Basic processes near the air—sea interface
The ocean-atmosphere system is intrinsically coupled, although feedbacks across the air-sea interface are often masked by temporal and spatial differences. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere occur at the air-sea interface. The ocean surface forms a barrier to the exchange of heat, moisture, momentum and trace constituents (Rogers, 1995). The fundamental processes that connect the atmosphere and ocean are the energy input to the ocean by the wind, the net freshwater flux, expressed as precipitation and evaporation, and the net surface heat flux. The oceans play a substantial role in the changing radiative balance of the Earth and the climate. In particular, they affect gas and aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere as well as contemporary fluxes from the atmosphere to the ocean and from the ocean to the atmosphere. The energy from the atmosphere to the ocean surface enhances mixed layer during the circulation of the upper ocean. On the other hand, energy from the ocean affects atmospheric circulation, weather and climate. Among the influences of the oceans is their effect on gas and aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere. The global ocean is known to be a net sink of anthropogenic CO2 and hence the oceans have effectively slowed the build-up of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
KeywordsWave Breaking Aerosol Concentration Spray Droplet Trace Constituent Terminal Fall Velocity
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