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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Jan 2019

Research article | 08 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

The ECMWF operational ensemble reanalysis-analysis system for ocean and sea-ice: a description of the system and assessment

Hao Zuo, Magdalena Alonso Balmaseda, Steffen Tietsche, Kristian Mogensen, and Michael Mayer Hao Zuo et al.
  • The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Rd, Reading, UK, RG2 9AX

Abstract. The ECMWF OCEAN5 system is a global ocean and sea-ice ensemble of reanalysis and real-time analysis. This manuscript gives a full description of the OCEAN5 system, with the focus on upgrades of system components with respect to its predecessors ORAS4 and ORAP5. An important novelty in OCEAN5 is the ensemble generation strategy that includes perturbation of initial conditions, and a generic perturbation scheme for observations and forcing fields. Other upgrades include revisions to the a-priori bias correction scheme, observation quality control and assimilation method for sea-level anomaly. The OCEAN5 historical reconstruction of the ocean and sea-ice state is the ORAS5 reanalysis, which includes 5 ensemble members and covers the period from 1979 onwards, and with a backward extension until 1958. Updated version of observation data sets are used in ORAS5 production, with special attention devoted to the consistency of sea surface temperature (SST) and sea-ice observations. Assessment of ORAS5 in the observation space suggests that assimilation of observations contribute to reducing the analysis error, with the most prominent contribution from direct assimilation of ocean in-situ observations. Results of observing system experiment further suggest that Argo float is the most influential observation type in our data assimilation system. Assessment of ORAS5 has also been carried out with several key ocean state variables and verified against independent observation data sets from ESA CCI project. With respect to ORAS4, ORAS5 has improved ocean climate state and variability in terms of SST and sea-level, mostly due to increased model resolution and updates in assimilated observation data sets. In spite of the improvements, ORAS5 still underestimates the temporal variance of sea level, and continue exhibiting large SST biases in the Gulf Stream and extension regions which is possibly associated with misrepresentation of front positions. Overall, the SST and sea-ice uncertainties estimated using five ORAS5 ensemble members have spatial patterns consistent with those of analysis error. The ensemble spread of sea-ice is commensurable with the sea-ice analysis error. On the contrary, the ensemble is under-dispersive for SST.

Hao Zuo et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Hao Zuo et al.
Hao Zuo et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Ocean and sea-ice reanalysis is valuable data with broad applications. This manuscript is a reference document for the ECMWF ocean and sea-ice ensemble analysis system OCEAN5, and historical reanalysis ORAS5. Description of the system and assessment of ORAS5 in the sense of several key ECVs have been documented here. This data set is particularly important for users with interest on studying, e.g., Climate Change Indicators, ocean state/environment monitoring, NWP initialization and validation.
Ocean and sea-ice reanalysis is valuable data with broad applications. This manuscript is a...