Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 05 Issue 01

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Volume 05, No. 1
Pages 19 - 24

Data Assimilation and Predictability Studies for the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere System

Michael Ghil Carlos R. Mechoso
First Paragraph

As oceanic data sets increase dramatically in quality and quantity in the near future, and both oceanic and atmospheric models improve apace, the predictability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system will become more important on the theoretical level and more critical on the practical level. Predictability of the atmosphere with prescribed sea-surface temperatures (SST) has been evaluated; numerous studies indicate that two initially very similar atmospheric states will lead to time evolutions that on the average diverge and become uncorrelated over an interval on the order of 2 weeks. There is also a growing literature on the predictability of the upper ocean with prescribed atmospheric wind stress and heat fluxes. But the variability, and hence predictability, of the coupled system is quite different from the sum, product, or any other simple function of its parts (Ghil et al., 1991a).


Ghil, M., and C.R. Mechoso. 1992. Data assimilation and predictability studies for the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Oceanography 5(1):19–24, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1992.27.