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Coupled data assimilation in climate research: A brief review of applications in ocean and land

Kazuyoshi Suzuki 1, Milija Zupanski 2

Article ID: 599
Vol 3, Issue 2, 2018, Article identifier:

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Regions of the cryosphere, including the poles, that are currently unmonitored are expanding, therefore increasing the importance of satellite observations for such regions. With the increasing availability of satellite data in recent years, data assimilation research that combines forecasting models with observational data has begun to flourish. Coupled land/ice-atmosphere/ocean models generally improve the forecasting ability of models. Data assimilation plays an important role in such coupled models, by providing initial conditions and/or empirical parameter estimation. Coupled data assimilation can generally be divided into three types: uncoupled, weakly coupled, or strongly coupled. This review provides an overview of coupled data assimilation, introduces examples of its use in research on sea ice-ocean interactions and the land, and discusses its future outlook. Assimilation of coupled data constitutes an effective method for monitoring cold regions for which observational data are scarce and should prove useful for climate change research and the design of efficient monitoring networks in the future.


coupled atmosphere-ocean/land; uncoupled data assimilation; weakly coupled data assimilation; strongly coupled data assimilation; error covariance

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