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Jiping Liu
Tingyin Xiao
, and
Liqi Chen


Consistency and discrepancy of air–sea latent and sensible heat fluxes (LHF and SHF, respectively) in the Southern Ocean for current-day flux products are analyzed from climatology and interannual-to-decadal variability perspectives. Five flux products are examined, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton flux dataset version 2 (NOCS2), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/Department of Energy Global Reanalysis 2 (NCEP-2), the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40), the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data version 3 (HOAPS-3), and the objectively analyzed air–sea fluxes (OAFlux).

Comparisons suggest that most datasets show encouraging agreement in the spatial distribution of the annual-mean LHF, the meridional profile of the zonal-averaged LHF, the leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) mode of the LHF and SHF, and the large-scale response of the LHF and SHF to the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, substantial spatiotemporal discrepancies are noteworthy. The largest across-data scatter is found in the central Indian sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) for the annual-mean LHF, and in the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the ACC for the annual-mean SHF, which is comparable to and even larger than their respective interannual variability. The zonal mean of the SHF varies widely across the datasets in the ACC. There is a large spread in the seasonal cycle for the LHF and SHF among the datasets, particularly in the cold season. The datasets show interannual variability of various amplitudes and decadal trends of different signs. The flux variability of the NOCS2 is substantially different from the other datasets. Possible attributions of the identified discrepancies for these flux products are discussed based on the availability of the input meteorological state variables.

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