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Authors: Masina, S.* 
Di Pietro, P.* 
Storto, A.* 
Navarra, A.* 
Title: Global ocean re-analyses for climate applications
Issue Date: Sep-2011
Series/Report no.: /52(2011)
DOI: 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2011.03.006
Keywords: Data assimilation
Global ocean
Numerical models
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.01. Analytical and numerical modeling 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.03. Global climate models 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.04. Ocean data assimilation and reanalysis 
Abstract: One of the main objectives of the global ocean modelling activities at Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) is the production of global ocean re-analyses over multidecadal periods to reconstruct the state of the ocean and the large scale cir- culation over the recent past. The re-analyses are used for climate applications and for the assessment of the benefits of assimilating ocean observations on seasonal and longer predictions. Here we present the main characteristics of an optimal interpola- tion based assimilation system used to produce a set of global ocean re-analyses validated against a set of high quality in situ observa- tions and independent data. Differences among the experiments of the set are analyzed in terms of improvements in the method used to assimilate the data and the quality of observations them- selves. For example, the integrated ocean heat content, which can be taken as an indicator of climate changes, is examined to detect possible sources of uncertainty of its long-term changes. Global and basin scale upper ocean heat content exhibits warming trends over the last few decades that still depend in a significant way on the assimilated observations and the formulation of the background covariances. However, all the re-analyses show a global warming trend of the oceanic uppermost 700 m over the last five decades that falls within the range of the most recent observation-based estimates. The largest discrepancies between our estimates and observational based ones are confined in the upwelling regions of the PacificandAtlanticOceans.Finally,theresultsshow that the climatological heat and salt transports as a function of latitude also fall within the range of the estimates based on observations and atmospheric re-analyses.
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