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Constraining Southern Ocean Air-Sea-Ice Fluxes Through Enhanced Observations

Swart, Sebastiaan and Gille, Sarah T. and Delille, Bruno and Josey, Simon and Mazloff, Matthew and Newman, Louise and Thompson, Andrew F. and Thomson, Jim and Ward, Brian and du Plessis, Marcel D. and Kent, Elizabeth C. and Girton, James and Gregor, Luke and Heil, Petra and Hyder, Patrick and Pezzi, Luciano Ponzi and de Souza, Ronald Buss and Tamsitt, Veronica and Weller, Robert A. and Zappa, Christopher J. (2019) Constraining Southern Ocean Air-Sea-Ice Fluxes Through Enhanced Observations. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6 . Art. No. 421. ISSN 2296-7745. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00421.

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Air-sea and air-sea-ice fluxes in the Southern Ocean play a critical role in global climate through their impact on the overturning circulation and oceanic heat and carbon uptake. The challenging conditions in the Southern Ocean have led to sparse spatial and temporal coverage of observations. This has led to a “knowledge gap” that increases uncertainty in atmosphere and ocean dynamics and boundary-layer thermodynamic processes, impeding improvements in weather and climate models. Improvements will require both process-based research to understand the mechanisms governing air-sea exchange and a significant expansion of the observing system. This will improve flux parameterizations and reduce uncertainty associated with bulk formulae and satellite observations. Improved estimates spanning the full Southern Ocean will need to take advantage of ships, surface moorings, and the growing capabilities of autonomous platforms with robust and miniaturized sensors. A key challenge is to identify observing system sampling requirements. This requires models, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs), and assessments of the specific spatial-temporal accuracy and resolution required for priority science and assessment of observational uncertainties of the mean state and direct flux measurements. Year-round, high-quality, quasi-continuous in situ flux measurements and observations of extreme events are needed to validate, improve and characterize uncertainties in blended reanalysis products and satellite data as well as to improve parameterizations. Building a robust observing system will require community consensus on observational methodologies, observational priorities, and effective strategies for data management and discovery.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Swart, Sebastiaan0000-0002-2251-8826
Thompson, Andrew F.0000-0003-0322-4811
du Plessis, Marcel D.0000-0003-2759-2467
Pezzi, Luciano Ponzi0000-0001-6016-4320
de Souza, Ronald Buss0000-0003-3346-3370
Additional Information:© 2019 Swart, Gille, Delille, Josey, Mazloff, Newman, Thompson, Thomson, Ward, du Plessis, Kent, Girton, Gregor, Heil, Hyder, Pezzi, de Souza, Tamsitt, Weller and Zappa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Received: 31 October 2018; Accepted: 05 July 2019; Published: 31 July 2019. Author Contributions: SS and SG conceptualized the manuscript with inputs from the SOFLUX working group and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AT, BdS, JT, SJ, MM, and BW led the sections of the manuscript. SS, EK, MdP, and MM conceptualized and developed the figures. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and read and approved its final version. SS was funded by a Wallenberg Academy Fellowship (WAF 2015.0186). EK was funded by the NERC ORCHESTRA Project (NE/N018095/1). LP was funded by the Advanced Studies in Oceanography of Medium and High Latitudes (CAPES 23038.004304/2014-28) and the Research Productivity Program (CNPq 304009/2016-4). BdS was a research associate at the F.R.S-FNRS. PeH was supported by the Australian Antarctic Science Projects 4301 and 4390, and the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Programme through the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and the International Space Science Institute Project 406. SG and MM were funded by National Science Foundation awards OCE-1658001 and PLR-1425989. AT was supported by NASA (NNX15AG42G) and NSF (OCE-1756956). The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. This manuscript is a contribution to the Southern Ocean Air-Sea Flux (SOFLUX) capability working group of the SCAR-SCOR Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). SOFLUX thanks the SCAR and SCOR for financial support in order to host meetings and support travel. The ICOADS data was acquired at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, Boulder, CO, United States (available online at The three satellite-reanalysis products used include: (1) NCEP_ Reanalysis 2 data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, CO, United States, available at www.esrl.noaa. gov/psd/; (2) ERA5 is generated using Copernicus Climate Change Service Information, available at; and (3) JRA-55: Japanese 55-year Reanalysis, available at:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Wallenberg AcademyWAF 2015.0186
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/N018095/1
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)23038.004304/2014-28
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)304009/2016-4
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Antarctic Science Project4301
Australian Antarctic Science Project4390
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research CentreUNSPECIFIED
International Space Science Institute406
Subject Keywords:air-sea/air-sea-ice fluxes, Southern Ocean, ocean–atmosphere interaction, climate, ocean–ice interaction
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190816-084522003
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Swart S, Gille ST, Delille B, Josey S, Mazloff M, Newman L, Thompson AF, Thomson J, Ward B, du Plessis MD, Kent EC, Girton J, Gregor L, Heil P, Hyder P, Pezzi LP, de Souza RB, Tamsitt V, Weller RA and Zappa CJ (2019) Constraining Southern Ocean Air-Sea-Ice Fluxes Through Enhanced Observations. Front. Mar. Sci. 6:421. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00421
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97940
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Aug 2019 16:29
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:35

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