Assimilation in ocean and coupled models to determine the thermohaline circulation.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Sch of Ocean and Earth Science


To make the best use of the historical research ship records as well as new observations from autonomous ocean profiling floats and special observing programs such as Rapid climate change, it is proposed to assimilate all of the available data from the past 40 years into a high quality ocean circulation model that can represent complete fields of ocean properties. In this way derived quantities such as the north-south mass and heat transports which are vital to understanding the oceans role in controlling climate, can also be determined. The project will also put into context the various timeseries of observations that have been compiled from local regions which suggest that important changes in ocean circulation and transports have been ongoing in the past decades. These timeseries will thus be put into a basin scale and global scale context of ongoing change. The program will determine the relationship between hydrographic signals in different parts of the ocean basins (particularly the N Atlantic). The program will also provide a method for assimilating data from the thermohaline monitoring arrays into an ocean model that could then be used as part of a coupled climate model for multi-annual climate prediction.


10 25 50
Description Project developed global ocean state estimates of currents and ocean temperatures that have been used in several other projects. This project and its successors have collaborated closely with operational prediction work at the Met Office and ECMWF and some of the methods have been adopted into operations.
Exploitation Route Data output have been archives and used in other regional ocean studies. The ocean data assimilation methods have been developed in collaboraiton with operaitonal prediction centres with the potential to transfer expertise into operational use.
Sectors Environment

Description Data products from project have been used as part of EU marine core service. They are still being used by ocean reanalysis intercomparison projects underway in several countries
First Year Of Impact 2011