[Eoas-seminar] Tomorrow - Meteorology Seminar Series - Dr. Mark Bourassa - Tuesday, November 21st, 3:30PM, 353 LOV

eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu
Mon Nov 20 09:32:20 EST 2017

Coupling of Winds, Stress, Currents and Waves
 A plan for Observing This Coupling from Space
Mark A. Bourassa1

1. Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, and Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Institute, Florida State University,
Tallahassee, FL 32310 USA   mbourassa at fsu.edu

      Observations of ocean wind stress and currents can be used to infer vertical motion in the upper oceans and convergence in the atmospheric boundary-layer. The key mechanisms for coupling the atmospheric boundary layer to the ocean’s mixed layer are not known, in part because there are large uncertainties in the parameterization of surface stress, which is a key variable influencing dynamical coupling as well as turbulent and radiative thermodynamical coupling.  This talk will discuss several motivations for measuring ocean currents and winds, and summarize coupled ocean-atmospheric coupled modeling results that show strong sensitivity to the parameterization of surface stress. Several of these motivations, coupled with advances in remote sensing technology, lead to the development of a proposal for a NASA mission to measure winds and currents.

      The broad goal of the Winds and Currents mission is to greatly improve the understanding of critical roles played by vertical motion in the lower atmosphere and upper ocean.  Vertical motion plays very important and as of yet poorly quantified roles in the hydrological cycle, weather and climate variability (with large mitigatable economic impacts in the Americas including the United States), nutrients supply to the life-rich upper ocean and vorticity dynamics (rotational motion), through which general ocean circulation is strongly influenced. Techniques to directly measure surface currents have been proposed, however, they are either extremely limited in coverage (near nadir observations) or several orders of magnitude more expense than our proposed approach. Specifically, high-resolution surface winds and surface currents will be measured to investigate near surface atmospheric and oceanic convergence, which can be related to vertical motion through basic and fundamental fluid dynamics. The novel features of this mission are sufficiently fine resolution to accurately calculate this convergence (and hence the vertical motion) and the ability to measure collocated near surface winds and surface currents.

Paige Phillips

Academic Program Specialist - Meteorology  I  Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Science (EOAS)  I  Florida State University  I  410 Love Building  I  1017 Academic Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32306  I  (850) 644-8582  I  www.eoas.fsu.edu
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