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  • Strategy for 4-dimensional Variational Assimilation of Remotely Sensed Ocean Colour SeaWiFS Data in a Coupled Biological-Physical Model of the North Atlantic Ecosystem


As concern for the impact of human activities on global environmental change and in particular climate change [Houghton et al., IPCC report, 1995], the "Space Applications Institute" has recently initiated a "Global Environmental Information System (GEIS)" project which aims at better understanding of the global carbon cycle in the terrestrial and marine ecosystem (with special emphasis on the requirements for the implementation and verification of environmental treaties/conventions such as the Kyoto Protocol or the UN Convention for Biodiversity).

Within the GEIS project, the specific task "Global Ocean Monitoring Resource (GOMOR)" of the "Marine Environmental Unit (ME)" aims at identifying the oceanic sinks/sources of CO(2) which is currently one of the major challenges in global change studies [Gruber, 1998; Takashi et al 1995]. This goal can only be achieved accurately by use of numerical biogeochemical models coupled with fully 3D hydrodynamical models and carefully validated and calibrated versus in-situ and remote measurements [Orr, 1997 - report of the Ocean Carbon-Cycle Intercomparison IGBP project]. In particular, as the main uncertainties about the ocean uptake of CO(2) come from the important biotic component [Volk and Hoffert, 1985], it is essential that the distribution of the oceanic plankton should be simulated correctly. In this to validate and to better understand the ecosystem model, ocean colour data remotely sensed by the space-bourne Sea-Viewing Wide Field (SeaWiFS, Hooker and Esaias, 1993] play a role of paramount importance since, they are the only global data set for the near-surface phytoplankton pigment biomass. .

Additional information

Authors: MATHIEU P P, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Space Application Institute - Marine Environment Unit, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19517 EN (2000) 21 pp.
Availability: Available free of charge from Documentation Service, DG Research
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