Surface Energy Fluxes of the South Atlantic Ocean

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  • 1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Fluxes of sensible, latent and radiational energy and momentum across the surface of the South Atlantic Ocean have been calculated by substituting ship meteorological observations into bulk aerodynamic and empirical radiation equations. Upper-air measurements of humidity and temperature have been used to supplement the surface empirical infrared radiation formula. North Atlantic fluxes have been updated using upper-air humidities and the same technique. Charts of annual fluxes and meteorological variable averages are presented and discussed in terms of meteorological conditions, oceanic heat advection, upwelling, and horizontal mixing of water in the various regimes of the South Atlantic. Comparisons between meteorological conditions, oceanic currents, and fluxes over the North and South Atlantic have been made. Summations of total heat flux show that the cold South Atlantic gains 4.7 × 1014 W, while the warm North Atlantic loses 6.6 × 1014 W. Oceanographic calculations based on currents and temperatures indicate that a net of 5.4 × 1014 W are transported across the equator from south to north.

Abstract

Fluxes of sensible, latent and radiational energy and momentum across the surface of the South Atlantic Ocean have been calculated by substituting ship meteorological observations into bulk aerodynamic and empirical radiation equations. Upper-air measurements of humidity and temperature have been used to supplement the surface empirical infrared radiation formula. North Atlantic fluxes have been updated using upper-air humidities and the same technique. Charts of annual fluxes and meteorological variable averages are presented and discussed in terms of meteorological conditions, oceanic heat advection, upwelling, and horizontal mixing of water in the various regimes of the South Atlantic. Comparisons between meteorological conditions, oceanic currents, and fluxes over the North and South Atlantic have been made. Summations of total heat flux show that the cold South Atlantic gains 4.7 × 1014 W, while the warm North Atlantic loses 6.6 × 1014 W. Oceanographic calculations based on currents and temperatures indicate that a net of 5.4 × 1014 W are transported across the equator from south to north.

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