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  • Author or Editor: Gordon R. Stephenson x
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Gordon R. Stephenson Jr., J. A. Mattias Green, and Mark E. Inall

Abstract

A simple model of an internal wave advected by an oscillating barotropic flow suggests flaws in standard approaches to estimating properties of the internal tide. When the M2 barotropic tidal current amplitude is of similar size to the phase speed of the M2 baroclinic tide, spectral and harmonic analysis techniques lead to erroneous estimates of the amplitude, phase, and energy in the M2 internal tide. In general, harmonic fits and bandpass or low-pass filters that attempt to isolate the lowest M2 harmonic significantly underestimate the strength of M2 baroclinic energy fluxes in shelf seas. Baroclinic energy flux estimates may show artificial spatial variability, giving the illusion of sources and sinks of energy where none are actually present. Analysis of previously published estimates of baroclinic energy fluxes in the Celtic Sea suggests this mechanism may lead to values being 25%–60% too low.

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Suzanne W. Seemann, Eva E. Borbas, Robert O. Knuteson, Gordon R. Stephenson, and Hung-Lung Huang

Abstract

A global database of infrared (IR) land surface emissivity is introduced to support more accurate retrievals of atmospheric properties such as temperature and moisture profiles from multispectral satellite radiance measurements. Emissivity is derived using input from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) operational land surface emissivity product (MOD11). The baseline fit method, based on a conceptual model developed from laboratory measurements of surface emissivity, is applied to fill in the spectral gaps between the six emissivity wavelengths available in MOD11. The six available MOD11 wavelengths span only three spectral regions (3.8–4, 8.6, and 11–12 μm), while the retrievals of atmospheric temperature and moisture from satellite IR sounder radiances require surface emissivity at higher spectral resolution. Emissivity in the database presented here is available globally at 10 wavelengths (3.6, 4.3, 5.0, 5.8, 7.6, 8.3, 9.3, 10.8, 12.1, and 14.3 μm) with 0.05° spatial resolution. The wavelengths in the database were chosen as hinge points to capture as much of the shape of the higher-resolution emissivity spectra as possible between 3.6 and 14.3 μm. The surface emissivity from this database is applied to the IR regression retrieval of atmospheric moisture profiles using radiances from MODIS, and improvement is shown over retrievals made with the typical assumption of constant emissivity.

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