The air-sea flux of greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, CO2) is a critical part of the climate system and a major factor in the biogeochemical development of the oceans. More accurate and higher resolution calculations of these gas fluxes are required if we are to fully understand and predict our future climate. Satellite Earth observation is able to provide large spatial scale datasets that can be used to study gas fluxes. However, the large storage requirements needed to host such data can restrict its use by the scientific community. Fortunately, the development of cloud computing can provide a solution. Here we describe an open source air-sea CO2 flux processing toolbox called the ‘FluxEngine’, designed for use on a cloud-computing infrastructure. The toolbox allows users to easily generate global and regional air-sea CO2 flux data from model, in situ and Earth observation data, and its air-sea gas flux calculation is user configurable. Its current installation on the Nephalae cloud allows users to easily exploit more than 8 terabytes of climate quality Earth observation data for the derivation of gas fluxes. The resultant NetCDF data output files contain >20 data layers containing the various stages of the flux calculation along with process indicator layers to aid interpretation of the data. This paper describes the toolbox design, the verification of the air-sea CO2 flux calculations, demonstrates the use of the tools for studying global and shelf-sea air-sea fluxes and describes future developments.
Shutler, J. D., Land, P. E., Piolle, J-F., Goddijn-Murphy, L., Woolf, D., Paul, F., ... Donlon, C. (2016). FluxEngine: A flexible processing system for calculating atmosphere-ocean carbon dioxide gas fluxes and climatologies. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00204.1