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Volume 4, issue 1
Ocean Sci., 4, 61–71, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Mediterranean Ocean Forecasting System: toward environmental...

Ocean Sci., 4, 61–71, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  15 Feb 2008

15 Feb 2008

Operational ocean models in the Adriatic Sea: a skill assessment

J. Chiggiato1,* and P. Oddo2 J. Chiggiato and P. Oddo
  • 1Servizio IdroMeteorologico, ARPA Emilia Romagna, Viale Silvani 6, 40122 Bologna, Italy
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Unità Funzionale di Climatologia Dinamica, via Aldo Moro 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
  • *now at: CNR-ISMAR, Castello 1364, 30122 Venezia, Italy

Abstract. In the framework of the Mediterranean Forecasting System (MFS) project, the performance of regional numerical ocean forecasting systems is assessed by means of model-model and model-data comparison. Three different operational systems considered in this study are: the Adriatic REGional Model (AREG); the Adriatic Regional Ocean Modelling System (AdriaROMS) and the Mediterranean Forecasting System General Circulation Model (MFS-GCM). AREG and AdriaROMS are regional implementations (with some dedicated variations) of POM and ROMS, respectively, while MFS-GCM is an OPA based system. The assessment is done through standard scores. In situ and remote sensing data are used to evaluate the system performance. In particular, a set of CTD measurements collected in the whole western Adriatic during January 2006 and one year of satellite derived sea surface temperature measurements (SST) allow to asses a full three-dimensional picture of the operational forecasting systems quality during January 2006 and to draw some preliminary considerations on the temporal fluctuation of scores estimated on surface quantities between summer 2005 and summer 2006.

The regional systems share a negative bias in simulated temperature and salinity. Nonetheless, they outperform the MFS-GCM in the shallowest locations. Results on amplitude and phase errors are improved in areas shallower than 50 m, while degraded in deeper locations, where major models deficiencies are related to vertical mixing overestimation. In a basin-wide overview, the two regional models show differences in the local displacement of errors. In addition, in locations where the regional models are mutually correlated, the aggregated mean squared error was found to be smaller, that is a useful outcome of having several operational systems in the same region.

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