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In Situ–Based Reanalysis of the Global Ocean Temperature and Salinity with ISAS: Variability of the Heat Content and Steric Height

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  • 1 Ifremer, UMR-6523 LPO, CNRS/Ifremer/IRD/UBO, Plouzané, France
  • 2 UBO, UMR-6523 LPO, CNRS/Ifremer/IRD/UBO, Plouzané, France
  • 3 Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Marseille, France
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Abstract

The In Situ Analysis System (ISAS) was developed to produce gridded fields of temperature and salinity that preserve as much as possible the time and space sampling capabilities of the Argo network of profiling floats. Since the first global reanalysis performed in 2009, the system has evolved, and a careful delayed-mode processing of the 2002–12 dataset has been carried out using version 6 of ISAS and updating the statistics to produce the ISAS13 analysis. This last version is now implemented as the operational analysis tool at the Coriolis data center. The robustness of the results with respect to the system evolution is explored through global quantities of climatological interest: the ocean heat content and the steric height. Estimates of errors consistent with the methodology are computed. This study shows that building reliable statistics on the fields is fundamental to improve the monthly estimates and to determine the absolute error bars. The new mean fields and variances deduced from the ISAS13 reanalysis and dataset show significant changes relative to the previous ISAS estimates, in particular in the Southern Ocean, justifying the iterative procedure. During the decade covered by Argo, the intermediate waters appear warmer and saltier in the North Atlantic and fresher in the Southern Ocean than in World Ocean Atlas 2005 long-term mean. At interannual scale, the impact of ENSO on the ocean heat content and steric height is observed during the 2006/07 and 2009/10 events captured by the network.

Corresponding author address: Fabienne Gaillard, Ifremer, UMR-6523 LPO, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzané, France. E-mail: fabienne.gaillard@ifremer.fr

Abstract

The In Situ Analysis System (ISAS) was developed to produce gridded fields of temperature and salinity that preserve as much as possible the time and space sampling capabilities of the Argo network of profiling floats. Since the first global reanalysis performed in 2009, the system has evolved, and a careful delayed-mode processing of the 2002–12 dataset has been carried out using version 6 of ISAS and updating the statistics to produce the ISAS13 analysis. This last version is now implemented as the operational analysis tool at the Coriolis data center. The robustness of the results with respect to the system evolution is explored through global quantities of climatological interest: the ocean heat content and the steric height. Estimates of errors consistent with the methodology are computed. This study shows that building reliable statistics on the fields is fundamental to improve the monthly estimates and to determine the absolute error bars. The new mean fields and variances deduced from the ISAS13 reanalysis and dataset show significant changes relative to the previous ISAS estimates, in particular in the Southern Ocean, justifying the iterative procedure. During the decade covered by Argo, the intermediate waters appear warmer and saltier in the North Atlantic and fresher in the Southern Ocean than in World Ocean Atlas 2005 long-term mean. At interannual scale, the impact of ENSO on the ocean heat content and steric height is observed during the 2006/07 and 2009/10 events captured by the network.

Corresponding author address: Fabienne Gaillard, Ifremer, UMR-6523 LPO, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzané, France. E-mail: fabienne.gaillard@ifremer.fr
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