Ocean Sciences 2014 - Oral Presentation Abstract
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATMOSPHERIC EMITTED INFRARED RADIATION AND THE GRADIENT OF THE THERMAL SKIN SST LAYER
Ocean heat content has recently been increasing and is likely due to increases in greenhouse gases which have raised the atmospheric emitted infrared (IR) radiation. However, this energy is absorbed in the thin electromagnetic skin layer on the aqueous side of the interface. This raises the conundrum of how is the ocean warmed by increasing incident IR radiation? The thermal skin layer (TSL) which exists over similar depths exhibits a strong temperature gradient to sustain the upward heat flux to the air-sea interface. Sensitivity of the TSL temperature gradient to incident IR could provide a mechanism for greenhouse gas heating of the ocean. Determination of TSL gradient utilizes vertical temperature profiles from shipboard-derived radiance spectra. Retrieval of these profiles requires the use of truncated singular value decomposition technique due to non-linearity and ill-conditioning of the inversion equation. Robustness of this technique is evaluated using synthetic datasets. Accurate estimates of the surface and sub-skin temperature of the first-guess profile are required to remove unphysical inversions in the retrieved profile. Changes in the retrieved TSL gradient with IR forcing are subsequently analyzed.