The Achievements of GODAE 19972008

As described in the previous paragraphs, over the last 20 years the global ocean observing system (in situ and remote sensing) has been progressively implemented and led to a revolution in the amount of data available for research and forecasting applications. The ocean observing system, primarily designed to serve climate

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Fig. 1.4 WOCE Hydrographie Program One Time Survey (1990-1998) (

Fig. 1.5 Status of global Argo float array, December 2009 (

research, is used as a backbone for most operational oceanography applications. Although significant progress has been made, sustaining the global ocean observing system remains a challenging task (Clark et al. 2009). This recent progress in the global ocean observing system was complemented by advances in supercomputing technology, allowing the development and operational implementation of eddy-resolving (~10 km) basin-scale ocean circulation models.

The Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) was set up in 1997 with the aims of (i) demonstrating the feasibility and utility of global ocean monitoring and forecasting on the daily to weekly time scale and on eddy-resolving spatial scales and (ii) to assist in building the infrastructure for global operational oceanography (Smith and Lefebvre 1997; GODAE Strategic Plan 2000; Bell et al. 2009). From its inception in 1997 to its conclusion in 2008, GODAE has had a major impact on the development of global operational oceanography capability. Global modelling and data assimilation systems have been progressively developed, implemented and inter-compared (Dombrowsky et al. 2009; Cummings et al. 2009; Hernandez et al. 2009). In-situ and remote sensing data are now routinely assimilated in global and regional ocean models to provide an integrated description of the ocean state. Observation, analysis and forecast products are readily accessible through major data and product servers (Blower et al. 2009). There has been increased attention to the development of products and services and the demonstration of their utility for applications such as marine environment monitoring, weather forecasting, seasonal and climate prediction, ocean research, maritime safety and pollution forecasting, national security, the oil and gas industry, fisheries management and coastal and shelf-sea forecasting (Davidson et al. 2009; Hackett et al. 2009; Jacobs et al. 2009).

GODAE as an experiment ended in 2008 having achieved most of its goals. It has been demonstrated that global ocean data assimilation is feasible and GODAE has made important contributions to the establishment of an effective and efficient infrastructure for global operational oceanography that includes the required observing systems, data assembly and processing centres, modelling and data assimilation centres and data and product servers.

Fig. 1.5 Status of global Argo float array, December 2009 (

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