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

PLENARY PAPERdoi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.19

Surface Energy, CO2 Fluxes and Sea Ice

S.K. Gulev(1), S. A. Josey(2), M. Bourassa(3), Lars-Anders Breivik(4), M. F. Cronin(5), Chris Fairall(6), Sarah Gille(7), Elizabeth C. Kent(2), C. M. Lee(8), Michael J. McPhaden(9), P. M. S. Monteiro(10), Ute Schuster(11), S. R. Smith(12), Kevin E. Trenberth(13), Douglas Wallace(14), Scott D. Woodruff(15)

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This paper reviews the current state of observation, parameterization and evaluation of surface air-sea energy and gas fluxes, and sea ice, for the purposes of monitoring and predicting the state of the global ocean. The last 10 years have been marked by the development of more accurate parameterizations of turbulent fluxes, in particular COARE-3 (Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment). A seamless approach to surface flux observing systems is also being developed ranging from highly accurate observations on buoys and research ship campaigns to the longstanding Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) scheme. In addition to flux products based on in situ data, satellite measurements and numerical weather prediction, several hybrid products have been developed which combine data from these different sources. Satellite monitoring of sea ice has been extended to more accurate and higher resolution estimation of ice extent and quantification of ice thickness. Global air-sea CO2 flux products are now based on significantly better-sampled datasets reducing the uncertainty in the ocean carbon budget. Despite these advances, considerable gaps remain in our understanding of air-sea fluxes, for example, at both high and low wind speeds, for gas and aerosol exchange and in marginal ice zones. Furthermore, there are serious concerns about the recent decline in the number of VOS observations. Closure of global and regional energy balances still cannot be achieved without adjustments to the flux fields and/or the underlying surface meteorological variables. The impact of sampling on interannual variability of fluxes makes estimates of climate tendencies in air-sea exchanges highly uncertain. In order to meet these challenges we formulate a future vision of a surface flux observing system, which provides a synergy of in situ measurements (buoys, research vessels and merchant ships), remote sensing and models.

1Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IORAS), Moscow, Russia
2National Oceanography Centre (NOCS), Southampton, UK
3Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, USA
4Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway
5NOAA-PMEL, Seattle, WA, USA
7University of California San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD/SIO), La Jolla, CA, USA
8Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th Street, Box 355640, Seattle, WA 98105-6698
9NOAA-PMELaboratory, Seattle, WA, USA
10Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa
11University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ UK
12Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), (FSU),Tallahassee, FL, USA
13National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO USA
14Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Kiel, Germany
15NOAA ESRL, Boulder, CO, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: gul@sail.msk.ru

This paper shall be cited as:

Gulev, S. & Co-Authors (2010). "Surface Energy, CO2 Fluxes and Sea Ice" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 1), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.19

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