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This is one of the least well understood research topics of physical oceanography, with the theory inadequate and the data sparse. Specific areas with glaring gaps include the interaction of the wind and surface waves, the parameterization of subgrid scale processes in large–scale circulation models, and the transfer of gases across the air–sea interfaces.
A number of key meteorological and solar radiation effects are active at the air-sea interface; some of these key factors are:
Temperature: atmospheric temperature and ocean temperature are instrumental in heat exchange
Lapse rate: the thermal gradients of the atmosphere affect the thermal exchange at the air-sea interface
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