Implications of the oceanic thermal skin temperature deviation at high wind speed

Extensive oceanographic and atmospheric observations obtained during three independent experiments in the Atlantic Ocean are used to demonstrate the relationship between wind speed and the temperature deviation ΔT, which is defined as the sea surface skin temperature (SSST) minus the subsurface bulk sea surface temperature (BSST). At wind speeds 1.5 K are common during periods of high insolation. The variability of ΔT at night is reduced and extreme cool skin temperatures of 6 m s−1, the variability of ΔT is diminished and the mean value of ΔT approximates a cool bias of −0.14 K±0.1 K. We conclude that BSST measurements obtained at wind speeds >6 m s−1, when corrected for a small ( −0.14 K) cool bias, are representative of the SSST and can be used with confidence to validate satellite derived SSST. When the wind speed is <6 m s−1 and the magnitude of ΔT is high, in situ radio metric SSST measurements are mandatory to validate satellite derived SSST.


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Authors: Donlon, C. J., Nightingale, T. J., Sheasby, T., Turner, J. ORCIDORCID record for J. Turner, Robinson, I. S., Emergy, W. J.

On this site: John Turner
1 August, 1999
Geophysical Research Letters / 26
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