The ODA division focuses on the development and improvement of the CMCC Earth System Model components with a particular emphasis on the physical and biogeochemical ocean models. Another major activity of the ODA division is the development of data assimilation methods for the production of global marine reanalysis and forecasting. Finally, since recently we started to work also on ice-sheet and paleoclimate modeling.Research unitsTop
Earth System ModelingThe main purpose of this research unit is the study of the Earth, as a system of integrated physical and biological components, and of its climate. The development and upgrade of the components of the earth system model (ESM) and the study and understanding of the dynamics of climate in the different model components and in their integrated system (CMCC-ESM) are explicit objectives of the unit. A specific line of development is dedicated to the ocean biogeochemistry model (BFM) and its applications at both global and regional scale. Other specific tasks are dedicated to the atmospheric model component (CAM) with the production of high-resolution AMIP-type experiments (i.e. to be used as forcing for global and regional oceanic re-analysis) and the implementation of a hierarchy of atmospheric model's parameterizations at increasing complexity. The unit integrates into the ESM all the different models components, also coming from other ODA research units (i.e. NEMO, sea-ice model) and/or other CMCC divisions (i.e. land and vegetation components), evaluates its performance and produces long-term simulations following the CMIP6 protocol for studies of the Earth's system climate and its changes, including analysis of the global hydrological cycle and of the main global teleconnections. All the unit's activities are tightly linked with other CMCC research units.
Data Assimilation and Ocean ForecastingThe Data Assimilation and Ocean Forecasting Unit is devoted to the development and implementation of data assimilation methods (OceanVar) and procedures. Data assimilation is the process that combines ocean observations with numerical models in order to provide the best estimate of the ocean state. This has a twofold application: production of global ocean reanalyses (C-GLORS) and high-resolution global ocean operational forecasts. The former activity is performed in the context of several international projects and initiatives, with the aim of providing an estimate of the ocean climate in the last decades, for use in climate studies, initialization of seasonal and decadal predictions, to serve as boundary or input for regional or downstream applications, respectively. The latter has the objective of producing forecasts of the ocean weather in real-time, for use in a variety of societal activities (e.g. search and rescue, oil spill, tourism, ship routing, etc.). The unit works in close cooperation with the Ocean and Sea-ice Modeling Unit, in particular collaborating on the configuration of the ocean general circulation model NEMO and sea-ice model LIM.
Ocean and Sea-ice modelingPrimary goal of the Ocean and Sea-ice Modeling group is to understand the physical processes of the global ocean/sea-ice system. Dynamics of ocean currents and their variability over the past decades, the distribution and transport of heat and salt, how sea-ice variability can affect the global thermohaline circulation are some of our main research topics. Numerical modeling is the principal tool used for those studies that require scientific and technical model development, experiment design, interpretation and evaluation of the numerical calculations. The group designs, performs and analyzes global ocean/sea-ice simulations, from low to high-resolution, based on the NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) platform. A substantial fraction of the group's efforts goes in developing and maintaining the NEMO-OPA Ocean General Circulation Model, through an active role in the NEMO System Team. In 2014, to realistically reproduce the effect of mesoscale features on the large-scale ocean circulation, we tackled the challenge of simulating an eddying ocean configuration with a horizontal resolution of 1/16° at the equator, currently the highest resolution implemented in a global NEMO domain. The group follows the development of sea ice models and it is actively involved in testing and evaluating the Louvain-la-Neuve Sea Ice Models (LIM), in collaboration with international institutions. This group prepares the ocean components for the data assimilation system and the Earth system model, and strongly collaborates with other groups at CMCC.