Climate and Seasonal Forecast

Currently the focus of scientific and political attention, the climate is determined by interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean: the atmosphere triggers phenomena in the ocean through the actions of wind, precipitation and solar radiation. The ocean responds by warming or cooling the atmosphere through the combined effects of temperatures and ocean currents.

Climate research advances through the study of past climate indicators (polar caps, marine sediment, etc) as well as through developments in climate modelling. However, climate models are based on coupled atmospheric and ocean modelling, thus making ocean models essential for climate modelling. The prototype version of Mercator's global low-resolution model (PSY2G) is currently being used on a routine basis for Météo-France's seasonal forecast model. There is no doubt that the forthcoming high-resolution global system will attract other users.

Seasonal forecasting

Seasonal forecasting and classical forecasting are different. It's impossible to forecast meteorologic details for more than 10 days. Seasonal forecasting determines mean conditions (temperature and precipitations) for the next 3 months on a regional area like West Europe. For example, question could be: Will the next winter be hotter or colder than the seasonal normals. (Source:

Mercator Ocean provides to MétéoFrance global data of temperature and heat content to force atmospheric models.

(Photo licence : Mercator Océan)