Articles | Volume 16, issue 8
Review article
09 Aug 2016
Review article |  | 09 Aug 2016

Development of super-ensemble techniques for ocean analyses: the Mediterranean Sea case

Jenny Pistoia, Nadia Pinardi, Paolo Oddo, Matthew Collins, Gerasimos Korres, and Yann Drillet

Abstract. A super-ensemble methodology is proposed to improve the quality of short-term ocean analyses for sea surface temperature (SST) in the Mediterranean Sea. The methodology consists of a multiple linear regression technique applied to a multi-physics multi-model super-ensemble (MMSE) data set. This is a collection of different operational forecasting analyses together with ad hoc simulations, created by modifying selected numerical model parameterizations. A new linear regression algorithm based on empirical orthogonal function filtering techniques is shown to be efficient in preventing overfitting problems, although the best performance is achieved when a simple spatial filter is applied after the linear regression. Our results show that the MMSE methodology improves the ocean analysis SST estimates with respect to the best ensemble member (BEM) and that the performance is dependent on the selection of an unbiased operator and the length of training. The quality of the MMSE data set has the largest impact on the MMSE analysis root mean square error (RMSE) evaluated with respect to observed satellite SST. The MMSE analysis estimates are also affected by training period length, with the longest period leading to the smoothest estimates. Finally, lower RMSE analysis estimates result from the following: a 15-day training period, an overconfident MMSE data set (a subset with the higher-quality ensemble members) and the least-squares algorithm being filtered a posteriori.

Short summary
In this work we developed a new multi-model super-ensemble method to estimate sea surface temperature, an important product of ocean analysis systems. We find that ensemble size, quality, type of members and the training period length are all important elements of the MMSE methodology and require careful calibration. We show that with a rather limited but overconfident data set (with a low bias of the starting ensemble members) the RMSE analysis can be improved.
Final-revised paper