Climate Program Office News

New Research Investigates Marine Boundary Layer Stability

  • 14 October 2020
New Research Investigates Marine Boundary Layer Stability

The CPO Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) program funded researchers in 2019 to study the interaction of the lower atmosphere and upper ocean. As part of that project, researchers have recently published a study in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. This study investigates the behavior of upper ocean marine boundary layers given the presence of a heterogeneous sea surface temperature, aka warm or cold fronts. Over broad distances, the ocean’s surface appears extremely uniform in both sea surface temperature and currents. However, this study shows that within the boundary layers, small-scale sea surface temperature variations alter the boundary layer stability and the boundary-layer response varies considerably in downstream (across the ocean) and vertical directions (into the atmosphere). These findings have implications for how atmospheric and climate models represent atmospheric stability (i.e. whether air rises, sink, or remains stable).

Read the study »



About the Climate Program Office

The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...



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