Global simulations of Sea Surface Temperature and Wind Speed

Simulations of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) (left) and the wind speed at 10m height (right) in the global domain, using the ultra-high resolution EC-Earth ( The simulation shows a full year at 6 hourly resolution, with a horizontal resolution of about 16 km for both the ocean and atmosphere.

The video shows small scale structure in the Sea Surface Temperature in the left panel, such as the Gulf Stream hugging the American eastern seaboard (indicated by the yellow-red colours), cold temperatures upwelling along the North Atlantic west coast of Africa (indicated by dark-green colours) and the dynamics of the equatorial currents in the Atlantic and the Pacific. These structures, which are eddies and fronts, demonstrate that the ocean dynamics are slow in comparison to that of the atmosphere. In the right panel, you see the cyclones - the atmospheric equivalent of ocean eddies - moving rapidly over the North and South Atlantic and Pacific. However, the spatial scale of ocean eddies is much smaller than their equivalents in the atmosphere. A realistic simulation of the interaction between atmosphere and ocean needs to take account of these vastly different spatial and temporal scales. The simulation shown here does exactly that.

Simulation with climate model ORCA12-T1279 are carried out on the MareNostrum supercomputer, at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC, in the context of PRIMAVERA work package #6 (