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Bourassa M. A., S. T. Gille, D. L. Jackson, J. B. Roberts and G. A. Wick (December 2010): Ocean Winds and Turbulent Air-Sea Fluxes Inferred From Remote Sensing. Oceanography, 23 (4), 36-51. doi:10.5670/oceanog.2010.04

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Surface turbulent fluxes are key pathways through which the atmosphere is coupled with the ocean. They provide mechanisms through which momentum, energy, moisture, and materials such as CO2 are transferred between the ocean and atmosphere. Surface fluxes are also important players in vertical and horizontal transport in the atmosphere and the ocean. There have been attempts to estimate surface fluxes directly from satellite observations; however, they are typically calculated from observations of surface and near‑surface variables. Recent improvements in the measurement of vector winds, air temperatures, and atmospheric humidities have all contributed to better estimation of surface fluxes from satellite observations. These advances are discussed in the context of applications, with examples from a tropical cyclone and a very strong mid-latitude storm. Proposed future systems that use improved instrumentation and collocate observations of winds, temperatures, and humidities will increase the accuracy beyond current capabilities. Targets for a variety of important climate-related processes are provided.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2010.04