The 2018 NASA Coupled Ocean Surface Variables Workshop was held at the University of Washington Pack Forest Conference Center from 5-8 March, 2018.
The goal of the workshop is to develop community priorities for NASA-relevant physical oceanographic research in the next five years. Specifically, we are hoping to stimulate discussion about new approaches to combining multiple ocean surface variables (SST, SSS, wind, color, etc.) to improve our understanding of the physical dynamics of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. To that end, the workshop will consist of three plenary lectures on the following themes:
As the resolution of observations and models improves, emerging evidence indicates that submesoscale ocean variability, on scales of O(1-10) km, is of fundamental importance to ocean circulation, air-sea interaction, and biogeochemical cycling. New high-resolution satellite observations of SST and ocean color provide a means of capturing submesoscale variability; the workshop will focus on developing ideas for how to utilize these satellite products, along with models and in situ observations, to develop a better understanding of the submesoscale.
Air-sea interaction and near-surface processes (Link to plenary presentation given by Elizabeth Thompson and Mark Bourassa)
By nature, understanding air-sea interaction requires combining multiple variables. This theme will focus on identifying the most critical open questions about interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean, e.g. poorly understood regions, phenomena, or timescales, and how satellite observations might be used to address these questions.
Ocean mixing (Link to plenary presentation given by Caitlin Whalen)
Quantifying and magnitude and spatio-temporal variability of ocean mixing remains a fundamental question in physical oceanography. Historically, research on this topic has been based on in situ observations and modeling. Discussion of this theme will focus on exploring new techniques to estimate ocean mixing from space.
The outcome of the workshop was a white paper (link) identifying and describing high-priority physical oceanography research topics.
White Paper: link.