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GODAE Groups

Operational and research institutes from

are performing global oceanic data assimilation and ocean forecasting in order to provide regular and comprehensive descriptions of ocean fields such as temperature, salinity and currents at high temporal and spatial resolution. These groups are also involved in data quality control and in intercomparison experiments.


BLUELink, Australia

BLUElink     logo The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology (CBoM), CSIRO (Marine and Atmospheric Research, CMAR) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are collaborating in the development of an ocean forecasting system to support a GODAE Project within Australia. The project was launched in September 2002; known as BLUElink> Ocean Forecasting Australia and is scheduled to deliver a global operational system with a focus on the Australasian region by 2007. Both the CBoM and CSIRO provide the scientific expertise and technological infrastructure whereas the RAN is a financial partner, project manager and beneficiary of the forecasting system.

A new project phase began in July 2006 with the start of BLUElink>-2 (2006-2010), which will build on the development work completed during BLUElink>. The key output of the BLUElink>-2 Program will be an improved global and relocatable ocean forecasting modelling system to be run routinely. At the smallest (littoral zone) scale, a new system suitable for running on a laptop computer will be developed for modelling near-shore waves and currents.

BMRC and CMAR developed the first operational coupled ocean-atmosphere model for ENSO prediction (see The ocean component is an Australian version of the MOM2 code (ACOM2, the Australian Community Ocean Model) with enhanced meridional resolution in the tropics but coarse resolution elsewhere. The atmospheric component of the model is a T47L34 version of the BMRC Atmospheric model and the OASIS coupler is used to link the models. Development of a short-range ocean forecasting system will also benefit further improvements of the seasonal-to-interannual prediction system.

The BLUElink> modelling activities form part of a major Australian national initiative in Earth System Science, known as 'Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator' (ACCESS) with Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO supported by Australian Greenhouse Office and Australia's Universities.


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Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Canada

While Canada has been running regional ocean forecast models in operational mode for almost 10 years, it has only recently started programs to develop the capacity to now-cast and forecast operationally with data assimilation both the open and regional ocean conditions. There is a renewed partnership in Canada being developed in ocean forecasting among the federal departments of Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and National Defence.

This Canadian consortium of federal departments is looking to partner with MERCATOR-Ocean to achieve common goals. What is most noticeable now is a Canadian national coordination in Ocean forecasting. While Canada is in it’s infancy regarding ocean forecasting, there are well developed end users such as the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Ice Service (Environment Canada) that make use of existing Canadian Ocean Information products. The push from Environment Canada is for improving medium range weather forecasts as well as permitting seasonal forecasts.


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Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and the State Oceanic Administration, China

Chinese Academy of Sciences Logo Before 2005, besides some small, individual efforts in research, major developments and implementations are climate prediction oriented and by three main organizations: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and State Oceanic Administration (SOA). One is made by CAS at Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP). IAP developed a three dimensional variational ocean assimilation system called OVALS (Ocean Variational Analysis System) that is implemented in operation for ENSO prediction. Another, called BCC-GODAS, is a global ocean data assimilation system developed and implemented by Beijing Climate Center (BCC) of CMA, also served as climate monitoring and prediction tool.

In 2006, ocean data assimilation studies and applications made some remarkable progress in China in the terms of more and bigger projects being funded and more groups being established due to increasing awareness of the importance of the ocean data assimilation. A project (TRIPOD) funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology will focus on ocean reanalysis of the Indian Ocean-South China-Western Pacific to support scientific research on climate changes over China. TRIPOD can be regarded as a Chinese contribution to GODAE.


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Mercator Ocean, France

Mercator Ocean Global and Regional Ocean Forecasting activities are lead in France by the MERCATOR OCEAN public and consortium company, based in Toulouse (Ramonville Saint-Agne). It was created in 2002 as a follow-up of the successful implementation phase of the Mercator project launched in 1995 to develop operational oceanography. MERCATOR OCEAN first mission was the development and operation of a high resolution modeling/assimilation system covering the global ocean (with an increased resolution in the European seas) to provide ocean hindcasts, nowcasts and forecasts to a wide range of users.

MERCATOR OCEAN has been continuously running on a real time basis an ocean forecasting system on the North Atlantic (since the beginning), the Mediterranean sea (since 2003) and eventually the whole global ocean (since 2005). The full targeted system, targeted for GODAE, entered in operation in October 2005: it delivers weekly ocean nowcasts and forecasts at global scale with a ¼° horizontal resolution and 46 levels (assimilation of altimetry), and an increased horizontal resolution (5-7 km) on North Atlantic and the Med Sea (assimilation of altimetry, SST and vertical T&S). Upgrades are planned in 2007.

