US Climate Variability and Predictability Program

Air-Sea Interactions Working Group

The US CLIVAR Working Group on Mesoscale and Frontal-Scale Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions and Influence on Large-Scale Climate was formed in September 2019. The purpose of the Working Group is to establish, through community efforts, the dynamical and statistical diagnostic frameworks to interpret the coupled air-sea interactions over multiple spatial and temporal scales using satellite data and high-resolution numerical models. This Working Group is expected to play a central role in identifying where the community consensus lies on key uncertainties and directions forward.

This working group recently published an open access, review paper on the subject available at the link below.

Ocean Mesoscale and Frontal-Scale Ocean–Atmosphere Interactions and Influence on Large-Scale Climate: A Review

Main objectives of the working group

  1. Identify available satellite and in situ observational datasets suitable to study air-sea interaction at spatial scales commensurate with the Working Group objectives, focusing on western boundary currents and mesoscale eddies. Provide guidance on diagnostic metrics, statistical methods, and dynamical frameworks to quantify the air-sea coupling over multiple space/time-scales, including possible separation of local effects from storm variability. Coordinate with data providers to obtain up-to-date datasets at the highest possible spatial and temporal scales available.
  2. Coordinate the identification and collection of existing high-resolution climate model outputs from the national and international modeling centers and the planned simulations from HiRES-MIP, including PRIMAVERA for the Working Group and community. Compare the air-sea coupling between different model frameworks with observations using a standard set of robust metrics and diagnostics, particularly those which can be quantified from observations prepared in Objective #1. Provide results of this information to the modeling centers to guide improvements in modeling frameworks, including summary statistics.
  3. Coordinate efforts to diagnose the feedbacks of the air-sea coupling onto ocean dynamics, the large-scale atmospheric circulation, and the hydrologic cycle (precipitation and evaporation).
  4. Identify opportunities to advance understanding through future field experiments, coordinated modeling studies, in situ observational strategies, and satellite remote sensing. Where possible, we will endeavor to identify observational priorities and opportunities from a range of observing systems to improve understanding of air-sea coupling processes.


Air-Sea Interactions Working Group
Larry O'Neill (co-chair) Oregon State University
Hyodae Seo (co-chair) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Mark Bourassa Florida State University
Arnaud Czaja Imperial College, UK
Jim Edson Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Baylor Fox-Kemper Brown University
Ivy Frenger GEOMAR, Germany
Sarah Gille University of California, San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Ben Kirtman University of Miami
Shoshiro Minobe Hokkaido University, Japan
Angeline Pendergrass National Center for Atmospheric Research
Lionel Renault Institute of Research for Development, France/University of California, Los Angeles
Malcolm Roberts UK Met Office, UK
Niklas Schneider University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Justin Small National Center for Atmospheric Research
Ad Stoffelen Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Netherlands
Qing Wang Naval Postgraduate School