Norway wins the European Copernicus Marine Services for the Arctic.

A Norwegian partnership has been awarded the European Arctic forecasting system from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Services. This is one of the rare occasions when research efforts conducted over a decade lead to a European operational service.

The Arctic Marine Forecasting Center will provide operational forecasts of ocean currents, temperature, salinity, primary production, sea ice and waves out to 10 days ahead as well as reanalyses over the past 25 years. This service is comparable to that provided the European center ECMWF, but focuses on the Arctic Ocean instead of the weather.

The Arctic MFC is lead by NERSC in tight collaboration with MET Norway and the Institute of Marine Research. Their forecast and reanalysis services rely heavily on the research carried out by the three partners in ocean physical modeling, ecosystem modeling, sea ice modeling and data assimilation and follows directly from the European project MyOcean. In particularly, TOPAZ system is at the core of the service, it uses the HYCOM model coupled to the NORWECOM ecosystem model, and the Ensemble Kalman Filter for assimilating different satellite and in-situ measurements. The contract awards 4.2 MEUR to the three partners for a period of 3 years. In the coming years, the service will also include the following upgrades :

  • A wave forecast service consistent with the ocean currents, using the WAM model.
  • Doubling of the horizontal and vertical model resolutions
  • Boundary conditions from the Global system
  • Replacement of the NORWECOM ecosystem model (Skogen and Søiland, 1998) by the ECOSMO model (Daewel and Schrum 2013), with a stronger focus on primary production.
  • Offline coupling of the wave and ice-ocean models.

All the data is distributed freely on http://marine.copernicus.eu/

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