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Table 8

Characteristics of upper-ocean turbulence relevant to sea-air fluxes that can be derived from passive satellite sensors, current and planned. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.331.t8

Interface geophysical parametersCurrent capabilitiesFuture capabilities

 
Sea surface temperature (SST) Skin and surface (~1 m) SST with daily global coverage at 750 m to 1 km Improved spatial-temporal coverage and resolution with multi-mission approaches (“filtering clouds”) 
Sea surface salinity (SSS) Global SSS at 35 km resolution (can be numerically enhanced to 0.05°) with 3–5 day revisit time Improved accuracy, coverage and spatial resolution 
Sea surface wind Wind speed and direction with global daily coverage only at coarse spatial resolution (few to tens of kilometres); higher spatial resolution using sun-glint approaches, but with lower temporal coverage Improved accuracy and coverage with higher spatial resolution 
Whitecaps Whitecap fraction Increased accuracy of detection and estimation of duration and type-source 
Rainfall Rainfall rate Improved accuracy and spatial-temporal resolution with multiplatform missions (infrared and microwave sensors) 
Sea surface roughness Wave slope variance Improved coverage (optical sensors: using sun glint) 
Slicks Slick detection (SAR, sun glint) Type-source, thickness, concentration 
Interface geophysical parametersCurrent capabilitiesFuture capabilities

 
Sea surface temperature (SST) Skin and surface (~1 m) SST with daily global coverage at 750 m to 1 km Improved spatial-temporal coverage and resolution with multi-mission approaches (“filtering clouds”) 
Sea surface salinity (SSS) Global SSS at 35 km resolution (can be numerically enhanced to 0.05°) with 3–5 day revisit time Improved accuracy, coverage and spatial resolution 
Sea surface wind Wind speed and direction with global daily coverage only at coarse spatial resolution (few to tens of kilometres); higher spatial resolution using sun-glint approaches, but with lower temporal coverage Improved accuracy and coverage with higher spatial resolution 
Whitecaps Whitecap fraction Increased accuracy of detection and estimation of duration and type-source 
Rainfall Rainfall rate Improved accuracy and spatial-temporal resolution with multiplatform missions (infrared and microwave sensors) 
Sea surface roughness Wave slope variance Improved coverage (optical sensors: using sun glint) 
Slicks Slick detection (SAR, sun glint) Type-source, thickness, concentration 
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