Observing System Simulation Experiments and Adjoint Sensitivity Analysis: Methods for Observational Programs in the Arctic Ocean

Oceana Francis, Gleb Panteleev, Max Yaremchuk, Vladimir Luchin, Jacob Stroh, Pamela Posey, David Hebert


Over recent decades, the Arctic Ocean (AO) has experienced profound climate changes. To study these climate changes, several regional observational programs have been started. Because of complicated logistics and remoteness, in situ observations in the AO are extremely expensive. Therefore, an efficient ocean observational system in the AO is critical to understand environmental changes in the Arctic. Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) and Adjoint Sensitivity Analysis (ASA) are powerful tools that could be used in the optimization of existing and incoming observational programs in the AO. These optimal planning tools recommended by the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) implementation plan, and widely used in atmospheric research, are still rarely implemented in physical and biological oceanography. We provide several examples of how the OSSE and ASA can be used to optimize the locations of high frequency radars and biological tracer surveys and leveraged toward creating an inexpensive drifter observational program capable of providing sufficient information to reconstruct the circulation in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and southern Beaufort Seas.


Arctic Ocean; optimization observational programs; adjoint sensitivity analysis; observing system simulation experiments

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic4603

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License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/