Direct covariance measurement of CO2 gas transfer velocity during the 2008 Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment: Wind speed dependency

Edson, J. B.; Fairall, C. W.; Bariteau, L.; Zappa, Christopher J.; Cifuentes-Lorenzen, A.; McGillis, Wade R.; Pezoa, S.; Hare, J. E.; Helmig, D.

Direct measurements of air-sea heat, momentum, and mass (including CO2, DMS, and water vapor) fluxes using the direct covariance method were made over the open ocean from the NOAA R/V Ronald H. Brown during the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange (SO GasEx) program. Observations of fluxes and the physical processes associated with driving air-sea exchange are key components of SO GasEx. This paper focuses on the exchange of CO2 and the wind speed dependency of the transfer velocity, k, used to model the CO2 flux between the atmosphere and ocean. A quadratic dependence of k on wind speed based on dual tracer experiments is most frequently encountered in the literature. However, in recent years, bubble-mediated enhancement of k, which exhibits a cubic relationship with wind speed, has emerged as a key issue for flux parameterization in high-wind regions. Therefore, a major question addressed in SO GasEx is whether the transfer velocities obey a quadratic or cubic relationship with wind speed. After significant correction to the flux estimates (primarily due to moisture contamination), the direct covariance CO2 fluxes confirm a significant enhancement of the transfer velocity at high winds compared with previous quadratic formulations. Regression analysis suggests that a cubic relationship provides a more accurate parameterization over a wind speed range of 0 to 18 m s−1. The Southern Ocean results are in good agreement with the 1998 GasEx experiment in the North Atlantic and a recent separate field program in the North Sea.

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Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
February 23, 2016