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      The pre-Argo ocean reanalyses may be seriously affected by the spatial coverage of moored buoys

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          Abstract

          Assimilation methods, meant to constrain divergence of model trajectory from reality using observations, do not exactly satisfy the physical laws governing the model state variables. This allows mismatches in the analysis in the vicinity of observation locations where the effect of assimilation is most prominent. These mismatches are usually mitigated either by the model dynamics in between the analysis cycles and/or by assimilation at the next analysis cycle. However, if the observations coverage is limited in space, as it was in the ocean before the Argo era, these mechanisms may be insufficient to dampen the mismatches, which we call shocks, and they may remain and grow. Here we show through controlled experiments, using real and simulated observations in two different ocean models and assimilation systems, that such shocks are generated in the ocean at the lateral boundaries of the moored buoy network. They thrive and propagate westward as Rossby waves along these boundaries. However, these shocks are essentially eliminated by the assimilation of near-homogenous global Argo distribution. These findings question the fidelity of ocean reanalysis products in the pre-Argo era. For example, a reanalysis that ignores Argo floats and assimilates only moored buoys, wrongly represents 2008 as a negative Indian Ocean Dipole year.

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          Most cited references 37

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          The Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere observing system: A decade of progress

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            A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change

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              Data assimilation in the FOAM operational short-range ocean forecasting system: a description of the scheme and its impact

               M. Martin,  M. Bell,  A. Hines (2007)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                21 April 2017
                2017
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Ministry of Earth Sciences , Pragathi Nagar, Hyderabad, 500090, India
                [2 ]Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park , Maryland, USA
                [3 ]ESSO-National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Headland Sada , Vasco-da-Gama, Goa 403804, India
                Author notes
                Article
                srep46685
                10.1038/srep46685
                5399374
                28429748
                Copyright © 2017, The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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