Work plan

Work logic

The project will be carried out within 24 months from the Kick-Off (KO) with strong interactions with the flux scientific community.

We will first consolidate the preliminary scientific requirements for the activity in collaboration with the scientific community and define the characteristics of the target products and data portal platform. We will then refine the methodology to generate and validate new products and produce an ensemble. Following a review with ESA on the type of algorithms and methodology to be implemented, we deliver the products, assess their quality, and make them accessible and inter-comparable through the data portal.


These activity will be broken down into the following tasks:

  • Task 1: Scientific Requirements Consolidation
  • Task 2: Reference Data Set Generation
  • Task 3: Product Generation, Inter-comparison and Uncertainty Characterisation
  • Task 4: Data Portal Development
  • Task 5: Strategic Development
  • Task 6: Outreach & Coordination

Task 1 - Scientific Requirements

The main objective of this task is to compile a Scientific Requirement Baseline Document: This document provides the user with a complete description of the suite of products delivered to meet the specific needs of the scientific community, their input data, meta-data, error statistics, validation protocol, strengths and weaknesses, and briefly describes the selected algorithms (e.g. Algorithm Theoretical Basis), methodologies (e.g. generation of ensemble perturbation), and workflows as well as the data portal to deliver and share them. As such this document shall constitute the backbone for activities in the following tasks.

Task 2 - Reference Data Set Generation

The main objective of this task is to gather EO, especially those from ESA missions, in situ as well as L3 and L4 satellite turbulent and radiative fluxes and to set up a reference data set. This dataset will be available for scientific community as the common input data dealing with the generation and evaluation of ocean heat fluxes and its components.

These data come with varying spatial and temporal resolutions and formats. Furthermore, they were estimated based on the use of different bulk variable inputs, parameterizations, and analysis methods. Consequently, the main work that is performed within this task include:

  • Collecting and archiving EO (especially from ESA sources) and non EO data as well as satellite L3 and L4 and NWP flux products available during common period of at least 10 years.
  • Assessment of the data quality. It will be determined through comprehensive comparisons with in situ flux data
  • Homogenization of the spatial and temporal resolutions among the selected products.
  • Determination of product differences at various spatial and temporal scales, and according to atmospheric and oceanic parameters of interest.
  • Making the reference data set available through the dedicated portal.
  • Checking for consistency of the ensemble based on the assessment of the heat budget closure for different regions ("cage" approach).
  • Examine the sensitivity of estimated fluxes and the oceanic heat budget to changes in the optical properties of the water, using ocean-colour data and a light transmission model, combined with a General Ocean Turbulence model.

The following table gives an overview of the main parameters that will be collected and provided at daily temporal resolution:

Task 3 - Product Generation, Inter-Comparison and Uncertainty Characterization

The objectives of this task include:

  • Reprocessing of satellite sources to include the best available delayed mode datasets
    • Use different SST data (including ESA CCI)
    • Use different SSM/I input data
    • Use improved retrieval methods for wind speed and humidity as well as improved flux parameterizations
  • Generation of an ensemble of realizations through “smart perturbations” (e.g. based on reprocessing to above point).
  • Evaluation of data sets using comparative assessments with alternative flux data sources and estimation of all sources of erros and uncertainties inherent in the generated data set, discrimination of error types and sources,
  • Checks for consistency of the generated ensemble based on the assessment of potential of heat budget closure for different regions ("cage" approach), process studies (El Nino, surface flux variability in mid latitudes, etc.).

Task 4 - Data Portal development

Workpackage leader: Jean-François Piollé (Ifremer)

The portal development intends to meet existing needs in the user community for the validation and cross comparisons of various heat flux products versus reference data. Therefore, the portal will provide:

  • easy access and use of flux products, including collocated data, generated within this project,
  • comprehensive documentation (technical and scientific reports, newsletter, references to related scientific papers), links to relevant web sites. 
  • reading, display, and basic statistics facilities.

Task 5 - Strategic Development

This task aims to identify the most relevant methods and ways for fostering further developments of OceanHeatFlux products and their transition for potential operational use.

Task 6 - Outreach & Coordination

The main purposes are the promotional of the resulting flux products and of the scientific and technical results, and the coordination with scientific user communities including CLIVAR, WCRP, GSOP, and SeaFlux groups. Newsletters and brochures will support the promotional of Ocean Heat Flux project. Communities will be informed thanks a mailing list maintained and enhanced by the consortium.