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How Essential Are Argo Observations to Constrain a Global Ocean Data Assimilation System? : Volume 12, Issue 3 (22/06/2015)

By Turpin, V.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020855
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 42
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: How Essential Are Argo Observations to Constrain a Global Ocean Data Assimilation System? : Volume 12, Issue 3 (22/06/2015)  
Author: Turpin, V.
Volume: Vol. 12, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Remy, E., Le Traon, P. Y., & Turpin, V. (2015). How Essential Are Argo Observations to Constrain a Global Ocean Data Assimilation System? : Volume 12, Issue 3 (22/06/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Mercator Ocean, Parc Technologique du Canal, 8–10 rue Hermès, 31520 Ramonville Saint Agne, France. Observing System Experiments (OSEs) are carried out over a one-year period to quantify the impact of Argo observations on the Mercator-Ocean 1/4° global ocean analysis and forecasting system. The reference simulation assimilates sea surface temperature (SST), SSALTO/DUACS altimeter data and Argo and other in situ observations from the Coriolis data center. Two other simulations are carried out where all Argo and half of Argo data sets are withheld. Assimilating Argo observations has a significant impact on analyzed and forecast temperature and salinity fields at different depths. Without Argo data assimilation, large errors occur in analyzed fields as estimated from the differences when compared with in situ observations. For example, in the 0–300 m layer RMS differences between analyzed fields and observations reach 0.25 psu and 1.25 °C in the western boundary currents and 0.1 psu and 0.75 °C in the open ocean. The impact of the Argo data in reducing observation-model forecast error is also significant from the surface down to a depth of 2000 m. Differences between independent observations and forecast fields are thus reduced by 20 % in the upper layers and by up to 40 % at a depth of 2000 m when Argo data are assimilated. At depth, the most impacted regions in the global ocean are the Mediterranean outflow and the Labrador Sea. A significant degradation can be observed when only half of the data are assimilated. All Argo observations thus matter, even with a 1/4° model resolution. The main conclusion is that the performance of global data assimilation systems is heavily dependent on the availability of Argo data.

How essential are Argo observations to constrain a global ocean data assimilation system?

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