Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade

Type Article
Date 2019-07
Language English
Author(s) Villas Bôas Ana B.1, Ardhuin FabriceORCID18, Ayet Alex2, 3, Bourassa Mark A.4, Brandt Peter5, 6, Chapron Bertrand2, Cornuelle Bruce D.1, Farrar J. T.7, Fewings Melanie R.8, Fox-Kemper Baylor9, Gille Sarah T.1, Gommenginger Christine10, Heimbach Patrick11, Hell Momme C.1, Li Qing9, Mazloff Matthew R.1, Merrifield Sophia T.1, Mouche Alexis2, Rio Myriam12, Rodriguez Ernesto13, Shutler Jamie D.14, Subramanian Aneesh C.1, Terrill Eric J.1, Tsamados Michel15, Ubelmann Clement16, Van Sebille Erik17
Affiliation(s) 1 : Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States
2 : Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, IUEM, Brest, France
3 : LMD/IPSL, École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, Paris, France
4 : COAPS, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, United States
5 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
6 : Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Kiel, Germany
7 : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, United States
8 : College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States
9 : Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE), Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States
10 : National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
11 : Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas, Austin, TX, United States
12 : Department of Earth Observation Projects, European Space Agency, Paris, France
13 : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
14 : Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
15 : Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Earth Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom
16 : CLS, Toulouse, France
17 : Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2019-07 , Vol. 6 , N. 425 , P. 34p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00425
Keyword(s) air-sea interactions, Doppler oceanography from space, surface waves, absolute surface velocity, ocean surface winds

Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves being strongly coupled to the upper ocean circulation and the overlying atmosphere, efforts to improve ocean, atmospheric, and wave observations and models have evolved somewhat independently. From an observational point of view, community efforts to bridge this gap have led to proposals for satellite Doppler oceanography mission concepts, which could provide unprecedented measurements of absolute surface velocity and directional wave spectrum at global scales. This paper reviews the present state of observations of surface winds, currents, and waves, and it outlines observational gaps that limit our current understanding of coupled processes that happen at the air-sea-ice interface. A significant challenge for the coming decade of wind, current, and wave observations will come in combining and interpreting measurements from (a) wave-buoys and high-frequency radars in coastal regions, (b) surface drifters and wave-enabled drifters in the open-ocean, marginal ice zones, and wave-current interaction “hot-spots,” and (c) simultaneous measurements of absolute surface currents, ocean surface wind vector, and directional wave spectrum from Doppler satellite sensors.

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Villas Bôas Ana B., Ardhuin Fabrice, Ayet Alex, Bourassa Mark A., Brandt Peter, Chapron Bertrand, Cornuelle Bruce D., Farrar J. T., Fewings Melanie R., Fox-Kemper Baylor, Gille Sarah T., Gommenginger Christine, Heimbach Patrick, Hell Momme C., Li Qing, Mazloff Matthew R., Merrifield Sophia T., Mouche Alexis, Rio Myriam, Rodriguez Ernesto, Shutler Jamie D., Subramanian Aneesh C., Terrill Eric J., Tsamados Michel, Ubelmann Clement, Van Sebille Erik (2019). Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade. Frontiers In Marine Science, 6(425), 34p. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :