Heat and Freshwater Storage and Transports in Observations and Climate Models

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 to Friday, May 1, 2020
Event City: 
Exeter
UK
Event Description: 

Heat and Freshwater Storage and Transports in Observations and Climate Models

Workshop Venue: Met Office, Exeter, UK

Proposed Workshop Dates:  28th April to 1st May 2020
(Note that EGU will take place in Vienna during 3-8th May)

Coordinated by GCOS-GOOS-WCRP Ocean Observations Physics and Climate Panel, 
as part of the Global Climate Observing System, Global Ocean Observing System, and the World Climate Research Programme. 

Supporting agencies: Met Office, others TBD ... 

Organising Committee: Matt Palmer (OOPC/Met Office), Paul Durack (PCMDI), Katy Hill (OOPC/WMO), Till Kuhlbrodt (NCAS, University of Reading), Karina von Schuckmann (Mercator Ocean International), others TBD ...  

Workshop Aims: 

  • Explore the use of emerging observation-based estimates of large-scale energy and water transports in model evaluation, assessment and development
  • Assess the current capability of the ocean observing system to constrain changes in heat and freshwater storage and identify priority areas for new observations
  • Assess the current state of heat and freshwater conservation in Earth system and climate models

The workshop will explore the utility of emerging observation-based estimates of Earth’s large-scale heat and freshwater transports to aid understanding climate model simulations by bringing together expertise from both the observational and modelling communities. A central aim is to develop a suite of metrics for routine use in climate model assessment and development to promote increased fidelity in simulations of the energy and water cycles and to help address long-standing climate model biases. 

A second element of the workshop will explore the utility of model simulations as a test-bed for the current and future observing system through “synthetic observation” approaches, focussing on our ability to monitor storage changes and close regional heat and freshwater budgets. These approaches will be used to assess the capability of the current observing system to constrain climate variability and change and develop recommendations for future evolution of the ocean observing system. 

The final part of the workshop will bring together scientists across modelling centres to assess the current state and challenges associated with heat and freshwater conservation in model systems. The aim is to use the workshop as a jumping off point for a review paper on the current status  of heat and freshwater conservation in state-of-the-art climate and Earth system models and to discuss the implications for downstream climate applications. 

Anticipated Outcomes: 

  • A community-led set of priority metrics for large-scale heat and freshwater transports and observational targets based on the current observing system
  • A community view on priorities for future ocean observations that would accelerate key process understanding and model development 
  • Develop a series of “case study” papers on use of synthetic observations for observing system assessment and estimating uncertainties in global indicators of climate change  
  • Review paper on the status, challenges and opportunities for heat and freshwater conservation in coupled climate models