Ocean Heat Flux is a project funded by ESA and involving a set of research organizations led by Ifremer. Its main objective is to meet the scientific requirements reported in the latest CLIVAR and WCRP reports and relied on the calculations and improvements of ocean heat fluxes including latent and sensible heat fluxes.

Ocean Heat Flux project aims at:

  • Establishing  a reference input dataset maximizing the use of ESA dataset,
  • Developing an ensemble of ocean heat turbulent flux products fostering the use of EO data, and in particular from European and ESA missions. The flux products shall be global, with a resolution of at least daily in time and at least 0.5° x 0.5° in space, covering a time period of about 10 years. Monthly composite shall also be generated,
  • Quantifying regional heat constraints to assess consistency of the various flux products. The ocean heat constraints, estimated from observations (e.g. in-situ, Argo, altimetry) and/or models (e.g. reanalysis, ocean synthesis), shall cover at least 3 regions of interest representing different oceanic regimes,
  • Generating  an input reference dataset including EO data (maximizing the use of European and ESA data and relevant datasets, e.g. CCI), and other required data inputs (e.g. in-situ and model based data), required to calculate ocean heat turbulent fluxes, and evaluate their quality and consistency (e.g. in-situ, regional heat constraints), being the basis for further analysis,
  • Performing  a cross-comparison of different algorithms and approaches based on the reference dataset, evaluating their impact, accuracies and sources of uncertainties, identifying key areas for improvement, and exploring and developing improved approaches to retrieve ocean heat turbulent fluxes from EO data,
  • Generating  an ensemble of turbulent fluxes, including multiple approaches, multiple products and “smart” perturbations of input data to better sample the different types of uncertainty,
  • Evaluating  the quality and consistency of ensemble realizations through confrontation with in-situ observations, and by exploiting integral heat constraints at local, regional and global scales,
  • Developing  a Flux Data Portal to access, share and foster the use of the reference data set and flux products with the scientific community, and to enable easy inter-comparison between products and observations,
  • Coordinating with relevant partners, activities and international programs, such as CLIVAR, GSOP, GEWEX and SeaFlux,
  • Developing a scientific roadmap to define future development and new needs.


The ocean heat flux in the world climate.

Team and roles

The Ocean Heat Flux project team involves a consortium 9 partner institutes, led by Ifremer. In particular, while a core set of organizations will support the implementation of the data portal and processing, a group of international experts will support the project in the assessment of the Ocean Heat Flux products and results.