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IV-TT Activites



The IV-TT will coordinate and promote the development of scientific methods for validation and intercomparison of operational oceanography systems, including techniques for intercomparing model products and observations. Historically, these methodologies focused on the scientific assessment of mesoscale open ocean hindcasts and forecasts of physical parameters. This scope is considered in a broader view, due to the extension of operational oceanography activities toward coastal areas, biogeochemical and ecosystem predictions, and the provision of ocean reanalyses over the past decades.

GOV has experimented with a number of approaches, including the so-called Class-4 metrics, and is probably the leading player in this area, including for seasonal climate applications. There is a clear link to observing system evaluation activities and to any immediate downstream applications coordinated through GOV.

The IV-TT objectives include

  • the definition of valuable, reliable, robust, and peer-reviewed metrics to assess the quality of analyses and forecasts (e.g. forecast skills) both for physical and biogeochemical parameters, in particular but not only with respect to observed parameters;
  • the design and execution of specific global and regional intercomparison experiments;
  • defining metrics related to specific applications;
  • enhancing the visibility and relationship of GOV with other community groups, e.g. WCRP/WWRP.
  • defining standard evolving forecast performance verification curves to show case and intercompare performance of GOV systems and their improvement over time

Such work has a number of benefits including:

  • Improving confidence in model products and thus enhancing uptake;
  • Providing reliable guidance on systematic errors and model improvement (including approaches to assimilation);
  • Providing robust and independent measures of system performance; and
  • Providing metrics of model skill at the interfaces into down-stream applications (fitness-for-purpose metrics).

Activities of the task team include assembling representatives for each national prediction group to participateg in bi-annual teleconferences and meetings, and correspond via email on design, implementation and analysis of joint validation/inter-comparison exercises. This includes producing an annual update to GOVST on the status of the quality of GOV systems through the implemented intercomparison among GOV operational centres, by using e.g. Class 4 metrics. In addition, the IV-TT will also further develop cooperation and collaboration with several external groups including:

  • CLIVAR/GSOP for ocean climate monitoring issues
  • WWRP-S2S for the support and development of monthly-to-seasonal ice-ocean forecasting capabilities
  • WWRP-PPP for coupled polar predictions and participation in the Year of Polar Prediction
  • the JWGFVR for the development of more sophisticated verification metrics (scale-dependent, spatial verification) and
  • the IICWG for sea ice verification.

The IV-TT will also liaise with the JCOMM ET-OOFS (Expert Team for Operational Ocean Forecasting Systems) for the definition of requirements and standards. ET-OOFS has responsibility for publishing and providing guidance and to handle the implementation and routine monitoring for operational ocean forecasting systems. Together with research groups and other partners of GOV, the IV-TT develops and provides the underpinning expertise for the establishment of appropriate standards and metrics for use by operational systems and ET-OOFS will ensure these standards meet user needs and are distributed to external parties and parties developing new capacities. GOV plans will focus on the development (finite term defined tasks within a project frame) and not on routine activities which should fall to ET-OOFS.

The IV-TT has already implemented an achievable, cost effective, sub-set of the measures originally proposed. There remains value in the refinement and extension of the range of metrics beyond that achieved thus far. The TT has a role to continue to drive this innovation and make recommendations for implementation that can be promoted in terms of guidance by ET-OOFS.


February 2016