Wind power distribution over the ocean



[1] Probability distribution and power density of wind speed over global oceans are computed from eight years of QuikSCAT measurements. They describe the variation and higher moments of wind speed that are critical in relating the non-linear effects of wind on electric power generation capability, shipping hazard, and air-sea exchanges in heat, water, and greenhouse gases. The power density distribution confirms our general knowledge of atmospheric circulation related to mid-latitude storm tracks, trade winds, and monsoons. It also reveals regions of high wind power associated with flow distortion by land, wind channeled by land topography, and buoyancy effect on turbulent stress driven by ocean fronts.