Air-Sea Flux

At its 5th Panel meeting GSOP has decided to develop an air-sea flux inventory and intercomparison project with the aim of promoting good practice within the range of different approaches used to develop air sea flux products, including observation based products and products based on ocean syntheses.

Guidelines for Evaluation of Air-Sea Heat, Freshwater and Momentum Flux Products have been previously developed by GSOP (Josey and Smith, 2006). A key element of the evaluation method is local comparison of flux products against high quality flux measurements (from air-sea flux buoys and research ships). GSOP recognises that the amount of high quality flux data has expanded significantly over the past decade. It recommends local evaluation against high quality flux data for all new flux products (atmospheric reanalysis, satellite, in situ, hybrid, ocean syntheses).

This webpage inteds to list an inventory of air-sea flux (heat, freshwater and wind stress) products developed after 1990 categorised according to production method. It is anticipated that additions of further products will continue, in particular ocean synthesis and wind stress datasets. A weblink has been included for each product which can be consulted for details of resolution, time period covered etc...

Also, more information on air-sea flux research can be found on Flux News!

Remote Sensing Products

Based on SSM/I passive microwave satellite data over the ice free global ocean, along with Pathfinder SST data.


Blended Products

Based on local calibration of fluxes using buoy data


In Situ Observations

Based on COADS meteorological measurements, sometimes with adjustments based on local flux buoy measurements


Hybrid Products

Global flux datasets modified to give global closure, designed for example to be used in forcing global ocean models.


Atmospheric Reanalysis

Exchange fluxes at the base of atmospheric models constrained by atmospheric observations. Major limitation in most products is that the SST is specified at the base of the atmosphere. New products are starting to use Coupled systems for reanalysis eg. CFSR.