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The Temperature at the Ocean-Air Interface

Peter M. SaundersWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Wood's Hold, Mass

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Abstract

A simple theory is presented to account for the difference between the temperature at the ocean-air interface and that of the water at a depth of about one meter. Except in very light winds and intense solar radiation the mean temperature difference ΔT is expected to be of the formwhere q is the sum of the sensible, latent, and long-wave radiative heat flux from ocean to atmosphere and τ/ρw is the kinematic stress. No data are available to test this prediction.

The influence of slicks and solar insolation on interface temperature is also briefly discussed.

Abstract

A simple theory is presented to account for the difference between the temperature at the ocean-air interface and that of the water at a depth of about one meter. Except in very light winds and intense solar radiation the mean temperature difference ΔT is expected to be of the formwhere q is the sum of the sensible, latent, and long-wave radiative heat flux from ocean to atmosphere and τ/ρw is the kinematic stress. No data are available to test this prediction.

The influence of slicks and solar insolation on interface temperature is also briefly discussed.

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