This three-year programme aims to develop an Aotearoa New Zealand-specific ocean forecast tool to provide better disaster preparedness. Data from below the ocean’s surface is being incorporated into existing ocean modelling capabilities to develop and provide real-time ocean forecasts.
New Zealand is a nation familiar with natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and being prepared is the best way to minimise the scale and costs of a disaster. Ocean models inform us about how the ocean behaves.
The project will extend existing capabilities in ocean modelling into a real-time ocean forecast. Providing accurate ocean forecasts that reflect reality requires surface and subsurface data to be generated and incorporated into the models in near-real-time.
Ocean weather is one of the big unknowns in understanding how the ocean transports and disperses materials such as pollutants or sediments. To overcome this unknown, the team will:
Having a more accurate ocean forecast tool will help ensure that New Zealand has the capability to respond quickly to any future marine disaster. The benefits of a data-assimilating ocean forecast extend well beyond marine disaster scenarios.