Oceans: Observation and Prediction

Authored by: Oscar Schofield , Josh Kohut , Grace Saba , Xu Yi , John Wilkin , Scott Glenn

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:


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The ocean is a complex and difficult sample, and our understanding of how it operates and its future trajectory is poor. This has implications for humanity as increasing numbers are living in coastal zones. To better understand the ocean, it is necessary to adopt new sampling strategies that consist of coupling new observational technologies with numerical ocean models. New observational technologies are becoming available to oceanographers. Fixed assets include moorings, sea floor cables, and shore-based radars. These fixed assets are complemented with mobile platforms that provide spatial maps of subsurface data. The mobile platforms include profiling floats, gliders, and autonomous underwater vehicles. The observational data is complemented with numerical models. Many simulation models are becoming available to the community and the appropriate model is a function of the specific need of the user. Increasingly, observational data are used to constrain the models via data assimilation. The coupled observational and modeling networks will provide a critical tool to better understand the ocean.

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