The ocean takes up approximately 30% of the annual anthropogenic emissions of CO2. However, the air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide varies by a factor of 2 depending on the formulation of the exchange process. This considerable uncertainty is due in part to the difficulty in parameterizing
the gas transfer velocity, k660, usually given as a function of wind speed. Recent field data showed that parametrization using the mean square slope of small scale surface waves provides a more robust strategy to estimate gas transfer (Frew et al. 2004). Here we present a preliminary estimation
of the gas transfer velocity as a function of upwind Normalized Radar Cross-Section (NRCS) as measured by the scatterometer QuikSCAT. The gas transfer velocity calculated from upwind NRCS exhibits a quadratic-like dependence at low and intermediate wind speeds (≃6 ms-1 ). This approach
represents a promising new tool to obtain global quasi-synoptic estimates of oceanic uptake of CO2.
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Document Type: Research Article
RSMAS, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA
Publication date: 01 March 2010
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