© The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Boas, A. B. V., Ardhuin, F., Ayet, A., Bourassa, M. A., Brandt, P., Chapron, B., Cornuelle, B. D., Farrar, J. T., Fewings, M. R., Fox-Kemper, B., Gille, S. T., Gommenginger, C., Heimbach, P., Hell, M. C., Li, Q., Mazloff, M. R., Merrifield, S. T., Mouche, A., Rio, M. H., Rodriguez, E., Shutler, J. D., Subramanian, A. C., Terrill, E. J., Tsamados, M., Ubelmann, C., & van Sebille, E. Integrated observations of global surface winds, currents, and waves: Requirements and challenges for the next decade. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, (2019): 425, doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00425.
Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves being strongly coupled to the upper ocean circulation and the overlying atmosphere, efforts to improve ocean, atmospheric, and wave observations and models have evolved somewhat independently. From an observational point of view, community efforts to bridge this gap have led to proposals for satellite Doppler oceanography mission concepts, which could provide unprecedented measurements of absolute surface velocity and directional wave spectrum at global scales. This paper reviews the present state of observations of surface winds, currents, and waves, and it outlines observational gaps that limit our current understanding of coupled processes that happen at the air-sea-ice interface. A significant challenge for the coming decade of wind, current, and wave observations will come in combining and interpreting measurements from (a) wave-buoys and high-frequency radars in coastal regions, (b) surface drifters and wave-enabled drifters in the open-ocean, marginal ice zones, and wave-current interaction “hot-spots,” and (c) simultaneous measurements of absolute surface currents, ocean surface wind vector, and directional wave spectrum from Doppler satellite sensors.
AV was funded by NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship award number 80NSSC17K0326. MB was funded by NOAA (FundRef number 100007298) through the NGI (grant number 18-NGI3-42). SG was funded by NASA grants NNX16AH67G, NNX14A078G, NNX17AH53G, and 80NSSC19K0059. MT acknowledges support from the Natural Environment Research Council (grant number NE/R000654/1). MT, MR, JS, and EvS were partially funded by the SKIM Mission Science Study (SKIM-SciSoc) project ESA RFP 3-15456/18/NL/CT/gp. AA was supported by DGA grant No D0456JE075 and the French Brittany Regional Council. MF was supported by NASA Ocean Vector Winds Science Team Grant 80NSSC18K1611 and Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech subcontract 1531731. FA, BC, and AM were supported by ESA under the Sea State CCI project, with additional support from CNES and ANR grants for ISblue (ANR-17-EURE-0015) and LabexMER (ANR-10-LABX-19). MZ was funded by NASA (grant number NNX16AH67G).
Doppler oceanography from space
absolute surface velocity
ocean surface winds
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