Towards Operational Size-class Chlorophyll Assimilation

PI and organization: Stefano Ciavatta (PML)

Co-Is: Robert Brewin, Susan Kay, Benjamin Taylor (PML)


TOSCA achieved the objective to evolve the potential capability of CMEMS to monitor and simulate biogeochemical indicators of the health of European shelf-seas, by developing the first system assimilating a new ocean-colour product for plankton functional types (PFTs) into a marine ecosystem model.

1) An operational software capable to produce near-real-time data of PFTs, applicable by the CMEMS OCTAC,

2) A novel ocean-colour product of PFT chlorophyll for the CMEMS Atlantic region, along with estimates of its accuracy (daily images for years 1997-2016, at 4 km resolution) (Figure 10.1; Brewin et al., 2017);

3) The first PFT data assimilation system for the model of the CMEMS NWS MFC, which is exportable to the models of other CMEMS MFCs (Skákala et al; under review)

4) New, quality-assessed reanalysis products of the NWS biogeochemistry; these demonstrated that PFT assimilation can improve model simulations of ecosystem indicators in both multiannual reanalysis (Figure 10.2; Ciavatta et al., in press) and preoperational 5-day forecasts (Figure 10.3; Skákala et al., under review).

These scientific breakthroughs were presented in three scientific manuscripts and in a number of international conferences. TOSCA methods for production and assimilation of PFT products are exportable to other CMEMS regional models which simulates the structure of the plankton community, e.g. in BFM/ERSEM in the Mediterranean, and PISCES in the Iberia-Biscay-Irish region and Global ocean. The exploitation of TOSCA methods and results in CMEMS has been planned in projects proposed for the future evolution of CMEMS MFCs and OCTAC services. In conclusion, it is expected that TOSCA achievements will provide a substantial leap in the CMEMS capability of monitoring and modelling the health of European shelf-sea ecosystem.