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GCOS Atmosphere Surface ECV - Surface Wind Speed and Direction

Surface wind has substantial influence on the exchanges of momentum, heat, moisture and trace species between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean and land. It drives ocean waves, storm surges and sea ice, and provides a key forcing of the ocean circulation that is responsible for the global transport of important amounts of heat and carbon. It is a sensitive indicator of the state of the global coupled climate system, and knowledge of it is important for understanding climate variability and change, and for climate model evaluation. Data on surface wind have direct application to sectors such as transport, construction, energy production, human health, marine safety and emergency management. They are also used in metrics that characterize the strength of tropical cyclones.

Product Requirements:

  • Frequency: 3 hr
  • Resolution: 10 km/NA
  • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 0.5 m/s and mean quadratic statistics to 10 % of the locally prevailing mean wind speed, for speed >20 m/s
  • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.05 m/s/decade
  • Standards/References: For stability: International Vector Winds Science Team Meeting (M.Bourassa)
  • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
  • Entity (in situ): WIGOS


Data Sources: