Tuning a physically-based model of the sea gas transfer velocity

C.d. Jeffery, I.s. Robinson, David Woolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Air¿sea gas transfer velocities are estimated for one year using a 1-D upper-ocean model (GOTM) and a modified version of the NOAA¿COARE transfer velocity parameterization. Tuning parameters are evaluated with the aim of bringing the physically based NOAA¿COARE parameterization in line with current estimates, based on simple wind-speed dependent models derived from bomb-radiocarbon inventories and deliberate tracer release experiments. We suggest that A = 1.3 and B = 1.0, for the sub-layer scaling parameter and the bubble mediated exchange, respectively, are consistent with the global average CO2 transfer velocity k. Using these parameters and a simple 2nd order polynomial approximation, with respect to wind speed, we estimate a global annual average k for CO2 of 16.4 ± 5.6 cm h¿1 when using global mean winds of 6.89 m s¿1 from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 1 1954¿2000. The tuned model can be used to predict the transfer velocity of any gas, with appropriate treatment of the dependence on molecular properties including the strong solubility dependence of bubble-mediated transfer. For example, an initial estimate of the global average transfer velocity of DMS (a relatively soluble gas) is only 11.9 cm h¿1 whilst for less soluble methane the estimate is 18.0 cm h¿1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalOcean Modelling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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