National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2022

Assessment of radiative heating errors in Tropical Atmosphere Ocean array marine air temperature measurements

De Rovere, F., D. Zanchettin, M.J. McPhaden, and A. Rubino

Environ. Res. Lett., 17(1), 014040, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac42fc, View online (open access) (2022)

We assess the radiative heating error affecting marine air temperature (MAT) measurements in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean array. The error in historical observations is found to be ubiquitous across the array, spatially variable and approximately stationary in time. The error induces spurious warming during daytime hours, but does not affect night-time temperatures. The range encompassing the real, unknown daily- and monthly-mean values is determined using daytime and night-time mean temperatures as upper and lower limits. The uncertainty in MAT is less than or equal to 0.5 °C and 0.2 °C for 95% of daily and monthly estimates, respectively. Uncertainties impact surface turbulent heat flux estimates, with potentially significant influences on the quantification of coupled ocean-atmosphere processes.

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