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SAR-retrieved wind in polar regions-comparison with in situ data and atmospheric model output

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3 Author(s)
Furevik, B.R. ; Nansen Environ. & Remote Sensing Centre, Bergen, Norway ; Johannessen, O.M. ; Sandvik, A.D.

European remote sensing (ERS) satellites synthetic aperture radar (SAR) wind retrievals using CMOD-IFR2 are, for the first time, retrieved in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and in Arctic coastal areas and compared with in situ observations from reseach vessels (RVs) and output from a high-resolution atmospheric model. The root mean squares (rms) of the comparisons were 1.6 m s-1 and 2 m s-1, respectively. The spatial variation of the SAR wind fields established a decrease in wind speed close to the ice edge for the late summer situations where the wind was along the ice edge with the ice to the left. This decrease is believed to be due to changes in atmospheric stability, possibly through development of an internal boundary layer caused by the cold ice cover and melt water. Lower wind speed near the ice edge is confirmed by the atmospheric model and the in situ observations. Furthermore, good results are obtained from SAR wind retrieval in leads when compared with model output during a cold-air outbreak. Routine measurements in the MIZ are useful for estimating the wind stress, and therefore SAR may play an important role in this region. Finally, the identification of a jet out from Hinlopen Strait in the Svalbard region and low wind wakes along the coast in the SAR-retrieved wind field is confirmed by in situ observations as the RV moves through the region. The jet is also confirmed by the atmospheric model, which is able to reproduce the situation.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 8 )

Date of Publication:

Aug 2002

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