The Atmospheric Mixed Layer
The atmospheric heat flux has been very successfully simulated with the coupling to a thermodynamic model of the lowest layer of the atmosphere (Seager et al 1995a,1995b). This novel approach allows computation of the surface heat fluxes allowing for the feedbacks between the SST and the fluxes. The results are encouraging and in fact give more realistic simulations of SST than when the ocean model is run with a restoring-to-observed SST boundary condition. The uncertain parameters of the atmospheric mixed layer and heat flux models are currently being adjusted using the statistical optimization scheme of Blumenthal and Cane (1989). A correct computation of surface heat fluxes is of course not possible in high latitudes without the effects of sea ice. The effects of a partial ice cover has been included in the atmospheric mixed layer component of the model (Seager, 1996).