Articles | Volume 10, issue 8
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2947–2969, 2017

Special issue: Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean - NEMO

Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2947–2969, 2017

Model description paper 04 Aug 2017

Model description paper | 04 Aug 2017

The CO5 configuration of the 7 km Atlantic Margin Model: large-scale biases and sensitivity to forcing, physics options and vertical resolution

Enda O'Dea1, Rachel Furner1, Sarah Wakelin2, John Siddorn1, James While1, Peter Sykes1, Robert King1, Jason Holt2, and Helene Hewitt1 Enda O'Dea et al.
  • 1Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 2National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, UK

Abstract. We describe the physical model component of the standard Coastal Ocean version 5 configuration (CO5) of the European north-west shelf (NWS). CO5 was developed jointly between the Met Office and the National Oceanography Centre. CO5 is designed with the seamless approach in mind, which allows for modelling of multiple timescales for a variety of applications from short-range ocean forecasting to climate projections. The configuration constitutes the basis of the latest update to the ocean and data assimilation components of the Met Office's operational Forecast Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) for the NWS. A 30.5-year non-assimilating control hindcast of CO5 was integrated from January 1981 to June 2012. Sensitivity simulations were conducted with reference to the control run. The control run is compared against a previous non-assimilating Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System (POLCOMS) hindcast of the NWS. The CO5 control hindcast is shown to have much reduced biases compared to POLCOMS. Emphasis in the system description is weighted to updates in CO5 over previous versions. Updates include an increase in vertical resolution, a new vertical coordinate stretching function, the replacement of climatological riverine sources with the pan-European hydrological model E-HYPE, a new Baltic boundary condition and switching from directly imposed atmospheric model boundary fluxes to calculating the fluxes within the model using a bulk formula. Sensitivity tests of the updates are detailed with a view toward attributing observed changes in the new system from the previous system and suggesting future directions of research to further improve the system.

Short summary
An update to an ocean modelling configuration for the European North West Shelf is described. It is assessed against observations and climatologies for 1981–2012. Sensitivities in the model configuration updates are assessed to understand changes in the model system. The model improves upon an existing model of the region, although there remain some areas with significant biases. The paper highlights the dependence upon the quality of the river inputs.