Combining altimetric and all other data with a general circulation model

Author: P. Heimbach, Rui M. Ponte, C. Evangelinos, G. Forget, M. Mazloff, Sergey Vinogradov and C. Wunsch
Date: 
May 17, 2006
Type: 
Report
Venue: 
Radar Altimetry Symposium proceedings, Venice, Italy
Citation: 

Heimbach, P., R.M. Ponte, C. Evangelinos, G. Forget, M. Mazloff, D. Menemenlis, S. Vinogradov, and C. Wunsch. 2006. Combining altimetric and all other data with a general circulation model. Radar Altimetry Symposium proceedings, Venice, Italy, May 17 2006

The TOPEX/POSEIDON mission was formulated in conjunction with the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). Although altimetric data are by far the largest ocean data set that emerged from that experiment, it was recognized from the outset that the best estimate of the ocean circulation and its variability would be made by combining all the data with a good general circulation model. The US ECCO-GODAE consortium has now produced useful estimates of the threedimensional time evolving ocean circulation at 1 degree lateral resolution, 23 layers in the vertical, over the time period 1992-2004. At the present time, the solution represents a least-squares mis t to about 410 million separate observational constraints. A large variety of elds can be analyzed in the results, but the focus here will be on the overturning circulation and its changes over this time period. The residual model/data mis ts raise difficult questions about remaining errors in the altimetric/geoid elds.