Articles | Volume 16, issue 16
Methods for assessment of models
18 Aug 2023
Methods for assessment of models |  | 18 Aug 2023

Using Probability Density Functions to Evaluate Models (PDFEM, v1.0) to compare a biogeochemical model with satellite-derived chlorophyll

Bror F. Jönsson, Christopher L. Follett, Jacob Bien, Stephanie Dutkiewicz, Sangwon Hyun, Gemma Kulk, Gael L. Forget, Christian Müller, Marie-Fanny Racault, Christopher N. Hill, Thomas Jackson, and Shubha Sathyendranath

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Cited articles

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Cael, B., Bisson, K., and Follett, C. L.: Can rates of ocean primary production and biological carbon export be related through their probability distributions?, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 32, 954–970, 2018. a
Campbell, J. W.: The lognormal distribution as a model for bio‐optical variability in the sea, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 100, 13237–13254,, 1995. a
Short summary
While biogeochemical models and satellite-derived ocean color data provide unprecedented information, it is problematic to compare them. Here, we present a new approach based on comparing probability density distributions of model and satellite properties to assess model skills. We also introduce Earth mover's distances as a novel and powerful metric to quantify the misfit between models and observations. We find that how 3D chlorophyll fields are aggregated can be a significant source of error.