Objective of MERSEA strand-1
MERSEA ('Marine Environment and Security for the European Area') project, supported by the European Commission, is directly related to the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Action Plan on global ocean monitoring and the marine theme.
MERSEA strand-1 is a research project supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme and contributing to the implementation of the Key Action 3 "Sustainable Marine Ecosystem" within the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development programme. (Contract no: EVK3-CT-2002-00089)
MERSEA Strand-1 project (initial period 2001-2003) builds on the current European capabilities for development, implementation and operational use of marine modeling and data assimilation systems, space-borne observations and in-situ observing networks and systems.
The overall objective is to facilitate the visibility, understanding and exchange of the ocean modelling data, output products for users and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the European Capacity for Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting, i.e. the following existing basin-scale integrated monitoring systems: FOAM (Met. Office, United Kingdom), MERCATOR (MERCATOR-OCEAN, France), MFS (INGV, Italy) and TOPAZ (NERSC, Norway).
MERSEA follow on (MERSEA Integrated Project) is proposed to continue on 2004-2008 and improve what MERSEA strand-1 initiated.
For more information on MERSEA, please download and read the poster (8Mb) and access the project web sites, http://www.nersc.no/~mersea/ for MERSEA strand-1 information, http://www.ifremer.fr/merseaip for MERSEA IP information, http://www.mersea.eu.org (this web site) for the European Godae product server), http://strand1.mersea.eu.org for the Mersea strand-1 experiment.
Scope of WP4
WP4 aims to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the european capacity for ocean monitoring and forecasting, i.e. the following existing basin-scale integrated monitoring systems: FOAM (Met. Office, United Kingdom), MERCATOR (MERCATOR-OCEAN, France), MFS (INGV, Italy) and TOPAZ (NERSC, Norway).
Four tasks are undertaken to achieve WP4 aim:
- Definition of internal metrics which will be systematically used for assessing the quality, consistency and perfomance of system outputs and the sharing of experience through critical analysis of inter-comparison exercises.
The establishment of close interactions with the user communities will also be critical to define the most relevant ocean products to be evaluated.
- Distribution of and access to harmonized, standardized, and quality assessed outputs, implementation of a WWW site (European GODAE) - this site - to cluster the different systems and facilitate the exchange and the inter-comparison of the primary products of the operational oceanography systems.
- A real-time inter-comparison exercise on a one year period.
This exercise will involve the four existing basin-scale integrated systems. The assessments will consider 4D ocean analyses for ocean climate applications, short-range (1-3 day) forecasts of the upper ocean, and longer range (5-10 day) forecasts of the ocean meso-scale for operational applications.
- Performances (quality and timeliness) of the integrated systems (observing systems, data product and service, modelling and assimilation and product distribution) will be assessed from these inter-comparisons and recommendations for improvements will be proposed. This analysis will also rely on the experience accumulated over years by the different integrated systems.
Link with GODAE
MERSEA like each model separately are vital elements which contribute to GODAE (cf. GODAE implementation plan). The Global Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) (2003-2007) gathers the international ocean modelling and data assimilation community towards operational forecast systems for the global ocean. When some teams are now developing global ocean operational forecast systems, some other focus on a specific basin as the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, the North or South Pacific, the Indian, the Arctic or Austral oceans. The MERSEA strand1 project which targets the North Atlantic and Mediterranean basins is thus used as a prototype for the GODAE exercise.
MERSEA strand1 inter-compares 4 existing European operational forecast systems: FOAM from UK, MFS from Italy, MERCATOR from France, TOPAZ from Norway, as well as a GODAE host like the HYCOM-US system from the USA and soon NLOM.
MERSEA, as a European GODAE centre, will served GODAE goals:
- Intercomparing assimilation products between the different european modeling sites
- Promoting GODAE for potential applications (including research)
- Serving application centers, service providers and/or end-users
Framework, conclusions and assessments derived from the MERSEA strand1 project proved already to be useful to the GODAE community and are used as basis for decision making within the GODAE context.
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