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GCOS Ocean Physics ECV - Ocean Surface Heat Flux

Surface heat flux is exchange of heat, per unit area, crossing the surface between the ocean and the atmosphere.  It consists of the turbulent (latent and sensible) and the radiative (short wave and long wave) components.  These fluxes are major contributors to the energy and moisture budgets, and are largely responsible for thermodynamic coupling the ocean and atmosphere at global and regional scales, and variability of these fluxes is in part related to large-scale variability in weather (climate) patterns. For most regions, the two major components are the net shortwave gain by the ocean and the latent heat flux loss by the ocean. The net heat flux is generally considered to be the sum at the sea surface of the net shortwave or visible radiation, the net longwave or infrared radiation, the latent or evaporative heat flux, and the sensible heat flux.  In some cases, the cooling due to rainfall falling at the dew point temperature is also added.  Incoming shortwave and longwave radiation are measured by radiometers, with the reflected and outgoing components estimated by formulae.  Latent and sensible heat flux, like wind stress, can be measured directly by three-dimensional anemometry and fast response sensors that support the computation of the covariance between vertical velocity fluctuations in the wind and temperature (sensible) and humidity (latent) fluctuations.

Product Requirements:

  • Latent Heat Flux:

    • Frequency:  Hourly to monthly
    • Resolution:  1-25km
    • Required Measurement uncertainty:  10-15Wm-2
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified:  1-2Wm-2
    • Standards/References:  See EOV specification sheets at www.ioc-goos-oopc/obs/ecv.php
    • Entity (Satellite):  None
    • Entity (in situ):  JCOMM
  • Sensible Heat Flux:

    • Frequency:  Hourly to monthly
    • Resolution:  1-25km
    • Required Measurement uncertainty:  10-15Wm-2
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified:  1-2Wm-2
    • Standards/References:  See EOV specification sheets at www.ioc-goos-oopc/obs/ecv.php
    • Entity (Satellite):  None
    • Entity (in situ):  JCOMM

Networks:

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