Chart showing dependence of drag coefficients for the air-sea exchanges on wind speeds at 10 meters
Dependence of drag coefficients for the air-sea exchanges on wind speeds at 10 meters. The in-situ data obtained from the platform (gray dots) are compared to several existing parameterizations (lines) that do not explicitly account for wave characteristics. The x-axis is the wind speeds at 10 meters above the sea surface. The y-axis is the coefficient commonly used in the parameterization for the air-sea exchanges. Credit: Bourras et al. [2019], Figure 10b
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Turbulent fluxes are physical quantities that describe the exchanges of heat and momentum through the air-sea interface. They are critical to the processes of weather and climate change. A limited understanding of air-sea exchanges makes weather prediction difficult and lead to uncertainty in climate projection. A big challenge is the lack of efficient technology to make measurements.

Bourras et al. [2019] have obtained in-situ observations on a novel wave-following platform in four oceanic regions and under different conditions. Various parameterizations for surface fluxes and related coefficients are calibrated against the observations. The authors only collected data under moderate winds, thus observations on turbulent fluxes under strong winds (such as hurricane and typhoon) still require a breakthrough.

Citation: Bourras, D., Cambra, R., Marié, L., Bouin, M.‐N., Baggio, L., Branger, H., et al. [2019]. Air‐sea turbulent fluxes from a wave‐following platform during six experiments at sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124.

—Lei Zhou, Editor, JGR: Oceans

Text © 2019. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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