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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.27

Observations to Quantify Air-Sea Fluxes and their Role in Climate Variability and Predictability

Christopher W. Fairall(1), Bernard Barnier(2), David I. Berry(3), Mark A. Bourassa(4), E. Frank Bradley(5), Carol Anne Clayson(6), Gerrit de Leeuw(7), William M. Drennan(8), Sarah T. Gille(9), Sergey K. Gulev(10), Elizabeth C. Kent(3), Wade R. McGillis(11), Graham D. Quartly(3), Vladimir Ryabinin(12), Shawn R. Smith(4), Robert A. Weller(13), Margaret J. Yelland(3), Huai-Min Zhang(14)

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Flux products quantifying exchanges between ocean and atmosphere are needed for forcing models, understanding ocean dynamics, investigating the ocean's role in climate, and assessing coupled models. Research experiments are essential to improve flux parameterizations, and longer research deployments are required to sample rare events. Urgently needed technological improvements include longer battery life, more robust sensors and improvement of sensors for humidity, precipitation and direct gas and particle fluxes. A range of different flux products are needed, incorporating data from ships, satellites and models in different combinations and using different methods. All products must be characterized with uncertainty estimates. Dataset validation requires high quality observations from ocean flux reference sites and from ships. The continued development of flux products from satellites provides much-needed sampling. Continual intercomparisons among products and with high quality observations will lead to improved flux datasets, while improvements to the flux data management system would facilitate these intercomparisons.

1NOAA/ESRL/PSD (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Earth System Research Laboratory/Physical Sciences Division), R/PSD3, 325 Broadway; Boulder, CO 80305 USA
2LEGI (Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels), Domaine Universitaire, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
3National Oceanography Centre, Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom
4Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, 2035 E. Paul Dirac Dr., 200 RM Johnson Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840 USA
5CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Land and Water, PO Box 1666, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
6Department of Meteorology, Florida State University, 404 Love Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin Aukio 1, P.O. Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
8University of Miami, RSMAS (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science), 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149 USA
9Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Dr., San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0230, USA
10P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences), 36 Nakhimovsky ave, 117858 Moscow Russia
11Geochemistry, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Campus, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
12Joint Planning Staff for WCRP (World Climate Research Programme), WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Secretariat, 7bis, Avenue de la Paix, CP 2300, Geneva 2, CH-1211, Switzerland
13Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mailstop 29, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
14NOAA/NCDC (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Climatic Data Center, 151 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: chris.fairall@noaa.gov

This paper shall be cited as:

Fairall, C. & Co-Authors (2010). "Observations to Quantify Air-Sea Fluxes and their Role in Climate Variability and Predictability" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.27

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