Collaborative Research 

Atlantic Air-Sea fluxes from satellites, their variability and analysis of ocean models
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
University of Maryland, College Park

Data Sets Used

Data Sets Used
Available Data
Outreach  Activity
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Satellite data 

ISCCP D1 and DX (Rossow and Schiffer , 1999).

• MODIS Atmospheric Daily Global Product Level-3

MODIS Terra and Aqua Collection 5 monthly Level-3 aerosol data.

• Supplementary data for MODIS shortwave fluxes:

     Missing MODIS data replaced with: precipitable water from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis Data (Kistler et al., 2001);  Missing aerosol optical depths under cloudy conditions and over arid areas are filled with information from the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) Component Global Aerosol Product (CGAS); Spectral surface albedo from the Filled Land Surface Albedo Product, which is generated by the MODIS Atmosphere team fromMOD43B3 (the official Terra/MODIS-derived Land Surface Albedo Product).

• Meteosat-7 and Meteosat-8 observations:

      European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Archive and Retrieval Facility.

Ground observations 

Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) observing stations (

Buoy observations of radiative fluxes 

• Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic (PIRATA) (Servain et al., 1998; Bourles et al., 2008).

• Tropical Atmosphere Ocean/Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network (TAO/TRITON) moorings in the tropical Pacific Ocean (McPhaden et al., 1998).

• ASIS buoy in the “flux, etat de la mer, et teledetection en conditions de fetch variable” (FETCH) (Hauser et al., 2003).

• ASIS buoy from the Baltic Sea Swell Experiment (BASE) (Högström et al., 2008) (a joint effort among agencies from the United States, Sweden and Finland).

• ASIS buoy ROMEO (Zhang et al., 2009) part of the Shoaling Waves Experiment (SHOWEX) (Graber et al., 2000). The buoy is influenced by the Gulf Stream, which is a region of large discrepancy between WHOI and IFREMER flux estimates.

NOAA Kuroshio Extension Observatory (KEO) KEO mooring site.

JAMSTEC Kuroshio ExtensionObservatory (JKEO) moored buoy JKEO mooring site.

CLIVAR Mode Water Dynamic Experiment (CLIMODE) buoys. 

PAPA mooring site.

Sea Surface Temperature data (SST) 

      Most recent release of the Reynolds analysis (Reynolds et al., 2007). In addition to the satellite SST retrievals from AVHRR and AMSR-E the Reynolds products assimilate observations from ships and buoys from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS).   

            Surface wind speed

• Quikscat and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) data.

            Air Temperature and humidity

• Tested were also Jackson et al. (2006, 2009) derived satellite-based estimates of specific air humidity and air temperature; they combined ship, buoy and satellite microwave observations from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), Special Sensor Microwave Temperature Sounder (SSM/T-2) and SSM/I based on multiple linear regressions. 

Numerical Model outputs 

The National Center for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) Department of Energy (DOE) Reanalysis II from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ECMWF ERA Interim Reanalysis model (Berrisford et al., 2009).


   Both ERA Interim and NCEP-DOE Reanalysis II use the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTM) developed  by the Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) group.


Independent Satellite estimates

The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, ISCCP-FD model output (Zhang et al., 2004) utilizes satellite observations from ISCCP cloud products (D1) gridded at a 280 km equal area grid and then transformed to a 2.5 degree equal angle grid.

The Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Surface Radiation Budget ( GEWEX-SRB) model (Hinkelman, et al., 2009).


Heat flux datasets  

IFREER (Bentamy et al., 2003, 2008, 2013), available for years 1999-2009 at daily time scale at 0.25 degree horizontal resolution.

WHOI (Yu et al., 2008) available for years 1985-2008 at daily time scale and at 1degree resolution.

Variables used to derive IFREMER and WHOI turbulent heat fluxes (latent and sensible) and their origin are given in followed table



Source for IFREMER

Source for WHOI

Air temperature

Estimated from specific air humidity, wind speed and sea surface temperature using the Konda et al. (1996) model

NCEP, ECMWF re-analyses

Sea surface temperature

Reynolds et al. (2007)

NCEP, ECMWF re-analyses, Reynolds et al. (2007)

Surface wind speed

ERS-1, ERS-2, QuickSCAT scatterometers

NCEP, ECMWF re-analyses, SSM/I and AMSR-E radiometers, QuickSCAT scatterometer

Specific air humidity

Estimated from SSM/I brightness temperature using the Schulz (1993, 1997) model

NCEP, ECMWF re-analyses, product from Chou et al.(1997) using SSM/I column water vapor retrievals










Please send questions or comments to
 Chuan Li
Last Modified on 2014-03-07