The Chinese National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center (NMEFC) has joined the GODAE community of global ocean forecasters in 2013, with the first version of the Chinese Global Ocean Forecasting System CGOFS. The second generation of this system, operational since 2018, includes a state-of-the-art version of NEMO ORCA12 (numerical ocean model) and many innovative features for the assimilation of observations, as well as for the dissemination of ocean analyses and forecasts to NMEFC users. The performance of this system, as measured by GODAE international standards, ranks NMEFC among the best ocean forecasting centres in the world. NMEFC (has nearly 300 scientists) also develops regional ocean forecasting systems in the South China Sea, the East China seas, and in the Arctic, as well as seasonal forecasting and weather forecasting activities. They provide added value services to their users in the field of maritime transport, coastal management, fisheries, etc.
Dr Liying WAN, Chief of Ocean Forecasting Division at NMEFC, and Pierre Bahurel, Director of Mercator Ocean International, after the signature of the second MOU between NMEFC and Mercator in 2018 in Toulouse.
In 2014 in Beijing, Mercator Ocean signed a first Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for the bilateral scientific collaboration between Mercator Ocean and NMEFC. An article from Zhu et al. (2016) describes the results of the intercomparison exercise that was performed in the framework of this first MOU. A second MOU was signed in 2018 in Toulouse, broadening our common research interest to modelling and data assimilation studies. Three NMEFC scientists have visited Toulouse since 2018, for short three month stays, which gave us the opportunity to initiate together a series of studies on the improvement of the data assimilation system of NMEFC in the South China Sea (SCOFS) (Zu Z. et al, article in preparation) and on the intercomparison of surface currents, mesoscale and front structures in the South China Sea (Ren S., Jiao Y., et al, in preparation).
Since 2014, NMEFC and Mercator Ocean are holding an annual workshop, alternating visits to France and China. The last workshop took place in Nanjing (China) 16-18 October 2019. On this occasion, we discussed our plans for future collaborations, including on the one hand working together on forecast intercomparison using GODAE metrics, and using new surface current metrics developed by Mercator, and on the other hand co-advising a PhD student in the field of data assimilation.