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February 2014: Announcing a new-generation, global, bi-decadal state estimate: ECCO version 4

Following the ECCO meeting in January at MIT, the JPL/MIT/AER ECCO-Production team is happy to announce the release of a new-generation, global, bi-decadal state estimate (ECCO-Production, release 1). The product covers the period 1992 to 2011.

Several aspects of this new product have been highlighted already during the ECCO meeting. To re-iterate, some of the features include a fully global grid (LLC90) with the inclusion of the Arctic Ocean, telescoping from 1 to 1/3 deg. in the tropics, a doubling in vertical resolution (from 23 to 50 levels), forcing with the ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis, and improved treatment of data sets in terms of resolved vs. unresolved scales. The state estimate is being made available on its native grid on the DODS/OPeNDAP server

The sub-directory ancillary_data/ has some extra information, including our standard analysis (standardAnalysis.pdf) that documents model-data misfits and physical variables of general interest. A copy of the matlab codes used to generate the standard analysis is also provided (gcmfaces_MITprof_r1.tar). As with releases of previous estimates, we think that many aspects of this release are mature (and improvements from previous versions), but with further improvements of some aspects to be expected in subsequent releases.

Gael Forget has played a leading role in developing ECCO v4 and producing the released estimate. [UPDATE 2015:] A more detailed paper describing the design of ECCO v4, and the solution is available at: Forget, G., J.M. Campin, P. Heimbach, C.N. Hill, R.M. Ponte, and C. Wunsch, 2015: ECCO version 4: an integrated framework for non-linear inverse modeling and global ocean state estimation. Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 8, 3653-3743, doi:10.5194/gmdd-8-3653-2015

Please send comments/questions or report issues to

February 2010: ECCO-GODAE to be featured at AGU Ocean Science 2010 Town Hall Meeting

The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) will hold a Town Hall meeting during OS 2010, entitled: Ocean Partnerships: Collaborative Oceanographic Research for the Future. One of the projects featured will be ECCO-GODAE. The meeting takes place on Tuesday, February 23r d, from 11:45 to 12:45 in room D139.


August 2009: Editors' Highlight in GRL

Work by R.M. Ponte and K.J. Quinn on Bottom pressure changes around Antarctica and wind-driven meridional flows was picked as Editors' Highight in the Geophysical Research Letters' recent volume 36..


June 2009: A new ECCO-GODAE solution

The MIT/AER ECCO-GODAE project issued a new solution of its recent version 3 system. The new solution uses atmospheric state fields as control variables in conjunction with an adjoint of the Large and Yeager surface boundary layer scheme, as well as a dynamic/thermodynamical sea-ice model. The solution has been update through the end of 2007 (calculations through end of 2008 are under way). The new solution is available via ECCO's LAS server at MIT.


Dec 2008: ECCO session at AGU Fall Meeting 2008

AGU's Fall Meeting 2008 will feature an ECCO session, identified as OS04: CLIVAR/GODAE: The ECCO State Estimates. This session will provide an opportunity for ECCO product users to (a) describe the scientific implications of their results, (b) enhance the feedback from the broader community to the Consortium, (c) foster the interaction between ECCO members and other scientists who utilize the state estimates. The oral part (OS41F) will take place on Thursday, Dec. 18th, starting 8am in MW Room 2022. It is preceded by a poster session (OS31C) on Wednesday, Dec. 17th, starting 8am, in MC Hall D.


Sep 2008: An eddy-permitting Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE)

As part of his Ph.D. thesis, Matt Mazloff has produced an eddy-permitting state estimate at 1/6 degree horizontal resolution of the Southern Ocean, covering the Argo-rich period 2005/06. The adjoint-based solution is dynamically consistent and enables closed budget calculations of various quantities. Matt's thesis was featured in the SDSC Thread Newsletter, and more recently in WHOI's Oceanus magazine (Corralling the Wild and Wooly Southern Ocean).


