The Response of the Sea Breeze Circulation to Sea Surface Temperature Perturbations Generated by Ocean Thermal Power Plants.
Interim rept. Jan 77-Jan 78,
SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INC MCLEAN VA
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Ocean Thermal Power Plants OTPPs will cool the upper layer of the ocean and reduce the sea surface temperature SST. If this SST perturbation extends near shore, it could possibly affect the sea breeze circulation. In this brief report we give a short description of the sea breeze circulation and estimate its response to OTPP activity. These estimates are based on observations rather than models. We conclude that detailed model studies of OTEC impacts on the sea breeze are not appropriate, for three reasons. First, our estimates of impacts of order 10, associated with large scale OTEC implementation, appear sufficient. Secondly, the state-of-the-art in sea breeze modeling and in the parameterization of boundary-layer mixing and of cumulus convection is probably not yet adequate for such model studies. Thirdly, the impacts are small, and affect only a limited area thus significant expenditures are hard to justify. We have not ruled out the possibility of significant climate impacts associated with the lowering of the sea surface temperature by OTEC. This question is beyond our present scope. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Electric Power Production and Distribution