Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
29 Nov 2016
 | 29 Nov 2016

C-GLORSv5: an improved multipurpose global ocean eddy-permitting physical reanalysis

Andrea Storto and Simona Masina

Abstract. Global ocean reanalyses combine in situ and satellite ocean observations with a general circulation ocean model to estimate the time-evolving state of the ocean, and they represent a valuable tool for a variety of applications, ranging from climate monitoring and process studies to downstream applications, initialization of long-range forecasts and regional studies. The purpose of this paper is to document the recent upgrade of C-GLORS (version 5), the latest ocean reanalysis produced at the Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) that covers the meteorological satellite era (1980–present) and it is being updated in delayed time mode. The reanalysis is run at eddy-permitting resolution (1∕4° horizontal resolution and 50 vertical levels) and consists of a three-dimensional variational data assimilation system, a surface nudging and a bias correction scheme. With respect to the previous version (v4), C-GLORSv5 contains a number of improvements. In particular, background- and observation-error covariances have been retuned, allowing a flow-dependent inflation in the globally averaged background-error variance. An additional constraint on the Arctic sea-ice thickness was introduced, leading to a realistic ice volume evolution. Finally, the bias correction scheme and the initialization strategy were retuned. Results document that the new reanalysis outperforms the previous version in many aspects, especially in representing the variability of global heat content and associated steric sea level in the last decade, the top 80 m ocean temperature biases and root mean square errors, and the Atlantic Ocean meridional overturning circulation; slight worsening in the high-latitude salinity and deep ocean temperature emerge though, providing the motivation for further tuning of the reanalysis system. The dataset is available in NetCDF format at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.857995.

Short summary
A large number of applications related to the study of ocean climate require reliable datasets of the main physical variables of the ocean. Ocean reanalyses are a methodology based on the synthesis of information from ocean observations and models, and near-surface atmospheric observations into a dataset in a way as consistent in time as possible. In this paper, we describe and validate an upgraded version of the CMCC global ocean physical reanalysis (1980–present) at 1 / 4° resolution.