Assessing surface heat flux products with in situ observations over the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean

Vidhi Bharti, Eric Schulz, Christopher W. Fairall, Byron W. Blomquist, Y. I. Huang, Alain Protat, Steven T. Siems, Michael J. Manton

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Given the large uncertainties in surface heat fluxes over the Southern Ocean, an assessment of fluxes obtained by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) product, the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) routine observations, and the Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Heat Fluxes (OAFlux) project hybrid dataset is performed. The surface fluxes are calculated using the COARE 3.5 bulk algorithm with in situ data obtained from the NOAA Physical Sciences Division flux system during the Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, Radiation, and Atmospheric Composition over the Southern Ocean (CAPRICORN) experiment on board the R/V Investigator during a voyage (March–April 2016) in the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean (438–538S). ERA-Interim and OAFlux data are further compared with the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) air–sea flux moored surface float deployed for a year (March 2015–April 2016) at;46.78S, 1428E. The results indicate that ERA-Interim (3 hourly at 0.258) and OAFlux (daily at 18) estimate sensible heat flux Hs accurately to within 65 Wm22 and latent heat flux Hl to within 610 W m22. ERA-Interim gives a positive bias in Hs at low latitudes (,478S) and in Hl at high latitudes (.478S), and OAFlux displays consistently positive bias in Hl at all latitudes. No systematic bias with respect to wind or rain conditions was observed. Although some differences in the bulk flux algorithms are noted, these biases can be largely attributed to the uncertainties in the observations used to derive the flux products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1861
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019

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