Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 96, Issue 1–2, pp 63–106 | Cite as

Parameterization and Micrometeorological Measurement of Air–Sea Gas Transfer

  • C. W. Fairaill
  • J. E. Hare
  • J. B. Edson
  • W. McGillis


Because of the combination of smallconcentrations and/or small fluxes, the determinationof air–sea gas fluxes presents unusual measurementdifficulties. Direct measurements (i.e., eddycorrelation) of the fluxes are rarely attempted. Inthe last decade, there has been an intense scientificeffort to improve measurement techniques and to placebulk parameterizations of gas transfer on firmertheoretical grounds. Oceanic tracer experiments,near-surface mean concentration profiles, eddyaccumulation, and direct eddy covariance methods haveall been used. Theoretical efforts have focusedprimarily in the realm of characterizing the transferproperties of the oceanic molecular sublayer. Recentmajor field efforts organized by the U.S.A. (GASEX-98) andthe European Union (ASGAMAGE) have yielded atmospheric-derivedresults much closer to those from oceanographicmethods. In this paper, we review the physical basisof a bulk-to-bulk gas transfer parameterization thatis generalized for solubility and Schmidt number. Wealso discuss various aspects of recent sensor andtechnique developments used for direct measurementsand demonstrate experimental progress with resultsfrom ASGAMAGE and GASEX-98. It is clear that sensornoise, sensitivity, and cross talk with other speciesand even ship motion corrections still need improvement foraccurate measurements of trace gas exchange over theocean. Significant work remains to resolve issuesassociated with the effects of waves, bubbles, andsurface films.

Gas flux Carbon dioxide Air–sea interaction Diffusion sublayer Turbulent transport 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. W. Fairaill
    • 1
  • J. E. Hare
    • 2
  • J. B. Edson
    • 3
  • W. McGillis
    • 3
  1. 1.NOAA Environmental Technology LaboratoryBoulderU.S.A.
  2. 2.CIRES, U. of ColoradoBoulderU.S.A.
  3. 3.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleU.S.A.

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