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Remotely sensed winds and wind stresses for marine forecasting and ocean modeling

AuthorsBourassa, Mark A.; Portabella, Marcos
Issue DateSep-2009
CitationOceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (2009)
AbstractOcean surface vector winds (OSVW) are used to estimate momentum transfer (surface stress) between the atmosphere and ocean, and are critically important for determining the large-scale ocean circulation and transport. Vector winds are needed to estimate the ageostrophic (Ekman) component of ocean currents, and consequently are linked to atmospheric and oceanographic upwelling and downwelling, coastal upwelling, primary productivity, cross shelf transport, ice transport, mixed layer evolution, and deep-water formation. Accurate wind speeds are also essential for reliable computations of air/sea heat fluxes (e.g. sensible and latent heat fluxes) as well as mass fluxes (e.g. CO2 and H2O), making surface winds critically important for budgeting energy, moisture and Carbon, and for studies of ocean acidification. Wind and wave information are essential for marine safety. The advection and offshore transport of nutrients and fresh water can be linked to the life cycle and annual variability in fish stocks. Both scalar and vector winds can be linked to upper ocean mixing, which is easily linked to ocean, atmospheric, cryospheric and terrestrial climate change. For shorter time scale applications, surface wind vectors are also used for forecasts of storm surge and waves. Ocean surface winds change rapidly in both time and space. Satellite-based sampling density and relatively good accuracy make satellite winds desirable data (particularly for regions with sparse in situ observations) for many related applications such as coastal upwelling, oceanic/atmospheric coupling associated with both tropical instability wave and ocean fronts [19], ocean currents [58], detection of tropical disturbances [35], wave forecasting, weather forecasting [46], and storm surge [79], to list a small sample of applications. Portions of the surface winds observing systems are also used to provide observations of sea ice extent and rainfall (fresh water flux). Several reviews of space-based wind measurements and applications have been published (e.g. [64 and 66]). The current ocean wind observing system can be further improved by means of better bias removal and calibration for very high and low wind speeds, increased temporal sampling (via a constellation), finer spatial resolution (e.g. on the ocean eddy scale and intercalibration of near-coastal winds), and improved methods of blending observations (scalar winds and vector winds) from multiple platforms
DescriptionBourassa, Mark A. ... et al.-- OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society, 21-25 September 2009, Venice, Italy
Publisher version (URL)http://www.oceanobs09.net/
Appears in Collections:(UTM) Comunicaciones congresos
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