W. Ramos – Consortium for Ocean Leadership, November, 2012
Around the globe, mariners and navies alike have long observed and included weather and sea states in navigational planning when plotting course or developing military strategy. And although forecasting had become an integral function by the start of the 20th century, these predictions were often crude and qualitative. For the United States Navy, the years 1941 through 1946 provided an unusual stimulus to ocean wave research, according to pioneer World War II oceanographer Charles Bates. During this brief five-year period, theory, observation, and prediction of sea, swell, and surf made the greatest strides in their history. As a result, the U.S. Navy has one of the most active and vital operational oceanography programs in the world. Naval oceanography provides critical information to such combat disciplines as anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare and countermeasures, naval special warfare, amphibious operations, and ship transit planning. Today, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory physicists at the Remote Sensing Division continue to improve the integrity of these forecasts by developing a means to include the effects of the amorphous near-surface phenomenon of turbulence generation by nonbreaking waves.