New opportunities for ocean and climate modelling

Schematic Diagram of the FOCI model system. Graphic credits: C. Kersten, GEOMAR.

An exciting development has hit the ESM community. The GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel has developed the new modular system FOCI (Flexible Ocean and Climate Infrastructure), a new Earth system model fruit of the combination of the model of the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology on one hand, and the NEMO ocean model on the other. The new system will allow in-depth research on climate and ocean modelling with a new degree of flexibility and high resolution, opening the path for the investigation of various issues, like the influence of the stratospheric ozone hole on the Southern Ocean circulation or the impact of the Gulf Stream on atmospheric processes. 

To enable all this, this version of FOCI combines different elements: a global high-top atmosphere (European Centre Hamburg general circulation model; ECHAM6.3) and an ocean model (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean v3.6; NEMO3.6) as well as sea-ice (Louvain-la-Neuve sea Ice Model version 2; LIM2) and land surface model components (Jena Scheme for Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling in Hamburg; JSBACH), a biogeochemistry model (Model of Oceanic Pelagic Stoichiometry; MOPS), coupled through the OASIS3-MCT software package. 

First results have been published on Geoscience Model Development and have shown very promising results: “In particular, our special know-how in operating the ocean model regionally at very high resolution improves the results considerably and reduces, for example, common model errors such as deviations in sea surface temperatures in the Gulf Stream system,” says Prof. Arne Biastoch, head of the Ocean Dynamics Research Unit and Steering Group member in ESM. 

To learn more about this, read the press release on the GEOMAR website or read the paper:

Matthes, K., Biastoch, A., Wahl, S., Harlaß, J., Martin, T., Brücher, T., Drews, A., Ehlert, D., Getzlaff, K., Krüger, F., Rath, W., Scheinert, M., Schwarzkopf, F. U., Bayr, T., Schmidt, H., and Park, W., (2020): The Flexible Ocean and Climate Infrastructure version 1 (FOCI1): mean state and variability, Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 2533–2568,