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From weather to ocean predictions: an historical viewpoint

Pinardi, N., L. Cavaleri, P. De Mey, C. Fratianni, I. Huthnance, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A. Navarra, R. Preller, and S. Tibalidi, 2017. From Weather to Ocean Predictions: an Historical Viewpoint. The Sea. Volume 17, The Science of Ocean Prediction, Part 1, Special Issue, J. Marine Res. 75(3). pp. 103-159. https://doi.org/10.1357/002224017821836789

This paper reviews the historical development of concepts and practices in the science of ocean predictions. It begins with meteorology which conducted the first forecasting experiment in 1950, followed by the wind waves and continuing with tidal and storm surge predictions to arrive at the first successful ocean mesoscale forecast in 1983. The work of Professor A.R.Robinson of Harvard University who produced the first mesoscale ocean predictions for the deep ocean regions is documented for the first time. The scientific and technological developments that made accurate ocean predictions possible are connected with the gradual understanding of the importance of the oceanic mesoscales and their inclusion in the numerical models. Ocean forecasting developed first at the regional level, due to the relatively low computational requirements, but by the end of the nineties it was possible to produce global ocean uncoupled forecasts and coupled ocean-atmosphere seasonal forecasts.