An inter-comparison of six latent and sensible heat flux products over the Southern Ocean

  • Lejiang Yu
  • Zhanhai Zhang
  • Shiyuan Zhong
  • Mingyu Zhou
  • Zhiqiu Gao
  • Huiding Wu
  • Bo Sun
Keywords: Latent heat flux, sensible heat flux, Southern Ocean


The latent heat fluxes (LHF) and sensible heat fluxes (SHF) over the Southern Ocean from six different data sets are inter-compared for the period 1988- 2000. The six data sets include three satellite-based products, namely, the second version of the Goddard Satellite-Based Surface Turbulent Fluxes data set (GSSTF-2), the third version of the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data (HOAPS-3) and the Japanese Ocean Fluxes Data Sets with Use of Remote Sensing Observations (J-OFURO); two global reanalysis products, namely, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction-Department of Energy Reanalysis 2 data set (NCEP-2) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts 40 Year Re-analysis data set (ERA-40); and the Objectively Analyzed Air-Sea Fluxes for the Global Oceans data set (OAFlux). All these products reveal a similar pattern in the averaged flux fields. The zonal mean LHF fields all exhibit a continuous increase equatorward. With an exception of HOAPS-3, the zonal mean SHF fields display a minimum value near 50°S, increasing both pole- and equatorward. The differences in the standard deviation for LHF are larger among the six data products than the differences for SHF. Over the regions where the surface fluxes are significantly influenced by the Antarctic Oscillation and the Pacific-South American teleconnection, the values and distributions of both LHF and SHF are consistent among the six products. It was found that the spatial patterns of the standard deviations and trends of LHF and SHF can be explained primarily by sea-air specific humidity and temperature differences; wind speed plays a minor role.

Keywords: Latent heat flux; sensible heat flux; Southern Ocean

(Published: 17 November 2011)

Citation: Polar Research 2011, 30, 10167, DOI: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.10167


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How to Cite
Yu, L., Zhang, Z., Zhong, S., Zhou, M., Gao, Z., Wu, H., & Sun, B. (2011). An inter-comparison of six latent and sensible heat flux products over the Southern Ocean. Polar Research.
Research/review articles