Surface heat fluxes in the Western Equatorial Pacific Ocean
Abstract. Estimates of the components of the surface heat flux in the Western Equatorial Pacific Ocean are presented for a 22-day period, together with a critical analysis of the errors. It is shown that the errors in latent heat, and solar and longwave radiation fluxes, dominate the net heat flux for this period. It is found that the net heat flux into the ocean over the 22-day period is not significantly different from zero. It is also demonstrated that because of the variability in daily averaged values of solar radiation and the latent heat of evaporation, a large number of independent flux measurements will be required to determine with confidence the climatological net heat flux in this region. The variability of latent fluxes over the 22-day period suggest that climatological estimates based on monthly mean observations may lead to a significant underestimate of the latent heat flux.