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A neural-network model was developed to retrieve the wave steepness (δ), which was used to represent the sea state (particularly wave state), from the European Remote Sensing (ERS) scatterometer onboard ERS-1/2. Using the retrieved δ and scatterometer wind speed, we calculated and examined the drag coefficient ( CD) over the global ocean. The results show that CD changes significantly when wave steepness is included in the calculation. Combining wave steepness and wind speed increases CD by nearly 14% on average. That change is spatially variable, ranging from -18.76% for the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean to 104% for the Southern Ocean.