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New directional wave satellite observations : Towards improved wave forecasts and climate description in Southern Ocean

Abstract : In spite of continous improvements of ocean wave models in the last decades, results still show large in certain condition, in particular in strongly forced conditions, as encountered in the Southern Ocean, where strong westerly winds generate some of the fiercest waves on Earth in almost unlimited fetch conditions. The newly launched Chinese-French Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) provides directional spectra of ocean waves for both wind seas and swells. Compared to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), it resolves shorter wavelengths, which dominates in non-fully developed wind waves. Here we demonstrate that the assimilation of the wave number components from CFOSAT spectra produce more accurate predictions of wave growth than assimilation of significant wave height alone and results in a notable reduction of model bias in the Southern Ocean, especially in the Pacific Ocean sector. In addition results also indicate a downward shift of the wave age consistent with theoretical wave growth curves.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:09:38 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:29:21 AM

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Lotfi Aouf, Danièle Hauser, Chapron Bertrand, A. Toffoli, C. Tourrain, et al.. New directional wave satellite observations : Towards improved wave forecasts and climate description in Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2021, 48 (5), pp.e2020GL091187. ⟨10.1029/2020GL091187⟩. ⟨insu-03008401v3⟩

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