The air/sea interface: heat, freshwater and momentum flux

An accurate knowledge of the turbulent fluxes, latent and sensible heat fluxes as well as momentum fluxes or wind stress, is important for understanding air–sea  interactions, forcing ocean models, evaluating numerical weather prediction and coupled atmosphere– ocean models, understanding the ocean heat and freshwater budget, and the partitioning of the global pole to-equator transport between the atmosphere and ocean. Precipitation is also one of the key air-sea flux parameters and a fundamental component of the Earth’s hydrological and energy cycle. As an example the world’s oceans surface salinity variations are caused by the geographically varying freshwater fluxes, which are generated by the difference between precipitation (P) and evaporation (E) at the ocean’s surface. Ocean currents are also in part driven by the exchange of energy due to radiation fluxes. As for turbulent fluxes and precipitation, there is still a shortage of available radiation flux measurements over the ocean. To fill in the gaps we therefore perform measurements of turbulent fluxes, precipitation, and radiation fluxes onboard of R/V Meteor.

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