and Sea Ice Surface Fluxes: Challenges for Climate Research.
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94(3), 403–423.
Gille, S., Bourassa, M. A., & Clayson, C. A. (2010). Improving Observations of High-Latitude Fluxes Between Atmosphere, Ocean, and Ice: Surface Fluxes: Challenges at High Latitudes; Boulder, Colorado, 17-19 March 2010.
Eos Trans. AGU, 91(35), 307.