Ocean warm skin signals observed by saildrone at high latitudes

Jia, C., & Minnett, P.J., 2023


The existence of a cool sea surface skin layer in the global ocean during both day and night is generally recognised. However, warm skin should be present if the total surface net heat flux (Qnet) were to be from the atmosphere into the ocean. Saildrone, an advanced uncrewed surface vehicle, has been shown to be able to provide sufficiently accurate sea skin temperature (SSTskin) and subsurface temperature (SSTdepth) data at high latitudes. Using those SST data along with meteorological parameters from a Saildrone (SD-1036) deployed in the Arctic in the summer of 2019, some warm skin layers, ~2% of 85,963 valid measurements, were identified due to the Qnet gain resulting from the combined effect of positive air-sea temperature difference, humid surface air and cloudy skies. Furthermore, most warm skins here were found during and shortly after rainfall events. It is essential to incorporate the ability to simulate warm skin layers in the present cool skin models.

Reference: Jia, C., & Minnett, P.J. (2023). Ocean warm skin signals observed by saildrone at high latitudes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 50, e2022GL102384. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL102384

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