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Extended seasonal climate predictions using a dynamical climate model

Meyers, G. Dr; (Ph: (03) 6232 5208; Fax (03) 6232 5123;

Smith, N. Dr; (Ph: (03) 9669 4660. Fax (03) 9669 4660,

Research Organisations: CSIRO Marine Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart Tas 7001; Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, GPO Box 1289K, Melbourne Vic 3001.

Sponsor: LWRRDC, Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation.


Provide an improved understanding and capacity to predict and monitor climate variability within the operational environment of the Bureau of Meteorology:

  • Develop and test numerical coupled ocean and atmosphere model with ocean data assimilation and generalised flux coupling;
  • Evaluation of retrospective predictions;
  • Model running operationally.

Understand key physical processes, particularly with respect to predictability:

  • Assess key strengths and weaknesses of predictions, and identify contributing factors (model, data, physics etc.);
  • Assessment of the response of ocean model to observed fluxes of heat, fresh water and momentum;
  • Identify causes of known model errors in SST of east equatorial Pacific and improve model accordingly.

Improve data utilisation and initialisation of a prediction run:

  • Documentation of the sensitivity of the coupled model to different data inputs;
  • Length scales and coastal corrections for data assimilation defined;
  • Expertise in the strengths and weaknesses of available prediction systems, including data dependencies, developed.


A comprehensive global climate prediction system will be produced by combining the following elements:

a. Bureau of Meteorology Atmospheric Model (BAM), currently used operationally in stand-alone mode by the Bureau;

b. Australian Community Ocean Model - version 2 (ACOM2), developed as part of an earlier NCVP project;

c. Data assimilation sub-system for ACOM2, also developed as part of an earlier NCVP project;

d. real-time ocean-atmosphere/satellite data stream at the Bureau, required by the data assimilation sub-system to initialise predictions;

e. a general coupling system to improve communication between the ocean and atmosphere components;

f. archived ocean/atmosphere data for conducting retrospective predictions and assessing prediction accuracy;

g. existing model diagnosis software for identifying physical processes affecting predictability.

A coupled model system, including data and product flow, will be developed suitable for the operational environment. The project will emphasise testing and validation of the ocean model with data.

Progress: Detailed working plan agreed by collaborators.

Period: starting date 1999-01; completion date 2001-12

Status: commenced

Publications: None as yet.


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