An assessment of air–sea heat fluxes from ocean and coupled reanalyses

  • Valdivieso M
  • Haines K
  • Balmaseda M
 et al. 
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Sixteen monthly air–sea heat flux products from global ocean/coupled reanalyses are compared over 1993–2009 as part of the Ocean Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (ORA-IP). Objectives include assessing the global heat closure, the consistency of temporal variability, comparison with other flux products, and documenting errors against in situ flux measurements at a number of OceanSITES moorings. The ensemble of 16 ORA-IP flux estimates has a global positive bias over 1993–2009 of 4.2 ± 1.1 W m−2. Residual heat gain (i.e., surface flux + assimilation increments) is reduced to a small positive imbalance (typically, +1–2 W m−2). This compensation between surface fluxes and assimilation increments is concentrated in the upper 100 m. Implied steady meridional heat transports also improve by including assimilation sources, except near the equator. The ensemble spread in surface heat fluxes is dominated by turbulent fluxes (>40 W m−2 over the western boundary currents). The mean seasonal cycle is highly consistent, with variability between products mostly

Author-supplied keywords

  • Assimilation fluxes
  • Flux comparisons with in situ buoy flux data
  • Flux variability
  • Ocean and coupled reanalyses
  • Surface heat fluxes

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  • Maria Valdivieso

  • Keith Haines

  • Magdalena Balmaseda

  • You Soon Chang

  • Marie Drevillon

  • Nicolas Ferry

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