21 May 2007: 50 year GECCO solution made available online

A fifty year state estimate covering 1950 to 2000 is now available on the ECCO LAS server at SDSC The estimate was produced by the "German ECCO" (GECCO) group at the University of Hamburg The product is described in Koehl, A., D. Dommenget, K. Ueyoshi, D. Stammer, The Global ECCO 1952 to 2001 Ocean Synthesis Report No.40, March 2006.


18 May 2007: New ECCO web page goes live.

In collaboration with web designer Colleen Boisvert ECCO has launched a new overall project web site. Main purpose of this site is to provide an integrated view of ECCO and it's follow-on projects (ECCO-GODAE, ECCO2, GECCO, ...). It is hoped that readers will get a clear understanding of ECCO's various activities, and will find among ECCO's various ocean state estimation products those which best suit their needs. We welcome any feedback you may wish to provide.


30 March 2007: Ocean model captures diversity of marine microbes

Scientists at MIT have developed a new marine ecosystem model that allows its populations of phytoplankton to realistically evolve, reflecting the diversity in populations in the natural world. This should lead to a better understanding of the coupling between ocean and atmospheric chemistry. The model makes use of ECCO's ocean state estimate to capture the physical environment in which the ecosystem evolves. The study "Emergent Biogeography of Microbial Communities in a Model Ocean"  by Michael J. Follows, Stephanie Dutkiewicz, Scott Grant, and Sallie W. Chisholm was published in today's issue of Science magazine. It is part of the MIT Darwin Project and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
(Click here for a related MIT News Story)


19 March 2007: ECCO products now hosted on SDSC's SRB archive.

In a collaboration between the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC) and ECCO, a large part of the ECCO products have been transfered to SDSC's Datacentral and managed via Storage Resource Broker (SRB). To make these data available to the community via different commonly used servers and software tools, including DODS/OPeNDAP and LAS, SDSC's DataCentral specialist Roman Olschanowsky and MIT's Constantinos Evangelinos successfully implemented DODS/OPeNDAP on top of SRB. The SRB system allows fast and easy data access across various disk and tape resources while ensuring archiving/backup capability. High speed access to the SDSC data using the SRB client tools is also available.


13 December 2006: Carl Wunsch awarded the 2006 William Bowie Medal by the American Geophysical Union

On December, 13, 2006, AGU awarded the Bowie Medal to Carl Wunsch "For his wide-ranging research in the study of the ocean and its roles in shaping Earth's climate and its changes, and for unselfish cooperation in the field of physical oceanography."  Read Citation


13 November 2006: Elephant seals serving ECCO

A unique set of roughly 320,000 individual sub-surface measurements of salinity (conductivity), temperature, and depth (CTD) taken by elephant seals which carried bio-logging and telemetry devices was added to the ECCO state estimation system as new observational constraints. The data were kindly provided by the "Southern Elephant Seals as Oceanographic Samplers" (SEaOS) project involving the University of St. Andrew's NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and the British Antarctic Survey. The uniqueness of the data derives from the ability of seals to go under the sea-ice which covers large parts of the Southern Ocean poleward of 60S during austral winter and where in-situ data are not available otherwise.


30 August 2006: NAS Teamwork Helps Researchers Cruise Through Ocean Data

Working with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), experts at the NAS facility visualized, in real time, a one-year ocean simulation with 330 million grid cells running on 2,048 processors of the Columbia supercomputer. (Click here for more details)


April 2006: ECCO puts focus on Southern Ocean

In a collaboration with the San Diego Computer Center (SDSC) ECCO embarks on producing a Southern Ocean state estimate based on the adjoint method. After successfully tackling technical difficulties in setting up an adjoint model at 1/6 degree horizontal resolution which can run efficiently on 600 pocessors of SDSC's IBM Power-4 "DataStar" production has begun by fitting the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to a variety of observation during the year 2004. The work led by MIT's Matthew Mazloff was featured in the April 2006 issue of the SDSC Nuggets magazine ("Predicting the State of the Ocean") and Issue 4,  Febbruary  2006 of SDSC Thread ("Estimating the State of the Southern Ocean") by Matthew Mazloff.


6 February 2006: IT Struggles with Climate Change

In a news story for the Computerworld magazine talks about current limitations in computing horsepower for climate simulations. (Click here for the full story)