Tuning a physically-based model of the air-sea gas transfer velocity

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

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    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Air-sea gas transfer velocities are estimated for one year using a 1-D upper-ocean model (GOTM) and a modified version of the NOAA-COARE transfer velocity parameterization. Tuning parameters are evaluated with the aim of bringing the physically based NOAA-COARE parameterization in line with current estimates, based on simple wind-speed dependent models derived from bomb-radiocarbon inventories and deliberate tracer release experiments. We suggest that A = 1.3 and B = 1.0, for the sub-layer scaling parameter and the bubble mediated exchange, respectively, are consistent with the global average CO2 transfer velocity k. Using these parameters and a simple 2nd order polynomial approximation, with respect to wind speed, we estimate a global annual average k for CO2 of 16.4 +/- 5.6 cm h(-1) when using global mean winds of 6.89 m s(-1) from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 1 1954-2000. The tuned model can be used to predict the transfer velocity of any gas, with appropriate treatment of the dependence on molecular properties including the strong solubility dependence of bubble-mediated transfer. For example, an initial estimate of the global average transfer velocity of DIMS (a relatively soluble gas) is only 11.9 cm h(-1) whilst for less soluble methane the estimate is 18.0 cm h(-1).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28-35
    Number of pages8
    JournalOcean Modelling
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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