Hindcasts of the NW Atlantic

Information on the general topic of hindcasting ocean variability can be found under Basin and Global Ocean Hindcasts. Hindcasting has been applied in several studies of physical and biological variability in the Northwest Atlantic. The hindcasts are used to provide more complete information on the physical environment than is available directly from observations alone. However, hindcast model results still have to be compared to "real-world" observations to determine how reliable they are. Once it has been confirmed that a model reproduces the relevant aspects of the observed ocean variability, then these model results can be incorporated into any analysis that seeks to better understand the causes of ocean variability.

Methods to assimilate information on the current state of the ocean, available from satellites and in situ observations, have been developed as part of the GOAPP (Global Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction and Predictability) and CONCEPTS (Canadian Operational Network of Coupled Environmental PredicTion Systems) projects. These methods provide a"best estimate" of the current state of the ocean and general circulation models are used to simulate subsequent changes. Predictions of the ocean state that are more accurate than estimates based on historical information can be obtained using this approach for lead times up to 10 days in the Gulf Stream region and up to 20 days over much of the rest of the Atlantic.

For further information, contact Dr. Dan Wright and Dr. Youyu Lu.