DOI

  • DJ Bogucki
  • K Huguenard
  • BK Haus
  • TM Ozgokmen
  • Ad Reniers
  • NJM Laxague
Our understanding of temperature dissipation rate χ within the upper ocean boundary layer, which is critical for climate forecasts, is very limited. Near-surface turbulence also affects dispersion of contaminants and biogeochemical tracers. Using high-resolution optical turbulence measurements, scaling laws for χ are investigated under forcing states where either the daytime heat flux or the wind stress forcing is dominant. We find that χ remains constant over 1.5 times the significant wave height, while over a layer below, χ decays based on the local surface forcing. When the heat flux is dominant, traditional scaling based on the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory remains valid; χ â? z-1. When the wind stress dominates, we observe the emergence of a new scaling, χ â? z-1/2, which is explained by invoking the effect of small-scale coherent structures on vertical heat transport. These results have implications for improved modeling of the ocean's heat and CO2 intake. Key Point We proposed a new χ scaling
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 839-846
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 10238267