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Ryoko Oda and Manabu Kanda


Sea surface temperature (SST) and air temperature were measured in situ in Tokyo Bay. These measurements were made with high spatial and temporal resolutions between November 2006 and September 2007. The analysis of these data revealed 1) the seasonal and diurnal variations of SST and air temperature, and 2) the physical process by which Tokyo Bay lowers urban air temperature in summer. The following were the major findings obtained: 1) the diurnal amplitude of SST was as large as 5.5°C; 2) abrupt increases of SST occurred at the head and mouth of the bay that were due to heated water discharge and the Kuroshio, respectively; 3) the values of the satellite-based objectively analyzed SSTs were higher than those of the in situ SSTs, especially in winter; 4) the relationship between SST and air temperature was classified into three seasonal modes—winter, transient, and summer—and each mode was associated with the seasonal stability condition of the near-surface water; 5) the strong southwesterly wind over the bay in summer decreased the SST mainly because of increased turbulent mixing at the water surface, thereby increasing downward sensible heat flux up to −100 W m−2; 6) the lower SSTs in summer lowered the air temperature, but only for the urban atmosphere near the coast, and no effect was detected at 20 km inland; and 7) the horizontal gradient of air temperature over the land intensified with increasing wind speed.

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