Applications: Ocean Forecasting
Ocean model systems provide forecasts
of currents and other fields are required by a vareity of Government
and commercial groups in a variety of applications including environmental monitoring, Coral reef management,
tide preditions, marine sanctuary and estuary management, diving operations,
oil and chemical spill drift forecasts, search & rescue operations, offshore
oil drilling operations, cable laying and ship-routing and operational wave forecasting to improve
predictions of extreme waves. Recently, biogeochemical models are maturing rapidly
and will soon provide unique information that will help monitoring the exchange of
important greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide) across the air-sea interface,
to monitor the quality of near-surface waters and plankton distributions
for input into management of fisheries. The primary Customer requirement
is for near-shore forecasts of both physical and biological parameters several times per day.
The image shown here depicts a series of surface current outputs from the Met Office
Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM). The top panel shows global output, middle pnale 1/3 degree North Atlantic and the lower panel
1/9th degree Atlantic model.
Ocean models have long been used to support a variety of oceanographic research including
in cruise planning and operations; for diagnostic studies; climate and seaonal-forecasting
and to improve understanding the thermohaline circulation and how to monitor the system on a long-
term basis. This year, the Thorpex research programme has begun in earnest which
aims to develop reliable 1-2 week forecasts of the atmosphere and
improve forecasts of dangerous severe weather (such as hurricanes).
One of the most important ocean model dependencies is for sea surface temperature
which is required to properly constrain the upper ocean circulation and thermal structure.
SST data products need to be accurate (better than 0.4K), be available in near real time and have
high spatial (<10km) and temporal (6-12 hours) resolution.
GHRSST-PP data products have been designed to meet these product requirements based on the
user requirements first laid out by the International Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE)
Steering Team (IGST). In response, the GHRSST-PP was formed to deliver a new generation of SST data products
and services that can satisfy the needs of operational ocean model systems.
The links below point to several operational ocean forecast systems:
- The UK National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (NCOF) provides a variety of
operational ocean model services through the operational FOAM and shelf seas model systems
and including operational wave forecasting. FOAM produces real-time daily analyses and forecasts of
the temperature, salinity and currents of the deep ocean for up to five days ahead for the
Royal Navy. FOAM is built around a physically based ocean model driven by surface fluxes from
the Met Office NWP forecast system.
- The USA Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) provides real-time nowcast/forecast results from the
global NRL Layered Ocean Model (NLOM), including snapshots, animations and forecast
verification statistics for many zoom regions, mainly SSH, SST and surface currents.
It also contains direct model-data comparisons.
In addition this site contains the 1/8° global Modular Ocean Data Assimilation
(MODAS) sea surface height (SSH) and sea surface temperature (SST) analyses,
again with snapshots and animations for many zoom regions, plus a direct look
at the real-time altimeter data available. See
- The Japane Meterological Aency (JMA) provides operational marine meteorological forecasts and warnings
for the safety and efficiency of shipping, fisheries and offshore activities. In the winter season,
sea ice forecasts and bulletins are also issued. See http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/Activities/Forecast/act_Forecasting.htm.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology Ocean & Marine Forecasting Group operate several ocean
model systems. The purpose is to describe, understand and model the variability of the oceans
and the marine environment of the Australian region, and to develop systems
for monitoring and predicting coastal, marine and ocean variations for application in the
Bureau's operations and services. See
- The Danish Meteorological Institute Centre for Marine Forecasting
operate a number of operational models for ocean forcasts of waves and currents in Danish waters. See
- The Oceanographic Research Department of the (JMA) develops methods of observation and analysis, analyzes observation data and constructs
numerical models to understand oceanic phenomena and to predict them. See http://www.mri-jma.go.jp/Dep/oc/oc.html
- Blue Link - Ocean forecasting Australia (BLUElink>) initiative centres on ocean prediction and
analysis, and forecasting of day-to-day variations in ocean currents, ocean eddies and temperatures
and marine biology. See
- The Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) consortium is a multi-institutional effort funded by the
National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) to develop and evaluate a
data-assimilative hybrid isopycnal-sigma-pressure (generalized) coordinate ocean model See
- MERSEA-IP, EU Ocean forecasting for GMES is a pan European research project that is developing a framework for
a distributed ocean service system in the 2008/10 period. See
- The Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) a multi-institutional consortium between
MIT, JPL and SIO, funded by the National Ocean Partnership program, to bring ocean state estimation into a
operational tool for studying large-scale ocean dynamics, designing observational strategies, and
examining the ocean's role in climate variability. See
http://www.ecco-group.org for more details.
- The French MERCATOR project generates on an operational basis weekly ocean bulletinsproviding a detailed
forecasto of the ocean structure and offer forecasts for the next two weeks. The MERCATOR system is has excellent
web pages which can be found at http://www.mercator-ocean.fr
- Mediterranean Forecast System (MFS) provides a vareity of ocean services in the Mediterraneaan region