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First air-sea flux mooring measurements in the Southern Ocean

Schulz, E.W., Josey, S.A. and Verein, R. (2012) First air-sea flux mooring measurements in the Southern Ocean Geophysical Research Letters, 39, (16), L16606. (doi:10.1029/2012GL052290).

Record type: Article

Abstract

polar region from the subtropics, transferring climate signals throughout the world's oceans and forming the southern component of the global overturning circulation. However, the air-sea fluxes that drive these processes are severely under-observed due to the harsh and remote location. This paucity of reference observations has resulted in large uncertainties in ship-based, numerical weather prediction, satellite and derived flux products. Here, we report observations from the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS); the first successful air-sea flux mooring deployment in this ocean. The mooring was deployed at 47°S, 142°E for March 2010 to March 2011 and returned measurements of near surface meteorological variables and radiative components of the heat exchange. These observations enable the first accurate quantification of the annual cycle of net air-sea heat exchange and wind stress from a Southern Ocean location. They reveal a high degree of variability in the net heat flux with extreme turbulent heat loss events, reaching ?470 Wm?2 in the daily mean, associated with cold air flowing from higher southern latitudes. The observed annual mean net air-sea heat flux is a small net ocean heat loss of ?10 Wm?2, with seasonal extrema of 139 Wm?2 in January and ?79 Wm?2 in July. The novel observations made with the SOFS mooring provide a key point of reference for addressing the high level of uncertainty that currently exists in Southern Ocean air-sea flux datasets.

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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 344372
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344372
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 19e1cd7e-c37c-4747-87f0-38b9abf62d95

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Date deposited: 19 Oct 2012 13:43
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:16

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Contributors

Author: E.W. Schulz
Author: S.A. Josey
Author: R. Verein

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