The Project

The Oceanflux Greenhouse Gases Evolution project is a project funded by the European Space Agency, endorsed by the International SOLAS project.


The objective is to improve the quantification of air-sea exchanges of greenhouse gases.

The air-sea exchanges of greenhouse gases are of prime importance in the climate system. There are large uncertainties in the estimates of fluxes, even for CO2 which is the most studied, much of these uncertainties arises from the uncertainty in transfer velocities.

The project aims to develop and validate new and innovative products combining field data, satellite observation, and models. The main scientific challenges concern

  • characteristics and constraining sources of uncertainty within the gas flux calculations
  • the characterisations of the bubble mediated gas transfer
  • methods for handling methane, nitrous oxide and dimethyl-sulphide
  • and lastly quantifying the impact of localised events like rain, diurnal warming and tropical cyclones on global air-sea gas fluxes.

This work is linked and communicated to the international Surface Ocean and Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) community and IMBER (both with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IGBP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP).

The project is being lead by Dr Jamie Shutler (University of Exeter).


These are examples of geophysical parameters used in the project:


Significant Wave Height

Significant Wave Height (m) forecast for December 15, 2011, 10:00 Paris local time.

The winter storm Joachim over Europe is clearly marked.



Sea Surface Salinity

Sea surface salinity (psu) over the Amazon plume area estimated from radiometry from space, August 2003



Surface area covered by slicks

Surface area covered by slicks (%) from altimetry from space, March 2005

The first Greenhouse Gases project

The first ESA OceanFlux Greenhouse Gases (GHG) project, led by Dr David Woolf, ran from November 2011 to January 2013