Sunday, January 08, 2012

What else is new?

When I saw this headline:  "The greater the wind speed, the higher the wave will be" I have to make certain that this is not a joke and then ask "Hey, what else is new?"

This is the title of an "opinion" article in The Tribune,, by John Lindsey, Published: Sunday, Jan 08, 2012.  After ascertained all these informations, I am still wondering when was this article really written.  Because the article started by talking about "During World War II " and alluded to HMS Queen Mary's encounter with a freaque wave that nearly capsized in eastern Atlantic in late 1942 -- which is a well publicized information.  But the next thing it described:
Later in the war, Adm. William “Bull” Halsey sailed his fleet right into the heart of a rapidly intensifying typhoon off the Philippines. Three destroyers — USS Hull, USS Monaghan and USS Spence — capsized and sank during this storm with the loss of 775 lives.
which is not well known, at least not to me which is not surprising. But the next paragraph:
Such disasters brought into sharp focus the dire need for accurate wave forecasting. The Department of War recruited two oceanographers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, Harald Sverdrup and Walter Munk, to develop an accurate wave forecasting method. This eventually became the Sverdrup-Munk formula.
really becomes curious!  Because from reading Munk's many interviews I have always gathered that it was Munk in preparing for the Normandy Landing implemented the idea of doing some wave forecasting and invited Sverdrup to work jointly. Never heard there's this Phillippines connection.  I am familiar with the Sverdrup and Munk's approach, but have no idea exactly what in the world is "Sverdrup-Munk formula"?

What's even more curiouser is toward the end of the article, there's this:
Years after World War II, wave forecasting accuracy was further improved by the Pierson-Neumann- James method that incorporated wave spectrum data.
Now yes, indeed, there was competing approach developed by Pierson-Neumann-James but that was in the early part of the decade of 1950's nearly 60 years ago.  Here we are in the beginning of the 2nd decade of 21st Century, who exactly is still in need of reminding of this rather antiquated history of SMB vs. PNJ?

We have faced more wars than we care to count since WWII and gone through the explosive technology advancement in late 20th Century and all the excitement of the development of Wave Modeling (WAM!) Practically everyone can now do wave forecasting and hindcasting on the desk top, may even been hand-held. 

Really, what else is new?

1 comment:

George said...

Interesting perspective

George Marikas
Maritime Education