Surface heat fluxes over the northern Arabian Gulf and the northern Red Sea: Evaluation of ECMWF-ERA5 and NASA-MERRA2 reanalyses

Fahad Al Senafi, Ayal Anis, Viviane V. Menezes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The air-sea heat fluxes in marginal seas and under extreme weather conditions constitute an essential source for energy transport and mixing dynamics. To reproduce these effects in numerical models, we need a better understanding of these fluxes. In response to this demand, we undertook a study to examine the surface heat fluxes in the Arabian Gulf (2013 to 2014) and Red Sea (2008 to 2010)-the two salty Indian Ocean marginal seas.We use high-quality buoy observations from offshore meteorological stations and data from two reanalysis products, the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA2) from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and ERA5, the fifth generation of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) atmospheric reanalyses of global climate. Comparison of the reanalyses with the in situ-derived fluxes shows that both products underestimate the net heat fluxes in the Gulf and the Red Sea, with biases up to -45 W/m2 in MERRA2. The reanalyses reproduce relatively well the seasonal variability in the two regions and the effects of wind events on air-sea fluxes. The results suggest that when forcing numerical models, ERA5 might provide a preferable dataset of surface heat fluxes for the Arabian Gulf while for the Red Sea the MERRA2 seems preferable.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504
JournalATMOSPHERE
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science

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