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Normal Monthly Wind Stress Over the World Ocean with Error Estimates

Sol HellermanPrinceton University, Princeton, NJ 08540

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Mel RosensteinPrinceton University, Princeton, NJ 08540

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Abstract

Over 35 million surface observations covering the world ocean from 1870–1976 have been processed for the purpose of calculating monthly normals and standard errors of the eastward and northward components of the wind stress and work done by the winds in the lower 10 m of the atmosphere. The fields are intended to serve as boundary conditions for models of the ocean circulation. Wind and air-minus-sea temperatures are calculated in a form suitable for determining stress by any bulk aerodynamics model in which the drag coefficient can be represented by six or less coefficients of a second-degree polynomial in wind speed and stability. The particular case of the wind speed and stability dependent drag coefficient discussed by Bunker is selected for analysis. January and July charts of wind stress, curl of the wind stress, mass transport stream-function, divergence of the Ekman transport and the rate of mechanical energy transfer are illustrated and discussed.

Abstract

Over 35 million surface observations covering the world ocean from 1870–1976 have been processed for the purpose of calculating monthly normals and standard errors of the eastward and northward components of the wind stress and work done by the winds in the lower 10 m of the atmosphere. The fields are intended to serve as boundary conditions for models of the ocean circulation. Wind and air-minus-sea temperatures are calculated in a form suitable for determining stress by any bulk aerodynamics model in which the drag coefficient can be represented by six or less coefficients of a second-degree polynomial in wind speed and stability. The particular case of the wind speed and stability dependent drag coefficient discussed by Bunker is selected for analysis. January and July charts of wind stress, curl of the wind stress, mass transport stream-function, divergence of the Ekman transport and the rate of mechanical energy transfer are illustrated and discussed.

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