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Kara A. B., A. J. Wallcraft, E. J. Metzger, H. E. Hurlburt and C. W. Fairall (December 2007): Wind Stress Drag Coefficient over the Global Ocean. J. Climate, 20 (23), 5856-5864. doi:10.1175/2007JCLI1825.1

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Interannual and climatological variations of wind stress drag coefficient (CD) are examined over the global ocean from 1998 to 2004. Here CD is calculated using high temporal resolution (3- and 6-hourly) surface atmospheric variables from two datasets: 1) the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40) and 2) the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS). The stability-dependent CD algorithm applied to both datasets gives almost identical values over most of the global ocean, confirming the validity of results. Overall, major findings of this paper are as follows: 1) the CD value can change significantly (e.g., >50%) on 12-hourly time scales around the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream current systems; 2) there is strong seasonal variability in CD, but there is not much interannual change in the spatial variability for a given month; 3) a global mean CD ≈ 1.25 × 10−3 is found in all months, while CD ≥ 1.5 × 10−3 is prevalent over the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans and in southern high-latitude regions as well, and CD ≤ 1.0 × 10−3 is typical in the eastern equatorial Pacific cold tongue; and 4) including the effects of air–sea stability on CD generally causes an increase of >20% in comparison to the one calculated based on neutral conditions in the tropical regions. Finally, spatially and temporally varying CD fields are therefore needed for a variety of climate and air–sea interaction studies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI1825.1