The 6 patrons agencies – the space agency (CNES), the observation and research agencies (Ifremer, IRD, CNRS), the Meteorological agency (Météo-France) and the ocean department of the Navy (SHOM) – have renewed the MERCATOR OCEAN company in September 2006 for a new 5 year mission, devoted on operational services.

MERCATOR OCEAN is a key partner of the European GMES MERSEA consortium, committed to develop the European High Resolution Global Ocean system.


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MRI, Japan

Three working groups were established and have discussed Japan-GODAE activity.

  • The first working group reports to the Science Council of Japan and discusses scientific directions and recommendations to agencies towards operational developments.
  • The second working group reports to the Japan CEOS/IGOS-Ocean Committee in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and discusses the activities with linkages between members, data flow/product and assimilation experiments.
  • The third working group works in the J-GODAE High Resolution SST project (NGSST (ADEOS-II New Generation SST) at Tohoku University and MGDSST (operational Japan GHRSST) at JMA) under the Japan NEARGOOS project. It acts as a forum for developing Japan-GODAE High Resolution SST.

MRI_JMA     logoThe working groups consist of university members (Kyoto, Tohoku, Hokkaido, Tokai, Kyushu, and Tokyo) and Agency members such as JAMSTEC, JAXA, Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC), Japan Coastal Guard, Japan Fisheries Agency (and research group FRA: Fisheries Research Agency) and Japan Meteorological Agency (and research group MRI: Meteorological Research Institute). The activity of the groups will build on and develop links with existing activities. The groups work with ongoing research initiatives esp. Japan-Argo, RR2002, and CLIVAR/GSOP projects.

The main Japanese assimilation centers for GODAE are the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) operational systems for ocean weather forecasting and ocean climate (especially El Nino) forecasting and research groups:

MOVE/MRI.COM from the MRI for both, ocean weather and climate

K-7 for ocean climate at FRCGC and Kyoto University

Prediction systems for ocean weather (JCOPE by FRCGC and Tokyo University; FRA-JCOPE by FRCGC and Fisheries Research Agency; RIAM by Research Institute for Applied Mechanics in the Kyushu University; Japan Marine Science Foundation Regional System by JMSF and Kyoto University).

Those groups have operational or research systems in real time or delayed modes.


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Met Office     logoNCOF The National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (NCOF), launched in March 2005, coordinates ocean forecasting activities within the UK. NCOF brings together research agencies funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Met Office which has responsibility for operational forecasting activities. Research agencies currently engaged in NCOF are the

  • National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS)
  • Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool (POL)
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
  • Environmental Systems Science Centre (ESSC), Reading University

Operational surface wave and storm surge forecasts have been produced at the Met Office for over 2 decades. In the last decade, the daily operational forecasts for the open ocean have been produced using the Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) system, which provides the main UK contribution to GODAE. Operational forecasts for the shelf seas are also produced using a model developed by POL. In addition, a high resolution (5km) global Ocean Surface Temperature and Ice Analysis (OSTIA) product has been developed to take full advantage of sea surface temperature products made available through GODAE. Full operational production of OSTIA will commence towards the end of 2006.
High resolution global modelling for hindcast studies has been developed at NOCS, at ESSC and the University of East Anglia (UEA). Previous efforts have focussed on the OCCAM model, including development of a 1/12º global model. This work is to be superseded by development of the NEMO system, which is to be adopted within the UK as the primary tool for open ocean modelling. The Met Office’s operational FOAM system will transition to be based on NEMO during 2007.
ESSC, through engagement in the Data Assimilation Research Centre, Reading University ( DARC ), are undertaking research and development into data assimilation techniques for use with open ocean models. This work includes the use of the FOAM and NEMO systems to facilitate pull-through into the operational forecasting system. A 1 degree global NEMO model is currently run in hindcast mode for 40 year reanalyses, which will be extended to a ¼ NEMO configuration.

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ECCO logoThe "Estimation of the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean" ( ECCO ) Consortium is a partnership between groups at the

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

It is formed by the US National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) with funding provided by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). ECCO's primary goal is to obtain physically consistent estimates of the time-varying global ocean circulation for understanding the climatic state and changes of the ocean. The Consortium activities and progress are documented at

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HYCOM     logo A broad partnership of institutions is collaborating in developing and demonstrating the performance and application of eddy-resolving, real-time global and basin-scale ocean prediction systems using the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). The plan is to transition the systems for operational use by the U.S. Navy at both the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) and the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), and by NOAA at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The partnership represents a truly broad spectrum of the oceanographic community, bringing together academia, federal agencies, and industry/commercial entities, spanning modeling, data assimilation, data management and serving, observational capabilities, and application of HYCOM prediction system outputs. The institutions participating in this partnership have long histories of supporting and carrying out a wide range of oceanographic and ocean prediction-related research and data management. The consortium activities and progress are documented at




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(Last Updated: 01-04-2009)