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Evaluation of Bulk Heat Fluxes from Atmospheric Datasets

Title: Evaluation of Bulk Heat Fluxes from Atmospheric Datasets.
Name(s): Farmer, Benton, author
Chassignet, Eric, professor co-directing thesis
Bourassa, Mark, professor co-directing thesis
Sura, Philip, committee member
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Heat fluxes at the air-sea interface are an important component of the Earth's heat budget. In addition, they are an integral factor in determining the sea surface temperature (SST) evolution of the oceans. Different representations of these fluxes are used in both the atmospheric and oceanic communities for the purpose of heat budget studies and, in particular, for forcing oceanic models. It is currently difficult to quantify the potential impact varying heat flux representations have on the ocean response. In this study, a diagnostic tool is presented that allows for a straightforward comparison of surface heat flux formulations and atmospheric data sets. Two variables, relaxation time (RT) and the apparent temperature (T*), are derived from the linearization of the bulk formulas. They are then calculated to compare three bulk formulae and five atmospheric datasets. Additionally, the linearization is expanded to the second order to compare the amount of residual flux present. It is found that the use of a bulk formula employing a constant heat transfer coefficient produces longer relaxation times and contains a greater amount of residual flux in the higher order terms of the linearization. Depending on the temperature difference, the residual flux remaining in the second order and above terms can reach as much as 40-50% of the total residual on a monthly time scale. This is certainly a non-negligible residual flux. In contrast, a bulk formula using a stability and wind dependent transfer coefficient retains much of the total flux in the first order term, as only a few percent remain in the residual flux. Most of the difference displayed among the bulk formulas stems from the sensitivity to wind speed and the choice of a constant or spatially varying transfer coefficient. Comparing the representation of RT and T* provides insight into the differences among various atmospheric datasets. In particular, the representations of the western boundary current, upwelling, and the Indian monsoon regions of the oceans have distinct characteristics within each dataset. Localized regions, such as the eastern Mexican and Central American coasts, are also shown to have variability among the datasets. The use of this technique for the evaluation of bulk formulae and datasets is an efficient method for identifying the unique characteristics of each. Furthermore, insight into the heat fluxes produced by particular bulk formula or dataset can be gained.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-4823 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012.
Date of Defense: December 5, 2011.
Keywords: Comparison, Data Sets, Heat Flux, Linearization
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Eric Chassignet, Professor Co-Directing Thesis; Mark Bourassa, Professor Co-Directing Thesis; Philip Sura, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Earth sciences
Atmospheric sciences
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Owner Institution: FSU

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Farmer, B. (2012). Evaluation of Bulk Heat Fluxes from Atmospheric Datasets. Retrieved from