Global historical archive of wind waves based on Voluntary Observing Ship data
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A new global archive of wind wave characteristics has been developed based on Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) data for the period of 1888–2015. In addition to the basic meteorological variables, we have derived the records of visually observed heights, periods, and wind sea and swell directions. The main parameters have been supplemented by significant wave height and dominant period estimates, as well as wave geometry characteristics: steepness, wave age, and wavelength. Multistage quality control has been applied to correct or eliminate spurious values. Data are presented as individual records for every month and as original monthly means fields for every parameter. Easy access and use, along with representative data, make the new archive particularly special and applicable in different ways without any additional preprocessing. Visual wave observations assimilated in the new archive can be used to develop global and regional climatologies, estimate extreme wave characteristics and long-term trends in wave climate, verify and compare them with satellite measurements and model analysis, and test the theoretical laws of ocean wave development and propagation.
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