Oceanography

We offer Commercial Services as well as Research and Development within the field of Physical Oceanography.

Customers interested in our Commercial Services, such as site-specific marine forecasts, may contact:

Marine Forecasting Centre
E-mail: 


Research and Development

The R&D group in physical oceanography focuses its research on analysis of ocean circulation models, of ocean-ice-atmosphere coupled models, and finally of observations of the sea state. Model development is focused on the processes that control the physical state of the ocean, the processes related to the exchange of energy between ice, ocean and atmosphere, and numerical methods for solving the governing mathematical equations. Numerical models in use include the ocean circulation models MI-POM, MICOM and HYCOM, and the ice model MI-IM.

Oceanographic research and development is directed toward three main themes:

   1. Operational Oceanography (routine forecasting of ocean parameters)
   2. Climate Research
   3. Environmental modelling and forecasting (e.g. of pollution)

Within Operational Oceanography;
the institute seeks to extend the present-day official operational services - sea level, waves and oil drift - to include forecasts of currents (speed and direction), hydrography (temperature and salinity), sea ice (drift, thickness, distribution and concentration) and drift of floating objects (ships, rafts, persons, etc.). An important prerequisite for accurate forecasting is a good analysis. Therefore, one of our objectives is to develop suitable data assimilation schemes for operational ocean models, and further to quantify the accuracy of the forecasts through routine validation. Projects include EDDY, ENSEMBLE, HAMFOM, MERSEA_IP, and MONCOZE.

Within Climate Research;
a central task is the development of ocean and sea ice models, which are suitable for coupling to atmosphere models. The aim is to study the regional effects of global climate change. In this development, it is important to investigate both the coupling mechanisms and the ocean processes that have significant impact on climate change, such as vertical and horizontal mixing processes, water mass subduction and mesoscale processes (ocean weather). Of specific concern is what controls the large-scale transport of heat, salt and momentum in the North Atlantic and through the Nordic Seas towards the Arctic. The mechanisms are studied using models of varying complexity, as well as through direct interpretation of ocean observations. A further goal is to utilize the knowledge obtained in climate modelling in the development of a seasonal forecasting service. Projects include REGCLIM and NOCLIM-II. 

Within Environmental Modelling;
the institute will continue the close co-operation with the Institute of Marine Research to develop, upgrade and improve the models presently used for operational forecasting of the transport and dispersion of nutrients and algae. Projects include DISMAR and MERSEA Strand-1.

Many of our projects involve international collaborations, and we are members of the following international panels: EUROGOOS, NOOS, CLIVAR Atlantic Panel and ASOF.

We have also written a description of El Niño, a large-scale phenomenon that has a significant impact on the ocean-atmosphere system.

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