During the last 15 years, operational oceanography systems have been developed in several countries around the world. These developments have been fostered primarily by the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), which coordinated these activities, encouraged partnerships, and facilitated constructive competition. This multinational coordination has been very beneficial for the development of operational oceanography. Today, several systems provide routine, real-time ocean analysis, forecast, and reanalysis products. These systems are based on (1) state-of-the-art Ocean General Circulation Model configurations, either global or regional (basin-scale), with resolutions that range from coarse to eddy-resolving, and (2) data assimilation techniques ranging from analysis correction to advanced three- or four-dimensional variational schemes. These systems assimilate altimeter sea level anomalies, sea surface temperature data, and in situ profiles of temperature and salinity, including Argo data. Some systems have implemented downscaling capacities, which consist of embedding higher-resolution local systems in global and basin-scale models (through open boundary exchange of data), especially in coastal regions, where small scale-phenomena are important, and also increasing the spatial resolution for these regional/coastal systems to be able to resolve smaller scales (so-called downscaling). Others have implemented coupling with the atmosphere and/or sea ice. This paper provides a short review of these operational GODAE systems.
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