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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
Global assimilation of wind/wave at ECMWF


Peter Janssen - (ECMWF)

  Saleh Abdalla
Jean-Raymond Bidlot


Global assimilation of wind/wave at ECMWF
Global comparison between Jason-2 OGDR and ECMWF wave model (WAM) significant wave heights for the whole year of 2011
The aim of this project is to monitor, validate and assimilate the global near real time (NRT) ocean wind and wave products of Jason-2 (fast delivery "OGDR" product). It also involves the assimilation of NRT significant wave height information in the wind wave model WAM that is run operationally at ECMWF. This is part of the ongoing activities to utilise altimetric data from Jason-1, Jason-2, ENVISAT and CryoSat-2. The scope will extend to cover the future missions like SARAL AltiKa, Jason-3 and Sentinel-3.

The work on Jason satellites is done on a best effort basis using the resources made available through the present ENVISAT contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) which will expire at the end of 2012. For the continuation and the extension of this collaborative work to the future SARAL, Jason-3 and Sentinel-3, ECMWF will require continued funding, e.g. from ESA or other agencies.

All fast delivery data products available in NRT pass a monitoring and validation process to check their quality. The tools that were developed in-house and used for the monitoring and validation of ERS-1/2, ENVISAT altimeter data and later were adapted for Jason-1 and Jason-2 are implemented to monitor and validate the quality of the wind and wave products from Jason-2. Same tools will be used for future missions as well. Model fields and in-situ observations will be used for the validation purpose. Jason-2 significant wave height (SWH) product proved to be of high quality. Its assimilation in the ECMWF ocean wave model was found to be very beneficial. Numerical experiments will be carried out to assess the impact of assimilating SWH from the forthcoming missions (e.g. SARAL) on the wave model predictions. If they proved to be beneficial, they will be assimilated in ECMWF wave model on operational basis.

Altimeter SWH and surface wind speed products are used as a diagnostic tool to assess the potential model changes and also they are used to make statements regarding the model performance.

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