The R/V Knorr left Wood's Hole on January 14 and returned on February 26. It was in the Labrador Sea proper from January 24 to February 13. Unlike the previous year, there were no upper air rawinsonde (weather balloon measurements) undertaken and the radiation measurements were incomplete. However, the standard meteorological measurements from the ship provided enough information to estimate the total surface heat flux to a reasonable accuracy. Average sensible and latent heat fluxes in 1998 (1997) were 185 Wm-2 (311 Wm-2). The warmer air conditions also produced more downwelling longwave radiation, resulting in less net longwave radiative cooling of the ocean in 1998, 57 Wm-2 (vs. 84 Wm-2). Because the cruise occurred earlier in the winter, the sun was lower and caused less average solar radiation ocean heating than the previous year 23 Wm-2 (vs 33 Wm-2). The average total ocean cooling in 1998 was 217 Wm-2 (vs. 362 Wm-2). I believe that the 1998 average total heat flux value is accurate to about 40 Wm-2) or 20% of the total.
Unfortunately, we do not have good salinity flux information, because precipitation was not measured. We may be able to make some estimates based on the ship bridge log reports.
The analyses of these atmospheric forcing features is ongoing. Several researchers have formed an e-mail working group to organize atmospheric studies of the Labrador Seas. Click here for more details on the working group.
Last update: 5/3/99
Please send all comments and suggestions to the author, Peter Guest