The surface-drag coefficients of two versions of the ECMWF's atmosphere–wave model are compared with those of uncoupled model versions and with those of inertial-dissipation measurements in the open ocean made by the RRS Discovery. It is found that the mean drag resulting from the latest coupled version is on average equal to that of the uncoupled version. However, both have a positive bias when compared with the RRS Discovery observations. This bias is discussed, also in the light of other observational open ocean data. In the second part of the paper, bulk parameterizations with and without parameters of collocated sea-state data are validated against the Discovery observations. Using published estimates of the error in friction velocity and the neutral 10-m winds, all bulk parameterizations score low on goodness-of-fit tests. The lowest scores are obtained for the constant Charnock parameter case, whereas the highest scores are obtained for a wave-age-dependent parameterization. On–off experiments are made for the corrections to the inertial-dissipation data that have been proposed in previous studies. These corrections concern the measurement height and the direct wave-induced turbulence in the lower atmosphere. The first correction results in a slightly better agreement, but the second reduces the goodness-of-fit of the bulk parameterizations.<br/
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