Dr. Christopher Zappa
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Christopher Zappa
Intellectual Merit:This project will produce an important advancement in knowledge and understanding within the air-sea interaction community and more broadly in the area of air-water fluxes. Modern instrumental techniques such as infrared imaging, digital particle image velocimetry, laser-induced fluorescence, bulk gas flux, and air-side heat and momentum flux measurement methods will be combined to perform a detailed study of the hydrodynamics of air-water heat fluxes in a specially constructed controlled-turbulence wind flume tank at the University of Washington. The objectives of the proposed research are to: 1. Conduct a detailed, controlled study of the hydrodynamics governing air-water heat and gas fluxes and to evaluate the effectiveness of active and passive infrared techniques to infer heat and gas transfer velocities. 2. Determine if heat can be used as a proxy tracer for air-water gas transfer. 3. Determine if surface penetration theory provides a more accurate conceptual model of air-water heat and gas transfer than surface renewal theory.
Broader Impacts: The proposed activity will benefit society by contributing to our understanding of the natural environment. This improved understanding will lead to better parameterizations of air-sea fluxes relevant to global climate change and numerical weather forecast modeling. The importance of air-sea fluxes to the Earth's climate is well documented. Heat, in the form of latent heat released by condensing water vapor, provides much of the energy driving global atmospheric circulation. Gas transfer plays an integral role in biogeochemical cycling and is of interest because of societal concerns about the effect of greenhouse gases and anthropogenically induced global climate change. The project will also promote teaching, training, and learning through participation of a graduate student (recruited minority, see below), sending the graduate student to scientific meetings to present results, and mentoring a current junior staff member during her undergraduate studies. The activity will broaden the participation of underrepresented groups by recruiting a minority graduate student (using resources such as the ASLO Minorities in Aquatic Sciences Program), employing a part-time female technician who is also a full-time student in the oceanography program at the University of Washington, and by the PI annually teaching in a middle school program at Seattle Girls School with a high percentage of minority students. The activity will enhance infrastructure for research and education by building a unique facility for studying air-sea interaction that will be made available for use by others. The activity will have broad dissemination of results to enhance scientific and technological understanding thorough participation in the annual College of Engineering Open House, establishment of a web site devoted to dissemination of data and results from the project, and publications in peer reviewed journals.
Cross Cutting Themes:
Climate and Society
University of Washington