1 -- SURFACE HEAT BUDGET
In this section we'll examine the processes that affect the global distribution of sea surface temperature (SST). The global SST distribution is governed by the sources and sinks of heat at the surface.
- Figure 1.01 shows that the ocean surface receives heat from
- 1. incoming shortwave radiation from the Sun
- 2. incoming longwave radiation from the atmosphere
- 3. conduction of sensible heat from warmer air toward cooler water
- 4. gain of latent heat through condensation
- 5. movement (advection) of warmer water into a region (not shown)
- but loses heat through
- 6. emitted longwave radiation from the surface to the atmosphere
- 7. conduction of sensible heat from warmer water toward cooler air
- 8. loss of latent heat through evaporation
- 9. movement (advection) of cooler water into a region (not shown).
The relative importance of each of these processes varies greatly with region or time of year. Stated simply however, the ocean surface will heat up if the net effect of these processes is such that the ocean surface receives more heat than it loses. Conversely, the ocean surface will get cooler if the net effect of these processes is such that it loses more heat than it receives.