Wave-Related Reynolds Number Parameterizations of CO2 and DMS Transfer Velocities

Brumer, Sophia Eleonora; Zappa, Christopher J.; Blomquist, Byron W.; Fairall, Christopher W.; Cifuentes-Lorenzen, Alejandro; Edson, James B.; Brooks, Ian M.; Huebert, Barry J.

Predicting future climate hinges on our understanding of and ability to quantify air‐sea gas transfer. The latter relies on parameterizations of the gas transfer velocity k, which represents physical mass transfer mechanisms and is usually parameterized as a nonlinear function of wind forcing. In an attempt to reduce uncertainties in k, this study explores empirical parameterizations that incorporate both wind speed and sea state dependence via wave‐wind and breaking Reynolds numbers, RH and RB. Analysis of concurrent eddy covariance gas transfer and measured wavefield statistics supplemented by wave model hindcasts shows for the first time that wave‐related Reynolds numbers collapse four open ocean data sets that have a wind speed dependence of CO2 transfer velocity ranging from lower than quadratic to cubic. Wave‐related Reynolds number and wind speed show comparable performance for parametrizing dimethyl sulfide (DMS) which, because of its higher solubility, is less affected by bubble‐mediated exchange associated with wave breaking.


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Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
July 24, 2018