Ecosystem Modelling - NCOF - The National Centre for Ocean Forecasting


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We are applying carbon-cycle and biogeochemical models for both the open ocean and UK waters. For the shelf-seas around the UK we use the FOAM-AMM shelf seas model, coupled to the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM). the FOAM-AMM is based on the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) hydrodynamic model while ERSEM is a complex ecosystem model under development at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

ERSEM is one of the most complex lower trophic-level marine ecosystem models currently in use, including:

  • one bacteria, four phytoplankton and three zooplankton functional groups,
  • a fully resolved diurnal cycle,
  • variable carbon to chlorophyll ratios and,
  • independent nutrient pools for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and silicate.

ERSEM outputs are aligned to OSPAR (Oslo-Paris) convention requirements, in support of the ecosystem-based approach to managing the marine environment which is being advocated by European governments.

Open ocean ecosystem forecasts are currently pre-operational and are obtained through the inclusion of the Hadley Centre Ocean Carbon Cycle (HadOCC) model in the Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM). HadOCC is a Nutrient, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, Detritus (NPZD) ecosystem model with the addition of two components representing carbon in the ocean: dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity.

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(Last Updated: 28-11-2014)