A review is made of the procedures used by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and by Hidaka in the first systematic attempts to compute the field of mean wind stress, , over the oceans by means of the resistance law. over the Atlantic is then recomputed using the more detailed wind speed frequency data that have become available since the Scripps and Hidaka computations. For this purpose two procedures are used, similar to the method used by Scripps for the North Atlantic, but designed to take advantage of the finer grouping of the data. In consideration of the effects of the wind stress field on the wind-driven circulation, the results indicate essentially no significant differences in the-fields from the various procedures. However, the-field varies considerably with the several rather different neutral stability evaluations of drag coefficient, CND. Depending upon which of the various determinations of CND is used in the resistance law, the forcing function for the wind-driven permanent currents may easily vary by a factor of two.