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David I. Berry
and
Elizabeth C. Kent

The exchange, or flux, of heat between the oceans and atmosphere is an important driver of the global oceanic and atmospheric circulations but remains poorly quantified. Direct measurement of heat flux remains a research activity and so global heat flux datasets are generated using observations of winds, air and sea temperatures, and humidity as input to heat flux parameterizations known as “bulk formulas.” We remain dependent on the observations from merchant ships in the Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) program, which are archived in the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Dataset (ICOADS); measurements from buoys are sparse and satellites cannot accurately recover all the variables required for heat flux calculation.

Careful analysis of VOS data is necessary to produce gridded datasets of meteorological variables and fluxes with the accuracy required for climate research. Past in situ flux datasets have averaged observations on monthly timescales to reduce random uncertainty. It has therefore been hard to understand the contributions to observed variability from measurement errors, poor sampling, or natural variability. The new dataset, which covers the period 1973 to 2006, avoids this problem by first constructing daily mean fields using optimal interpolation. This allows each component of variability to be handled correctly and, for the first time, uncertainty estimates to be produced. New bias adjustments have also been developed and applied. The new dataset is described and a preliminary comparison with flux estimates from moored buoys, satellites, and atmospheric reanalysis models is presented.

Full access
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
John J. Kennedy
,
Thomas M. Smith
,
Shoji Hirahara
,
Boyin Huang
,
Alexey Kaplan
,
David E. Parker
,
Christopher P. Atkinson
,
David I. Berry
,
Giulia Carella
,
Yoshikazu Fukuda
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Finn Lindgren
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Simone Morak-Bozzo
,
Nick A. Rayner
,
Victor Venema
,
Souichiro Yasui
, and
Huai-Min Zhang

Abstract

Global surface temperature changes are a fundamental expression of climate change. Recent, much-debated variations in the observed rate of surface temperature change have highlighted the importance of uncertainty in adjustments applied to sea surface temperature (SST) measurements. These adjustments are applied to compensate for systematic biases and changes in observing protocol. Better quantification of the adjustments and their uncertainties would increase confidence in estimated surface temperature change and provide higher-quality gridded SST fields for use in many applications.

Bias adjustments have been based on either physical models of the observing processes or the assumption of an unchanging relationship between SST and a reference dataset, such as night marine air temperature. These approaches produce similar estimates of SST bias on the largest space and time scales, but regional differences can exceed the estimated uncertainty. We describe challenges to improving our understanding of SST biases. Overcoming these will require clarification of past observational methods, improved modeling of biases associated with each observing method, and the development of statistical bias estimates that are less sensitive to the absence of metadata regarding the observing method.

New approaches are required that embed bias models, specific to each type of observation, within a robust statistical framework. Mobile platforms and rapid changes in observation type require biases to be assessed for individual historic and present-day platforms (i.e., ships or buoys) or groups of platforms. Lack of observational metadata and high-quality observations for validation and bias model development are likely to remain major challenges.

Open access
M. Ades
,
R. Adler
,
Rob Allan
,
R. P. Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
J. A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
J. Barnes
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier. Bock
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier. Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
Laura. Carrea
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
F. Chouza
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Gil P. Compo
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Curt Covey
,
A. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Elvira de Eyto
,
Richard A. M de Jeu
,
B.V. VanderSat
,
Curtis L. DeGasperi
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
G. Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Richard A. Frey
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
S. K. Gupta
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Andrew K Heidinger
,
D. L. Hemming
,
Shu-peng (Ben) Ho
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
I. Hüser
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
S. Kelly
,
S. Khaykin
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
R. S. La Fuente
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
T. Leblanc
,
Bailing Li
,
Norman G Loeb
,
Craig S. Long
,
Diego Loyola
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
B. Martens
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
W. Paul Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Ben R. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Jens Mühle
,
R. Myneni
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. Pasik
,
Andrew M. Paterson
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
S. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Pétron
,
C. Phillips
,
Bernard Pinty
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
M. Pulkkanen
,
W. J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
L. Rieger
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
James A. Rusak
,
O. Rusanovskaya
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
S. Geoffey Schladow
,
R. W Schlegel
,
Eawag Schmid, Martin
,
H. B. Selkirk
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
S. V. Shimaraeva
,
E. A. Silow
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
C. A. Smith
,
Sharon L Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
G. Taha
,
Hagen Telg
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
M. A. Timofeyev
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald J. van der A
,
Robin, VanderSat B.V. van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der SchrierW. Paul
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Shohei G. Watanabe
,
Mark Weber
,
Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Lin Zhao
,
Guanguo Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
, and
Markus Ziese
Free access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
F. Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
M. Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Richard, P. Allan
,
Rob Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
X. Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
B. Calmettes
,
Laura Carrea
,
Laura Castia
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
J.-F. Cretaux
,
M. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
R. Delaloye
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
Matthew Gentry
,
S. K. Gupta
,
S. Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
D. L. Hemming
,
M. Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
F. Hrbacek
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
V. Kaufmann
,
A. Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungjun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
A. Koppa
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
D. Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
R. Madelon
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
L. Moesinger
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
L. Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
J. O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. J. Pasik
,
C. Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Petron
,
Coda Phillips
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
D. G. Rains
,
W. J. Randel
,
Nick A. Rayner
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
N. J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
K.H. Rosenlof
,
C. Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
R. W. Schlegel
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Martin Stengel
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Sunny Sun-Mack
,
P. Tans
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
E. Thibert
,
D. Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
M. van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
A. Vance
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Xungang Yin
,
Guangyu Zhao
,
Lin Zhao
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
R. M. Zotta
Free access