Wave- and Anemometer-based sea surface wind (WASWind) for climate change analysis

Hiroki Tokinaga, Shang Ping Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Ship-based measurements of sea surface wind speed display a spurious upward trend due to increases in anemometer height. To correct this bias, the authors constructed a new sea surface wind dataset from ship observations of wind speed and wind wave height archived in the International Comprehensive Ocean- Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS). The Wave- and Anemometer-based Sea surface Wind (WASWind) dataset is available for wind velocity and scalar speed at monthly resolution on a 4° × 4° longitude-latitude grid from 1950 to 2008. It 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 global 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; 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 Imagers (SSM/Is) for the recent two decades. The agreement in trend pattern with such independent observations illustrates the utility of WASWind for climate trend analysis. An application to the South Asian summer monsoon is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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