Oceanic latent and sensible heat fluxes determined from combining satellite observations with surface meteorology from numerical weather prediction models
Lisan Yu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
Air-sea turbulent latent and sensible heat fluxes are usually estimated using a bulk algorithm that requires the knowledge of surface meteorological variables, such as near-surface wind speed, air temperature and humidity, and sea surface temperature and humidity. Except for near surface air temperature and humidity, all the other variables can be directly determined from satellites. Hence, satellite observations alone are not sufficient to compute latent and sensible heat fluxes. In this study we demonstrate that a combination of satellite observations with surface meteorology output from numerical weather prediction models using an advanced objective analysis can lead to an improved estimation of daily latent and sensible heat fluxes over the global ice-free oceans.
The study includes three parts. First, we use high quality in situ flux measurements to validate the accuracy of the derived flux estimates. Second, we use the monthly flux analysis based on COADS ship reports constructed by Southampton Oceanographic Centre (SOC) to illustrate the advantage of satellite global coverage and continuity in improving flux estimates in regions where ship routes are sparse. Lastly, we demonstrate that latent and sensible heat fluxes with improved accuracy can lead to a better interpretation of basin-scale upper ocean temperature variability.
Session 6, Space–Based Air–Sea Turbulent Fluxes
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 1:45 PM-3:00 PM, A309
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