NEMO Waves Working Group discusses how to model the interaction between waves and ocean

21 May 2014


A meeting of the NEMO Waves Working Group, hosted by ECMWF on 13 and 14 May, brought together the majority of the scientific groups currently active in Europe on wave-ocean modelling. The meeting presented advances in modelling wave-ocean interaction as well as the challenges to introducing wave effects in ocean circulation models on various temporal and spatial scales. ECMWF has recently made available a version of NEMO with wave physics developed by ECMWF to the NEMO consortium. This contribution, as well as work completed by INGV, formed the basis for the discussion of how to incorporate wave physics in a future official release of NEMO. It is promising to see that there is much interest in the topic, and it is clear that the time is right to move ahead with the coupling of wave models and ocean models as we now have the tools, the knowledge and the computational power to do so.NEMO-Wave_Graph

Co-ordinating European initiatives

It is well known that wind waves affect the upper ocean and that waves are affected by ocean currents, but wave modelling and ocean modelling have traditionally been treated separately by the operational and scientific communities. Although wave forecasting has been an integrated part of the ECMWF forecasts since 1998, operational ocean modelling did not join until later. With the current operational cycle (Cy40r1), ECMWF has for the first time a forecasting system where the wave field is coupled to the ocean model. The introduction of wave processes in ocean models is a topic of considerable interest in Europe and there are currently a number of initiatives around Europe to incorporate wave processes in ocean models. These involve the MyOcean2 and MyWave projects, in which ECMWF participates, as well as the Wave Working Group of the NEMO consortium. Following the drafting of a joint MyWave-MyOcean2 road map in January 2014, outlining how to incorporate wave forecast products in the Copernicus Marine Services, it became clear that the various initiatives should be co-ordinated.


NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) is a state-of-the-art modelling framework for oceanographic research, operational oceanography seasonal forecasting and climate studies. The NEMO Waves Working Group is headed by Paolo Oddo (INGV, Italy) and consists of developers in the NEMO consortium as well as external experts from ECMWF, IFREMER (France), HCMR (Greece) and the University of Reading (UK).

NEMO website

My Ocean2