Climate Data

WASWind: Wave and Anemometer-based Sea Surface Wind

"WASWind (Wave and Anemometer-based Sea Surface Wind) provides a bias-corrected marine surface wind dataset over the global oceans. Variables include scalar, zonal and meridional winds at 10-meter high, and zonal and meridional components of wind stress. WASWind has been constructed from wind observations in ICOADS (International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set) and is available at monthly resolution on a 4° x 4° grid from 1950 to 2009. Ship-based measurements of marine surface wind are known to have a spurious upward trend due to increases in anemometer height. WASWind substantially reduces the upward trend in wind speed through height-correction for anemometer-measured winds, rejection of spurious Beaufort winds, and use of estimated winds from wind wave height. "

Key Strengths:

  • Bias corrections for ship-based wind measurements
  • Utility for climate change research

Key Limitations:

  • Sparse data coverage especially in the Southern Ocean and sea ice regions
  • No estimate of uncertainty

Expert Developer Guidance

The following was contributed by Hiroki Takinaga (U Hawaii), April, 2012:

WASWind (Wave and Anemometer-based Sea Surface Wind) provides a bias-corrected marine surface wind dataset over the global oceans. Variables include scalar, zonal and meridional winds at 10-meter high, and zonal and meridional components of wind stress. WASWind has been constructed from wind observations in ICOADS (International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set) and is available at monthly resolution on a 4° x 4° grid from 1950 to 2009. Ship-based measurements of marine surface wind are known to have a spurious upward trend due to increases in anemometer height. WASWind substantially reduces the upward trend in wind speed through height-correction for anemometer-measured winds, rejection of spurious Beaufort winds, and use of estimated winds from wind wave height. The reduced upward trend is smallest among the existing global datasets of in situ observations and comparable with those of reanalysis products. Despite the significant reduction of globally-averaged wind speed trend, WASWind features rich spatial structures in trend pattern, making it a valuable dataset for studies of climate changes on regional scales. Not only does the combination of ship winds and wind wave height successfully reproduce major modes of seasonal-to-decadal variability, but its trend patterns are also physically consistent with sea level pressure (SLP) measurements. WASWind is in close agreement with wind changes in satellite measurements by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) for the recent two decades. The agreement in trend pattern with such independent observations illustrates the utility of WASWind for climate trend analysis.#

Years of Record

1950/01 to 2009/12

Formats

Timestep

Monthly

Data Time Period Extended?

no, data set not being extended

Domain

Spatial Resolution

4° x4°

Ocean or Land

Ocean Only

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Input Data

ship measurements from ICOADS

Earth system components and main variables

Data Access: Please Cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions.

WASWind main website

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes

Thumbnails

Captions

Comparison of scalar wind trend for Jul 1987 - August 2006 for (top) raw ICOADS, (middle) SSM/I, and (bottom) WASWind. (Contributed by H. Tokinaga)

Cite this page

Tokinaga, Hiroki & National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 20 Aug 2013. "The Climate Data Guide: WASWind: Wave and Anemometer-based Sea Surface Wind." Retrieved from https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/waswind-wave-and-anemometer-based-sea-surface-wind.

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.