The diurnal cycle of sea-surface temperature and estimation of the heat budget of the Mediterranean Sea

S. Marullo, P.J. Minnett, R. Santoleri, M. Tonani

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Abstract

The diurnal cycle in sea-surface temperature (SST) is reconstructed for the year 2013 by combining numerical model analyses and satellite measurements using Optimal Interpolation (OI). The method is applied to derive hourly Mediterranean SST fields using Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) data and Mediterranean Forecasting System analyses (Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service - Analysis and Forecast product). The evaluation of the Diurnal OI SST (DOISST) values against drifter measurements results in a mean bias of −0.1°C and a RMS of 0.4°C. The DOISST fields reproduce well the diurnal cycle in SST including extreme Diurnal Warming events as measured by drifting buoys. We evaluate the impact of resolving the SST diurnal cycle, including extreme events, on estimates of the heat budget of the Mediterranean Sea over an entire annual cycle. It results in the mean annual difference in the heat loss derived using SSTs with and without diurnal variations of 4 Wm−2 with a peak of 9 Wm−2 in July. This value is comparable to several other sources of uncertainty in the calculation of the heat and water budgets of the Mediterranean Sea. The results are an important step toward reducing uncertainties in the “Mediterranean Sea Heat Budget Closure Problem”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8351 - 8367
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume121
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

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