Annual Seminar to focus on Earth system data assimilation

25 April 2018

ECMWF’s Annual Seminar 2018, the 44th since 1975, will be devoted to the assimilation of observations to initialise forecasts of the different components of the Earth system. Registration is open until 27 July.

Current developments in numerical weather prediction models are adding more components of the Earth system beyond the traditional atmosphere, land surface and ocean waves to also include the ocean, sea ice and atmospheric composition and their coupling with each other.

Initialising coupled Earth system forecasts is not straightforward, and developments in data assimilation are ongoing in many places to optimally initialise coupled Earth system forecasts, looking at areas such as coupled data assimilation and the use of observations simultaneously sensitive to multiple components of the Earth system.

“Data assimilation is a crucial part of numerical weather prediction,” says Stephen English, the head of Earth system assimilation at ECMWF. “The more we know about the current state of the Earth system, including the degree of confidence we can have in our estimate, the better we can predict how it will evolve.”

A varied programme

The Annual Seminar will present the state of the art in data assimilation methods as applied to different Earth system components, such as the atmosphere, the land surface, the ocean and the cryosphere.

It will review progress and strategies for coupled data assimilation, which aims to ensure consistency between the initial state estimates for different Earth system components, and it will present the status and evolution of the global observing system.

There will be detailed talks on aspects of data assimilation methodology relevant to different Earth system components, such as the handling of non-linearity and non-Gaussianity in variational systems, ensemble and particle filter data assimilation, modelling of background errors, model error and parameter estimation, observation error modelling and issues in data-sparse systems.

Other talks will review coupling strategies, including outer-loop coupling, full covariance coupling and coupling through the observation operator.

“The Seminar is intended for young scientists interested in data assimilation, but also for more established scientists who want to engage more with Earth system assimilation,” Stephen says.

For further details and to register, please visit the Annual Seminar 2018 page.