Super Sites for Advancing Understanding of the Oceanic and Atmospheric Boundary Layers

Clayson, Carol Anne; Centurioni, Luca; Cronin, Meghan F.; Edson, James; Gille, Sarah; Muller-Karger, Frank; Parfitt, Rhys; Riihimaki, Laura D.; Smith, Shawn R.; Swart, Sebastiaan; Vandemark, Douglas; Bôas, Ana Beatriz Villas; Zappa, Christopher J.; Zhang, Dongxiao

Air‐sea interactions are critical to large-scale weather and climate predictions because of the ocean's ability to absorb excess atmospheric heat and carbon and regulate exchanges of momentum, water vapor, and other greenhouse gases. These exchanges are controlled by molecular, turbulent, and wave-driven processes in the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers. Improved understanding and representation of these processes in models are key for increasing Earth system prediction skill, particularly for subseasonal to decadal time scales. Our understanding and ability to model these processes within this coupled system is presently inadequate due in large part to a lack of data: contemporaneous long-term observations from the top of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL) to the base of the oceanic mixing layer.

We propose the concept of “Super Sites” to provide multi-year suites of measurements at specific locations to simultaneously characterize physical and biogeochemical processes within the coupled boundary layers at high spatial and temporal resolution. Measurements will be made from floating platforms, buoys, towers, and autonomous vehicles, utilizing both in-situ and remote sensors. The engineering challenges and level of coordination, integration, and interoperability required to develop these coupled ocean‐atmosphere Super Sites place them in an “Ocean Shot” class.


Also Published In

Marine Technology Society Journal

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
January 7, 2022