PROGRAM TITLE: Regional Resolving Models, Navy Ocean Modeling/Prediction Program, Coupled Ocean/Atmospheric Modeling ACTIVITY STREAM: Integrated Modeling and Prediction SCIENCE ELEMENT:
Climate and Hydrologic Systems DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH (ONR)SCIENTIFIC MERIT: The overall goal of this research is to understand meso- and large-scale ocean/atmosphere (including ice) interactions through the use of coupled models. The models are expected to provide seasonal predictions of the wind driven circulation, particularly in the tropical oceans. The use of data assimilation techniques and the enhancement of model resolution is expected to improve prdictive capabilities at the higher lattitudes. Improvements in parameterizations of cloud physics and radiative transfer will lead to fully coupled ocean/atmosphere prediction systems. The prime Navy interest is the development nowcast/forecast capabilities. The models must nevertheless be physically and thermodynamically correct and must be numerically stable on a seasonal (and longer)time scales. A low resolution (1/2o) model has consistently modeled equatorial Pacific ENSO events. It will be will be upgraded to 1/8o resolution in FY-94 and a data assimilation capability will be added in FY-95. Considerable progress has been acheived in reducing climate drift in coupled systems. Fully coupled ocean/atmosphere systems are expected by FY-98 or sooner. An ocean/atmosphere ice prediction system is currently being tested for eventual operational use. STAKEHOLDERS: This program is coordinated with NSF, NOAA, NASA and DOE sponsored programs. ONR and NRL scientists are on TOPEX and ERS-1 teams, are members of WOCE and SCOR working groups and have well established ties with the TOGA-COARE program. The Sea Ice program has research partners at Dartmouth, the University of Colorado and maintains liaison with counterparts at NASA. Numerically generated ice predictions used operationally by the joint NOAA/NAVY Polar Ice Prediction Center. POLICY RELEVANCE: This research has and will continue to improve seasonal and interannual predictions of ocean and atmospheric phenomena. The fundamental goal is to provide objective guidance for the near-term issues (<3 years) while providing stable models to "nest" in the decadal and longer prediction models. For example, a global circulation model, driven by Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center (FNOC) winds, correctly predicted the propagation of a large Kelvin wave, the primary ENSO phenomenon, across the equatorial Pacific during the December 1992 through February 1993 period. An Arctic ice prediction model which accurately simulates the seasonal change of the ice edge and the response of the marginal ice zone is being transitioned for operational implementation. A wind forced circulation model of the Indian Ocean, validated against observations, demonstrated a realistic response to monsoonal changes. The model predictions of sea surface height agreed closely with the NASA TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter measurements. PROGRAM CONTACT: Mr Robert Peloquin, ONR, 800 N Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22217 (703) 696-6462.