Whitecaps at Ocean Sciences meeting 21-26 February 2016

A session will be dedicated to “Oceanic whitecaps, their significance to air-sea exchange”

Whitecaps, the sea-surface foam signatures of the sub-surface bubble plumes generated by air-entraining breaking waves, are distinguishable patches on the ocean surface associated with markedly enhanced air-sea exchange processes. These features and the turbulence associated with them enhance the ocean-atmosphere exchange of gases, especially those of relatively low solubility. The bursting bubbles within whitecaps are also a major source of the sea spray droplets that transfer moisture, heat, salt, and marine organic matter to the atmosphere.

Whitecap coverage, the fraction of white area on the ocean surface, can be used to estimate the gas transfer coefficient and the sea surface spray production flux. It can be estimated from meteorological variables, but can also be retrieved from shipboard images/videos of the ocean surface and passive microwave satellite data. Current modeling efforts and observational programs are aimed at improving the community’s abilities to parameterize whitecap coverage and the related air-sea interaction processes.

Submissions are welcome on the broad range of field, laboratory, and modeling studies aimed at improving our knowledge of the factors influencing oceanic whitecap coverage, and on the resulting improved parameterization of gas transfer, sea surface aerosol production, and other whitecap-related air-sea exchange processes.

For more information about the event and to submit an abstract to the A008 session of the Ocean Sciences meeting (21-26 February 2016), see here 

Submission deadline: 23 September 2015