Two Decades [1992-2012] of Surface Wind Analyses based on Satellite Scatterometer Observations

Surface winds (equivalent neutral wind velocities at 10 m) from scatterometer missions since 1992 have been used to build up a 20-year climate series. Optimal interpolation and kriging methods have been applied to continuously provide surface wind speed and direction estimates over the global ocean on a regular grid in space and time. The use of other data sources such as radiometer data (SSM/I) and atmospheric wind reanalyses (ERA-Interim) has allowed building a blended product available at 1/4° spatial resolution and every 6 hours from 1992 to 2012. Sampling issues throughout the different missions (ERS-1, ERS-2, QuikSCAT, and ASCAT) and their possible impact on the homogeneity of the gridded product are discussed. In addition, we assess carefully the quality of the blended product in the absence of scatterometer data (1992 to 1999). Data selection experiments show that the description of the surface wind is significantly improved by including the scatterometer winds. The blended winds compare well with buoy winds (1992-2012) and they resolve finer spatial scales than atmospheric reanalyses, which make them suitable for studying air-sea interactions at mesoscale. The seasonal cycle and interannual variability of the product compare well with other long-term wind analyses. The product is used to calculate 20-year trends in wind speed, as well as in zonal and meridional wind components. These trends show an important asymmetry between the southern and northern hemispheres, which may be an important issue for climate studies.

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Desbiolles Fabien, Bentamy Abderrahim, Blanke Bruno, Roy Claude, Mestas-Nunez Alberto M., Grodsky Semyon A., Herbette Steven, Cambon Gildas, Maes Christophe (2017). Two Decades [1992-2012] of Surface Wind Analyses based on Satellite Scatterometer Observations. Journal Of Marine Systems. 168. 38-56.,

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