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Ocean forecasting development

Operational ocean forecasting systems are run daily providing our customers with ocean analysis and forecast products. Reanalyses of the marine environment are also produced using systems the same or similar to these forecasting systems, giving a consistent picture of the marine environment from recent decades to days ahead. The ocean forecasting teams are responsible for supporting and maintaining the operational ocean systems, as well as their scientific and technical development.

The Forecast Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) is run for a number of global, regional and shelf seas configurations. These systems include models of the physical marine environment (predicting currents, temperature and salinity throughout the water depths) as well as marine biogeochemistry (providing predictions of the marine chemistry and lower trophic level biology). The hydrodynamic models are based on the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) and the biogeochemistry for shelf seas is provided by Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s (PML)  European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM). Research on global biogeochemistry systems is also done in the team.

The ocean forecasting teams trial developments to the systems and scientifically evaluate the impact on the model simulation.  Following a successful trial, the team implements the changes in the operational systems. The systems assimilate observations from satellite measurements and from in situ observing systems. The ocean forecasting teams are responsible for monitoring the quality for the outputs of the operational systems and their input observations.
 

Key aims

  • To continually improve the accuracy of the Met Office's ocean forecast systems.
  • To support and maintain the operational ocean systems.
  • To evaluate proposed model changes to ensure that they improve forecast quality without unintended consequences.
  • To support Royal Navy needs for ocean information.

Current projects

  • Trials of developments in the FOAM deep ocean and shelf seas configurations.
  • Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service North-West European Shelf Monitoring and Forecasting Centre.
  • Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Global Coupled Monitoring and Forecasting Centre.
  • Defence Oceanography Programme.

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