SKIN TEMPERATURE OF THE SEA AS DETERMINED BY RADIOMETER.
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY AND METEOROLOGY
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Thermal radiation from the sea is emitted from a skin of 0.1-mm thickness. Ninety-five measurements of emission from the sea were made in the American Mediterranean during the summer of 1962, and skin temperatures were obtained. A cool skin was observed in 89 of the cases. Fifteen observations, made in coastal waters, exhibit cooler skins with anomolous characteristics when compared with the skins over deep water. The average value of skinminus-bucket temperature for coastal data is -1.6C the value for deep-water data in -0.6C. Observations made over waters known to have been traversed by rain showers show a much cooler skin than had been observed prior to the occurrence of rain. Due to the existence of the cool skin, computations of air-sea energy fluxes based on bucket temperatures are inherently erroneous. For data considered, the average error in such computations of latent heat flux is 13 per cent. Furthermore, sensible heat flux computations for average conditions are of the wrong sign i.e., the sea was receiving heat from the atmosphere, not losing it. For deep-water data, the difference in skin-minus-bucket temperature varied from -1.7C to 0.4C. The variation is found to be primarily related to vapor pressure difference between skin and air and to wind speed.