Wind, driving oceans, and the links between them to the atmosphere compose a critical parameter for the world circulation model as well as for the evaluation of climate changes. Traditionally, wind velocities have been reported by ships of opportunity and recorded on a network of buoys; they have also recently been generated by numerical weather prediction models and mapped with spaceborne remote sensors. Wind speeds from buoy measurements, shipobservations, and model computations are compared, using the globally available altimeter returns that they have in common. Large, systematic deviations are found among the results obtained with these techniques, cautioning against extensive use of these wind speeds.

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