One the main key surface parameters involved in the exchange of energy between the atmosphere and oceans are: wind stress, surface turbulent latent and sensible heat fluxes. These are essential to improve modeling simulations of climate variations and oceanic dynamic process studies. Radars and radiometers onboard satellites provide valuable global measurements used to estimate the turbulent fluxes.
The methodology for obtaining the surface turbulent fluxes uses physical properties of active and passive satellite instrument measurements, empirical and inverse models relating satellite observations and surface parameters, and objective analysis merging various satellite estimates. A high-resolution dataset is prepared for the global Ocean during 1992 - 2006, with a spatial resolution of 1 degree, and weekly and monthly temporal resolutions.
The satellite data come from the European Remote Sensing satellite scatterometers (ERS-1 and ERS-2), NASA scatterometers (NSCAT and Seawinds onboard ADEOS-1 and QuikScat respectively), and several defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) radiometers (Special Sensor Microwave/Imager [SSM/I] F10 - F15).
The reliability of the derived surface winds and heat fluxes is examined and validated through comprehensive comparisons with available in-situ data.
The results are compared to NCEP/NCAR re-analysis and to ECMWF Analysis and re-analysis (ERA-40) wind and heat estimates. Comparisons are also performed with available remotely sensed flux estimates.