Assessment of Sea Surface Wind from NWP Reanalyses and Satellites in the Southern Ocean

Ming Li * Polar Research and Forecasting Division, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, Beijing, China

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Jiping Liu Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Zhenzhan Wang Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Hui Wang * Polar Research and Forecasting Division, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, Beijing, China

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Zhanhai Zhang Key Laboratory for Polar Science, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China

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Lin Zhang * Polar Research and Forecasting Division, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, Beijing, China

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Qinghua Yang * Polar Research and Forecasting Division, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, Beijing, China

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Abstract

Reanalysis projects and satellite data analysis have provided surface wind over the global ocean. To assess how well one can reconstruct the variations of surface wind in the data-sparse Southern Ocean, sea surface wind speed data from 1) the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–Department of Energy reanalysis (NCEP–DOE), 2) the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim), 3) National Climate Data Center (NCDC) blended sea winds, and 4) cross-calibrated multiplatform (CCMP) ocean surface velocity are evaluated. First, the accuracy of sea surface wind speed is validated with quality-controlled in situ measurements from research vessels. The results show that the CCMP value is closer to the ship observations than other products, whereas the NCEP–DOE value has the largest systematic positive bias. All four products show large positive biases under weak wind regimes, good agreement with the ship observations under moderate wind regimes, and large negative biases under high wind regimes. Second, the consistency and discrepancy of sea surface wind speed across different products is examined. The intercomparisons suggest that these products show encouraging agreement in the spatial distribution of the annual-mean sea surface wind speed. The largest across-data scatter is found in the central Indian sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is comparable to its respective interannual variability. The monthly-mean correlations between pairs of products are high. However, differing from the decadal trends of NCEP–DOE, NCDC, and CCMP that show an increase of sea surface wind speed in the Antarctic Circumpolar region, ERA-Interim has an opposite sign there.

Corresponding author address: Jiping Liu, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222. E-mail: jliu26@albany.edu

Abstract

Reanalysis projects and satellite data analysis have provided surface wind over the global ocean. To assess how well one can reconstruct the variations of surface wind in the data-sparse Southern Ocean, sea surface wind speed data from 1) the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–Department of Energy reanalysis (NCEP–DOE), 2) the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim), 3) National Climate Data Center (NCDC) blended sea winds, and 4) cross-calibrated multiplatform (CCMP) ocean surface velocity are evaluated. First, the accuracy of sea surface wind speed is validated with quality-controlled in situ measurements from research vessels. The results show that the CCMP value is closer to the ship observations than other products, whereas the NCEP–DOE value has the largest systematic positive bias. All four products show large positive biases under weak wind regimes, good agreement with the ship observations under moderate wind regimes, and large negative biases under high wind regimes. Second, the consistency and discrepancy of sea surface wind speed across different products is examined. The intercomparisons suggest that these products show encouraging agreement in the spatial distribution of the annual-mean sea surface wind speed. The largest across-data scatter is found in the central Indian sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is comparable to its respective interannual variability. The monthly-mean correlations between pairs of products are high. However, differing from the decadal trends of NCEP–DOE, NCDC, and CCMP that show an increase of sea surface wind speed in the Antarctic Circumpolar region, ERA-Interim has an opposite sign there.

Corresponding author address: Jiping Liu, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222. E-mail: jliu26@albany.edu
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