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Ivana Cerovečki, Lynne D. Talley, and Matthew R. Mazloff

1. Introduction and outline The Southern Ocean (SO) plays a fundamental role in setting the global climate, making detailed understanding of air–sea buoyancy fluxes in the region indispensable for climate modeling and prediction. However, the sparseness of both conventional and remotely sensed observations causes the availability and accuracy of air–sea buoyancy flux estimates to be especially poor in this region ( Josey et al. 1999 ; Taylor 2000 ; Kubota et al. 2003 ; Dong et al. 2007

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Sohey Nihashi, Kay I. Ohshima, and Noriaki Kimura

1. Introduction For the climate system, one of the important features of sea ice is the heat insulation effect between atmosphere and ocean. The heat insulation effect is greatly reduced in the case of thin ice. Thus, in the sea ice zone, the heat flux between atmosphere and ocean depends strongly on both ice concentration and thickness. For example, in a coastal polynya, which is a typical thin-ice area formed by divergent ice drift due to prevailing winds or oceanic currents ( Morales Maqueda

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ChuanLi Jiang, Sarah T. Gille, Janet Sprintall, Kei Yoshimura, and Masao Kanamitsu

; Johnson and Bryden 1989 ; Ivchenko et al. 1996 ; Marshall 1997 ; Gille 1997 ; Gille et al. 2001 ; Sprintall 2003 ). The Southern Ocean’s contribution to the climate system is mediated through air–sea heat fluxes. Air–sea heat fluxes are important because of their influence on water mass transformation and on the oceanic uptake of heat (e.g., Speer et al. 2000 ; Dong et al. 2007 ; Gille 2008 ). Despite the importance of surface fluxes, at present there is little agreement about the choice of

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Richard I. Cullather and Michael G. Bosilovich

temporal patterns of energy budget components in MERRA, and how do they compare with previous studies and contemporary reanalyses? How do MERRA surface fluxes compare with in situ field studies? What is the nature of adjustment terms in the energy budget? Section 2 provides an overview of the MERRA dataset and method. An evaluation of the atmospheric energy balance in polar regions is given in section 3 . A discussion of these comparisons is then given in section 4 . 2. MERRA description and method

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Xiaolei Niu and Rachel T. Pinker

the changes in ozone, cloudiness, and surface albedo were dealt with in Bernhard et al. (2007) . In a comprehensive investigation by Dong et al. (2010) using 10 yr of cloud and radiative flux observations collected by the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program at the North Slope of Alaska (NSA), it is reported that the longwave cloud-radiative forcing (CRF) has a high positive correlations (0.8–0.9) with cloud fraction, liquid water path, and radiating

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Matthew R. Mazloff

suggest a strong sensitivity to the zonal wind speed at the Drake Passage latitudes and to the strength of the overturning in the polar gyres. In short, what sets the mean ACC transport through Drake Passage is still a major outstanding question in physical oceanography, and this confusion makes it difficult to predict how the ACC will react to changing winds. The response of the ACC to surface buoyancy and momentum fluxes has been investigated extensively with numerical models. The models used

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Xiangzhou Song and Lisan Yu

1. Introduction Air–sea sensible heat flux (SHF) is the amount of turbulent heat convection induced by the temperature difference between the ocean and the air above. When the sea surface is warmer than the near-surface air, heat is transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere as a positive SHF. Since direct measurements of SHF are limited over the global oceans, SHF is commonly estimated from the bulk aerodynamic formula that parameterizes turbulent heat process using air–sea observables (e

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Richard I. Cullather and Michael G. Bosilovich

compare with previous studies? How does the MERRA surface moisture flux compare with in situ observations? What is the nature of adjustment terms in the budget? Section 2 provides an overview of the MERRA dataset and method. An evaluation of the surface moisture flux in polar regions is provided in section 3 . A discussion of these comparisons is then given in section 4 . 2. MERRA description and method MERRA was made using the data assimilation system component of the Goddard Earth Observing

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Lei Shi, Ge Peng, and John J. Bates

-latitude sea surface air temperature (Ta) and surface specific humidity (Qa) derived from HIRS measurements. The surface temperature and humidity are key components in computing surface turbulent heat fluxes. Past studies ( Curry et al. 2004 ; Jackson et al. 2006 ) showed that a significant portion of errors for current air–sea heat flux datasets is due to uncertainties in retrieving Ta and Qa. Liu and Curry (2006) also showed that the discrepancies of the interannual variability and decadal trend of

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