Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 03

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Volume 22, No. 3
Pages 144 - 153


Observing System Evaluations Using GODAE Systems

Peter R. Oke Magdalena A. BalmasedaMounir Benkiran James A. CummingsEric DombrowskyYosuke Fujii Stéphanie Guinehut Gilles Larnicol Pierre-Yves Le Traon Matthew J. Martin
Article Abstract

Global ocean forecast systems, developed under the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), are a powerful means of assessing the impact of different components of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Using a range of analysis tools and approaches, GODAE systems are useful for quantifying the impact of different observation types on the quality of analyses and forecasts. This assessment includes both existing and future observation platforms. Many important conclusions can be drawn from these studies. It is clear that altimeter data are extremely important for constraining mesoscale variability in ocean forecast systems. The number of altimeters is also important. For example, near-real-time applications need data from four altimeters to achieve skill that is similar to systems using data from two altimeters in delayed mode. Another important result is that sea surface temperature is the only observation parameter that adequately monitors ocean properties in coastal regions and shallow seas. Assimilation of Argo data provides a significant, measurable improvement to GODAE systems, and is the only observation platform that provides global-scale information for constraining salinity. The complementary nature of different components of GOOS is now clear and the emergence of new assimilation techniques for observing system evaluation provides the GODAE community with a practical path toward routine GOOS monitoring.


Oke, P.R., M.A. Balmaseda, M. Benkiran, J.A. Cummings, E. Dombrowsky, Y. Fujii, S. Guinehut, G. Larnicol, P.-Y. Le Traon, and M.J. Martin. 2009. Observing system evaluations using GODAE systems. Oceanography 22(3):144–153, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.72.


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