Upper ocean heat and freshwater budgets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Heat and freshwater in the upper ocean, and their transport by currents, are critical components of the climate system. The heat budget of the upper ocean is largely determined by the absorption solar radiation and air-sea exchanges of heat, including infrared radiation. The freshwater budget is controlled by evaporation and precipitation over the global oceans and freshwater input from rivers. Determining the heat and freshwater budgets from research ships and autonomous vehicles, and surface salinity derived from satellite microwave radiometers, are described. The intensification of severe storms is given as an application of knowledge of the upper ocean heat content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Ocean Sciences
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128130810
ISBN (Print)9780128130827
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquarius satellite
  • Argo program
  • GO-SHIP program
  • Mixed layer depth
  • Ocean freshwater content
  • Ocean heat content
  • Ocean salinity
  • Ocean salinity profiles
  • Ocean temperature profiles
  • Ocean-atmosphere exchanges of heat and moisture
  • Rainfall
  • Sea-level rise
  • SMOS satellite
  • Tropical cyclone heat potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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