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Fine Adjustment of Large Scale Air-Sea Energy Flux Parameterizations by Direct Estimates of Ocean Heat Transport

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  • 1 Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel, Federal Republic of Germany
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Abstract

An inverse technique is used to adjust uncertain coefficients and parameters in the bulk formulae of climatological air-sea energy fluxes in order to obtain an agreement of indirect estimates of meridional heat transport with direct estimates in the North Atlantic Ocean. Three oceanographic estimates of ocean heat transport at the equator, at 25°N, and 32°N are compatible with meteorological evidence provided that the uncertainties of both direct and indirect estimates are taken into account. The transport coefficient CE for estimation of the latent heat flux is the major contributor to the overall uncertainty in estimates of ocean heat transport. The constraint of 1 PW northward transport across 25°N leads to a set of parameterizations for which the parameter adjustments are only less than half as large as the estimated uncertainties. Based on this set of constrained parameterizations monthly climatological fields of the individual fluxes in the North Atlantic Ocean are computed which are consistent with direct transport estimates.

With a larger set of heat transport observations this method will provide a possibility to discriminate between various bulk formulations, and to obtain more accurate estimates of the air-sea energy flux.

Abstract

An inverse technique is used to adjust uncertain coefficients and parameters in the bulk formulae of climatological air-sea energy fluxes in order to obtain an agreement of indirect estimates of meridional heat transport with direct estimates in the North Atlantic Ocean. Three oceanographic estimates of ocean heat transport at the equator, at 25°N, and 32°N are compatible with meteorological evidence provided that the uncertainties of both direct and indirect estimates are taken into account. The transport coefficient CE for estimation of the latent heat flux is the major contributor to the overall uncertainty in estimates of ocean heat transport. The constraint of 1 PW northward transport across 25°N leads to a set of parameterizations for which the parameter adjustments are only less than half as large as the estimated uncertainties. Based on this set of constrained parameterizations monthly climatological fields of the individual fluxes in the North Atlantic Ocean are computed which are consistent with direct transport estimates.

With a larger set of heat transport observations this method will provide a possibility to discriminate between various bulk formulations, and to obtain more accurate estimates of the air-sea energy flux.

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