The National Oceanography Centre is a world-leader in numerical modelling of the global oceans, shelf seas and ocean biogeochemistry. The Marine Systems Modelling group aims to both develop innovative, state-of-the-art models and to use these tools to better understand and predict how oceans work, and so address fundamental societal challenges.
Research taking place at NOC is fundamental in developing an integrated understanding of the marine system, and its relation to all components of the wider Earth System and to society.
This integrated approach to marine systems understanding requires working closely with observational oceanographers and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. To achieve this we build strong scientific partnerships across the UK and internationally.
NOC’s scientists investigate the role of oceanic processes in determining Earth’s mean climate, its natural variability – including extreme events and its response to external and anthropogenic forcing. We aim to improve the ability to predict regional climate change on seasonal-centennial timescales by developing and applying methods to quantify and reduce uncertainty in key areas, such as: knowledge of surface fluxes, ocean and climate projections based on numerical models, observing strategies, and how observations are compared to model simulations.
We use leading-edge modelling approaches to understand the present state of global-scale biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Our models are used to predict how future climate change and ocean acidification (among other changes) will impact the role of the ocean biota in ecosystem services and socio-economic aspects of the oceans. This research is organised around three core activities – climate change modelling; high resolution modelling of biophysical interactions; and development of the next generation UK marine biogeochemistry model.
We study the impact of decadal scale change on shelf and coastal seas, working with fine resolution shelf sea and basin-scale regional models. We investigate how climate variability and change, alongside direct human induced drivers, propagate from oceanic, terrestrial and atmospheric source through the marine system to impact on the services provided by the marine environment and the hazards posed. We consider the hydrodynamic environment and its interaction with ecosystems.
World-leading ocean-sea-ice models are developed by researchers at NOC to study ocean dynamics including internal variability and the response to changes at the air-sea interface. The group also undertakes model-observation synthesis studies to gain insights into key processes (e.g. ocean heat uptake, high-latitude North Atlantic temperature variability).
Scientists at the NOC develop tools and studies processes to better understand the dynamic controls for shelf seas and coastal zones. Employing high performance computing, researchers work with a range of regional model configurations (both structured and unstructured) from the global shelf seas, simulating scales from centimetres to thousands of kilometres.