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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

PLENARY PAPERdoi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.31

Synthesis and Assimilation Systems - Essential Adjuncts to the Global Ocean Observing System

Michele M. Rienecker(1), Toshiyuki Awaji(2), Magdalena Balmaseda(3), Bernard Barnier(4), David Behringer(5), Mike Bell(6), Mark Bourassa(7), Pierre Brasseur(8), Lars-Anders Breivik(9), James Carton(10), James Cumming(11), Eric Dombrowsky(12), Chris Fairall(13), Nicolas Ferry(12), Gael Forget(14), Howard Freeland(15), Watson Gregg(1), Stephen M. Griffies(16), Keith Haines(17), D. Edward Harrison(18), Patrick Heimbach(14), Masafumi Kamachi(19), Elizabeth Kent(20), Tong Lee(21), Pierre-Yves Le Traon(22), Michael McPhaden(18), Matthew J. Martin(23), Peter Oke(24), Matthew D. Palmer(23), Elisabeth Remy(12), Anthony Rosati(16), Andreas Schiller(24), Doug M. Smith(23), Detlef Stammer(25), Nozomi Sugiura(26), Kevin E. Trenberth(27), Yan Xue(5)

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Ocean assimilation systems synthesize diverse in situ and satellite data streams into four-dimensional state estimates by combining the various observations with the model. Assimilation is particularly important for the ocean where subsurface observations, even today, are sparse and intermittent compared with the scales needed to represent ocean variability and where satellites only sense the surface. Developments in assimilation and in the observing system have advanced our understanding and prediction of ocean variations at mesoscale and climate scales. Use of these systems for assessing the observing system helps identify the strengths of each observation type. Results indicate that the ocean remains under-sampled and that further improvements in the observing system are needed. Prospects for future advances lie in improved models and better estimates of error statistics for both models and observations. Future developments will be increasingly towards consistent analyses across components of the Earth system. However, even today ocean synthesis and assimilation systems are providing products that are useful for many applications and should be considered an integral part of the global ocean observing and information system.

1NASA/GFSC, Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
2Department of Geophysics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606 8502, Japan
3ECMWF, Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX, UK
4Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels, CNRS, BP53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
5NOAA/NCEP, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA
6National Centre for Ocean Forecasting, Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, UK
7COAPS, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306-2840, USA
8Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels, CNRS, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
9Norwegian Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 43 Blindern N-0313 Oslo, Norway
10Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
11Naval Research Laboratory, 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA, 93943 USA
12MERCATOR OCEAN, 8-10 Rue Hermes, 31520 Ramonville, St Agne, France
13NOAA/ESRL, 325 Broadway, R/PSD3 Boulder, CO 80305, USA
14Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 USA
15Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2, Canada
16NOAA/GFDL, P.O. Box 308, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
17Reading e-Science Centre, 3 Earley Gate, Reading University, Reading RG6 6AL, UK
18NOAA/R/PMEL, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
19Meteorological Research Institute, 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba 305-0052, Japan
20Ocean Observing and Climate, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
21NASA /JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109
22IFREMER, Centre de Brest, Technopôle de Brest Iroise, B.P. 70, 29280, Plouzané, France
23Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, UK
24CAWCR, GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
25KlimaCampus Universität Hamburg, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
26Data Research Center for Marine-Earth Sciences, JAMSTEC, 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku Yokohama 236-0001, Japan
27NCAR, P. O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: Michele.Rienecker@nasa.gov

This paper shall be cited as:

Rienecker, M. & Co-Authors (2010). "Synthesis and Assimilation Systems - Essential Adjuncts to the Global Ocean Observing System" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 1), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.31

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