Article: Wired on ocean wave height

An article on describes how the European Space Agency uses satellites to measure wave heights in the North Sea, where freak waves can damage wind farms, oil rigs, and ships. Mariners have spoken about giant, rogue waves for hundreds of years, but it’s only with the advent of automated means of measuring wave heights that the existence of such waves has been confirmed. The story of the Draupner wave, believed to be the first rogue wave that was actually measured (in 1995), illustrates just how recently we’ve been able to do this sort of thing.

Here’s a video explaining how satellites take their measurements and why it’s important:

Read the article here.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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