One-dimensional modelling of convective CO2 exchange in the Tropical Atlantic

C. D. Jeffery, D. K. Woolf, I. S. Robinson, C. J. Donlon

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    41 Citations (Scopus)


    Diurnal changes in seawater temperature affect the amount of air-sea gas exchange taking place through changes in solubility and buoyancy-driven nocturnal convection, which enhances the gas transfer velocity. We use a combination of in situ and satellite derived radiometric measurements and a modified version of the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM), which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coupled-Ocean Atmospheric Response Experiment (NOAA-COARE) air-sea gas transfer parameterization, to investigate heat and carbon dioxide exchange over the diurnal cycle in the Tropical Atlantic. A new term based on a water-side convective velocity scale (w(*w)) is included, to improve parameterization of convectively driven gas transfer. Meteorological data from the PIRATA mooring located at 10 degrees S10 degrees W in the Tropical Atlantic are used, in conjunction with cloud cover estimates from Meteosat-7, to calculate fluxes of longwave, latent and sensible heat along with a heat budget and temperature profiles during February 2002. Twin model experiments, representing idealistic and realistic conditions, reveal that over daily time scales the additional contribution to gas exchange from convective overturning is important. Increases in transfer velocity of up to 20% are observed during times of strong insolation and low wind speeds (<6 m s(-1)); the greatest enhancement from w(*w) to the CO2 flux occurs when diurnal warming is large. Hence, air-sea fluxes Of CO2 calculated using simple parameterizations underestimate the contribution from convective processes. The results support the need for parameterizations of gas transfer that are based on more than wind speed alone and include information about the heat budget.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-182
    Number of pages22
    JournalOcean Modelling
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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