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SODA: a reanalysis of ocean climate


Project Goal

The goal of the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA) project is to reconstruct the historical physical (and eventually biogeochemical) history of the ocean back (eventually) to the beginning of the 20th century. As its name implies, SODA uses a simple architecture based on community standard codes with resolution chosen to match available data and the scales of motion that are resolvable. Agreement with direct measurements (to within estimates of the observational error) as well as unbiased statistics are expected. While SODA remains a university-based research project, we want to be helpful to users by providing a reliable, well-documented, source of seasonal-to-decadal scale ocean/sea ice reanalysis to complement the atmospheric reanalyses available elsewhere.

Our current focus is on examining the impact of improved forecast model physics. In particular we are exploring the impacts of improved (eddy-resolving) horizontal and vertical resolution, improved meteological forcing, and improved tidal mixing. To speed development of a global reanalysis that includes these improvements we've begun by focussing on a limited region. Our initial effort has been to develop regional reanalyses of increasing sophistication for the North polar cap (north of 47oN). The first of these, RARE1, has nominal 0.1o horizontal resolution and 75 vertical levels. Even this high resolution does not resolve the fine scales of the Arctic ocean eddy field and so the RARE1 project is being followed by the even higher resolution RARE2, with nominal 0.05o horizontal resolution.

While we continue to work on representing and exploring North polar ocean/sea ice variability as part of the RARE project we have begun applying what we've learned to develop the SODA4 global eddy-resolving ocean/ice reanalysis.

           We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation.
Dept._AOSC               Credit: Molly Carton 10/11/2020;  James Carton 2/25/2023