A Comparison of Surface Heat Flux Estimates from Ocean weather Station V and Merchant Vessels in Its Vicinity in the Western North Pacific Region, 1956–1970

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  • 1 Pacific Environmental Group, NMFS, Monterey. CA 93940
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Abstract

In this report the estimates of large-scale beat fluxes derived from merchant vessel data within a 4° quadrangle centered on the position of Ocean Weather Station V in the western Pacific Ocean are compared with the estimates from the assumed higher quality weather reports at OWS-V during 1956–70. Comparison of the anomalies of the 6-monthly mean latent heat flux estimates from the long-term means of the two data sets revealed significantly different patterns in the latent heat flux, particularly during the 1956–66 period.

Investigation of the monthly mean properties used to compute the beat flux estimates showed a statistically significant trend in the differences between the sea surface temperatures. The trend in the SST differences is believed to result from the inclusion of low-precision merchant vessel data collected prior to 1962. There is also a suggestion that this trend may have resulted from sampling bias (in terms of data density and bias in location of the observations).

The results indicate that the use of time- and space-averaged properties or beat flux estimates derived from the TDF-11 file requires careful screening of the reports to provide unbiased estimates of air-sea energy transfer processes.

Abstract

In this report the estimates of large-scale beat fluxes derived from merchant vessel data within a 4° quadrangle centered on the position of Ocean Weather Station V in the western Pacific Ocean are compared with the estimates from the assumed higher quality weather reports at OWS-V during 1956–70. Comparison of the anomalies of the 6-monthly mean latent heat flux estimates from the long-term means of the two data sets revealed significantly different patterns in the latent heat flux, particularly during the 1956–66 period.

Investigation of the monthly mean properties used to compute the beat flux estimates showed a statistically significant trend in the differences between the sea surface temperatures. The trend in the SST differences is believed to result from the inclusion of low-precision merchant vessel data collected prior to 1962. There is also a suggestion that this trend may have resulted from sampling bias (in terms of data density and bias in location of the observations).

The results indicate that the use of time- and space-averaged properties or beat flux estimates derived from the TDF-11 file requires careful screening of the reports to provide unbiased estimates of air-sea energy transfer processes.

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