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Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) logo

Developing a capability for the real-time comparison of near surface ocean

Ocean observations are used for initializing and validating sub seasonal to seasonal forecasts using coupled models; creating synthesis products, for monitoring evolution of ocean conditions; developing climate data records to monitor the influence of slow trends; and for improving understanding of the physics affecting the climate system. With continued investments in ocean observations, and upcoming enhancements in the tropical Pacific observing system (TPOS), increasing the utilization of ocean observations has been identified as one of the key challenges. There is also a consensus in the community that there is a longstanding disconnect between the investments in observations and their utilization in model-based analysis and prediction systems. A real-time comparison between observations and model-based analysis products will represent a direct use of ocean observations for which a need has been long perceived but remains to be realized. Towards bridging the gap between the observation and modeling communities, the goal of this project is to develop a capability for the real-time comparison of in situ ocean
observations with operational analysis products. The scope of the project will focus on the observations from moorings in the tropical Pacific. This is because El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the most important modes of coupled variability with largest societal impacts,
and further, because the TPOS is currently going through evolutionary changes. To accomplish the goals of the project outlined above, the following tasks will be completed:
(a) Identify ocean and atmosphere mooring data to be used in the real-time model
assessment and set up procedures to update the observational database in real-time.
(b) For atmospheric and ocean analyses, set up corresponding procedures to update the
model database in real-time. (c) Develop procedures to compare time-series of model analysis with observations and develop a web interface to disseminate the information to the community.
(d) Utilization of assembled observational and modeled data bases to address science
questions of relevance in understanding coupled climate variability in the tropics.
The goals of the proposal are highly relevant to the focus of the present call to “…develop an observations-based product for climate monitoring or modeling application” that “enables improved climate modeling or monitoring (e.g., enables future climate model evaluation, validation, process-oriented diagnostics)”. The project will also address other foci of the call for “Evaluating current methods and approaches for ocean observing and modeling, and the ability of observed and modeled data/products to reproduce physical or biogeochemical processes, climate phenomena, or interactions between Earth System components on different timescales.”

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