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Ocean models at the Met Office

Model temperature field showing Gulf of Mexico loop current and Gulf Stream visualized in Google Earth.

Numerous ocean wave, dynamical and ecosystem models and analyses are run at the Met Office for short range forecast and climate applications.

The models are generally the result of international scientific community efforts or collaboration between the Met Office and academic groups in NCOF. Links to the community model homepages are provided within the brief descriptions below. Further details of operational versions and configurations are available at theNCOF operational ocean forecasting pages.


ERSEM has been developed by researchers at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and is one of the most complex lower trophic-level marine ecosystem models currently in use, including: one bacteria, four phytoplankton and three zooplankton functional groups; a fully resolved diurnal cycle; variable carbon to chlorophyll ratios; independent nutrient pools for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and silicate. 


HadOCC is a NPZD ecosystem model with the addition of two components representing carbon in the ocean: dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity. The model has been widely used for carbon cycle studies at the Hadley Centre, and is intended for further use in the next generation Hadley Centre coupled Earth System model. This model was designed to investigate both the natural marine carbon cycle and the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean and to be used in future projections of climate change to examine how those processes might change.


NEMO is a community ocean modelling framework owned and maintained by a consortium of institutes including the Met Office. NEMO has a large user community and is used for research and operational applications


The Forecast Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) system is an operational ocean analysis and forecast system run daily at the Met Office.  The system consists of various global, regional and shelf seas configurations.  The underlying models/systems used in FOAM are the NEMO physical ocean model, the Los Alamos CICE sea ice model and the NEMOVAR data assimilation system.  The ERSEM marine ecosystem model is also used in the NW European Shelf FOAM configuration.


The NEMOVAR data assimilation system is a variational scheme which has been developed specifically for use in the NEMO ocean model. The system is being developed jointly by the Met Office, ECMWF and , with significant contributions from other research institutes, such as INRIA and LJK. The system is able to assimilate in-situ temperature and salinity profiles, sea surface temperature and sea level anomaly data and has capacity to produce both 3DVar and 4DVar analyses. Additional features include a diffusion operator for spreading observational information according to spatial correlations, and a multivariate balancing operator that accounts for covariances between ocean variables.


The OSTIA product is a high resolution operational SST and sea ice analysis provided by the Met Office. The analysis is global and is provided daily.


POLCOMS is a community modelling system for the shelf seas developed at Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.


WAVEWATCH III is a 3rd generation community wave model developed and maintained by NCEP and contributed to by various national forecast centres internationally.

Last updated: Jun 30, 2014 4:48 PM