A novel source of ocean wave period information based on satellite altimeters measurements is examined and compared — using monthly mean climatologies — with ECMWF ERA 40 output and NDBC buoy historical records. The altimeter derived wave period appears to perform well in regions dominated by wind seas, including the Southern Ocean, but does not depict the large swell events observed in the ERA 40 output West of South America and Australia. Altimeter wave period compares well in magnitude and variability with NDBC buoy historical records in three geographical regions (Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, Central Pacific), but further validation of the altimeter model is required against in situ data in regions dominated by swell.

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