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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.
Wentz, F. J., Ricciardulli, L., Rodriguez, E., Stiles, B. W., Bourassa, M. A., Long, D. G., et al. (2017). Evaluating and Extending the Ocean Wind Climate Data Record. IEEE J Sel Top Appl Earth Obs Remote Sens, 10(5), 2165–2185.
Abstract: Satellite microwave sensors, both active scatterometers and passive radiometers, have been systematically measuring near-surface ocean winds for nearly 40 years, establishing an important legacy in studying and monitoring weather and climate variability. As an aid to such activities, the various wind datasets are being intercalibrated and merged into consistent climate data records (CDRs). The ocean wind CDRs (OW-CDRs) are evaluated by comparisons with ocean buoys and intercomparisons among the different satellite sensors and among the different data providers. Extending the OW-CDR into the future requires exploiting all available datasets, such as OSCAT-2 scheduled to launch in July 2016. Three planned methods of calibrating the OSCAT-2 sigmao measurements include 1) direct Ku-band sigmao intercalibration to QuikSCAT and RapidScat; 2) multisensor wind speed intercalibration; and 3) calibration to stable rainforest targets. Unfortunately, RapidScat failed in August 2016 and cannot be used to directly calibrate OSCAT-2. A particular future continuity concern is the absence of scheduled new or continuation radiometer missions capable of measuring wind speed. Specialized model assimilations provide 30-year long high temporal/spatial resolution wind vector grids that composite the satellite wind information from OW-CDRs of multiple satellites viewing the Earth at different local times.