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Kerr Y.H.,CNRS Center for the Study of the Biosphere from Space | Waldteufel P.,IPSL LATMOS | Wigneron J.-P.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Delwart S.,European Space Agency | And 11 more authors.
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2010

It is now well understood that data on soil moisture and sea surface salinity (SSS) are required to improve meteorological and climate predictions. These two quantities are not yet available globally or with adequate temporal or spatial sampling. It is recognized that a spaceborne L-band radiometer with a suitable antenna is the most promising way of fulfilling this gap. With these scientific objectives and technical solution at the heart of a proposed mission concept the European Space Agency (ESA) selected the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission as its second Earth Explorer Opportunity Mission. The development of the SMOS mission was led by ESA in collaboration with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France and the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnologico Industrial (CDTI) in Spain. SMOS carries a single payload, an L-Band 2-D interferometric radiometer operating in the 14001427-MHz protected band. The instrument receives the radiation emitted from Earth's surface, which can then be related to the moisture content in the first few centimeters of soil over land, and to salinity in the surface waters of the oceans. SMOS will achieve an unprecedented maximum spatial resolution of 50 km at L-band over land (43 km on average over the field of view), providing multiangular dual polarized (or fully polarized) brightness temperatures over the globe. SMOS has a revisit time of less than 3 days so as to retrieve soil moisture and ocean salinity data, meeting the mission's science objectives. The caveat in relation to its sampling requirements is that SMOS will have a somewhat reduced sensitivity when compared to conventional radiometers. The SMOS satellite was launched successfully on November 2, 2009. © 2006 IEEE.

Collins M.,University of Exeter | Collins M.,UK Met Office | An S.-I.,Yonsei University | Cai W.,CSIRO | And 12 more authors.
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2010

The El Nĩo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring fluctuation that originates in the tropical Pacific region and affects ecosystems, agriculture, freshwater supplies, hurricanes and other severe weather events worldwide. Under the influence of global warming, the mean climate of the Pacific region will probably undergo significant changes. The tropical easterly trade winds are expected to weaken; surface ocean temperatures are expected to warm fastest near the equator and more slowly farther away; the equatorial thermocline that marks the transition between the wind-mixed upper ocean and deeper layers is expected to shoal; and the temperature gradients across the thermocline are expected to become steeper. Year-to-year ENSO variability is controlled by a delicate balance of amplifying and damping feedbacks, and one or more of the physical processes that are responsible for determining the characteristics of ENSO will probably be modified by climate change. Therefore, despite considerable progress in our understanding of the impact of climate change on many of the processes that contribute to El Nĩo variability, it is not yet possible to say whether ENSO activity will be enhanced or damped, or if the frequency of events will change. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Seferian R.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Seferian R.,Meteo - France | Bopp L.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Gehlen M.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | And 7 more authors.
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2013

We have assessed the ability of a common ocean biogeochemical model, PISCES, to match relevant modern data fields across a range of ocean circulation fields from three distinct Earth system models: IPSL-CM4-LOOP, IPSL-CM5A-LR and CNRM-CM5. 1. The first of these Earth system models has contributed to the IPCC 4th assessment report, while the latter two are contributing to the ongoing IPCC 5th assessment report. These models differ with respect to their atmospheric component, ocean subgrid-scale physics and resolution. The simulated vertical distribution of biogeochemical tracers suffer from biases in ocean circulation and a poor representation of the sinking fluxes of matter. Nevertheless, differences between upper and deep ocean model skills significantly point to changes in the underlying model representations of ocean circulation. IPSL-CM5A-LR and CNRM-CM5. 1 poorly represent deep-ocean circulation compared to IPSL-CM4-LOOP degrading the vertical distribution of biogeochemical tracers. However, their representations of surface wind, wind stress, mixed-layer depth and geostrophic circulations (e. g., Antarctic Circumpolar Current) have been improved compared to IPSL-CM4-LOOP. These improvements result in a better representation of large-scale structure of biogeochemical fields in the upper ocean. In particular, a deepening of 20-40 m of the summer mixed-layer depth allows to capture the 0-0. 5 μgChl L-1 concentrations class of surface chlorophyll in the Southern Ocean. Further improvements in the representation of the ocean mixed-layer and deep-ocean ventilation are needed for the next generations of models development to better simulate marine biogeochemistry. In order to better constrain ocean dynamics, we suggest that biogeochemical or passive tracer modules should be used routinely for both model development and model intercomparisons. © 2012 The Author(s).

Dutay J.-C.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Emile-Geay J.,University of Southern California | Iudicone D.,IPSL LOCEAN | Iudicone D.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

There is ongoing controversy as to the dynamical significance of geothermal heat flow in shaping the abyssal circulation. In this paper, we gauge the impact of geothermal heating and vertical mixing parameterizations in the general circulation model OPA. The experiments are evaluated by comparing simulated mantle 3He with observations collected during the GEOSECS and WOCE programs. This tracer is particularly adapted to the validation of our numerical simulations because its injection into the ocean interior is tightly linked to geothermal processes. In agreement with previous studies, the model circulation is found very sensitive to the parameterization of the vertical mixing. The meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is globally intensified when moving from a constant mixing to a version with enhanced mixing near the ocean bottom, with the most drastic variation observed for AABW (+ 50%). Adding the geothermal heat flux mainly affects AABW circulation in the model, enhancing it all the more as the meridional circulation is slow (low vertical mixing), but proportionally less so when it is more vigorous (enhanced vertical mixing). This can be understood from the requirement of the abyssal ocean to maintain heat balance. The evaluation with mantle 3He simulations reveals that the version with low vertical mixing, with its sluggish circulation, produces unrealistically high a 3He isotopic composition. However, with a vertical mixing that is enhanced at depth, the 3He distribution falls within an acceptable range of values in the deep ocean. Finally, adding the geothermal heating to this enhanced mixing case provides a substantial improvement of the simulation of AABW in all basins but the Indian Ocean. 3He isotopic composition is then in good agreement with the observations. Taken jointly with observational estimates of the MOC intensity, these independent isotopic constraints suggest that both geothermal heating and enhanced diapycnal mixing at depth are key ingredients in the realistic simulation of abyssal circulation. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Oettli P.,IPSL LOCEAN | Oettli P.,University of Tokyo | Sultan B.,IPSL LOCEAN | Baron C.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Vrac M.,IPSL LSCE
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2011

This study assesses the accuracy of state-of-the-art regional climate models for agriculture applications in West Africa. A set of nine regional configurations with eight regional models from the ENSEMBLES project is evaluated. Although they are all based on similar large-scale conditions, the performances of regional models in reproducing the most crucial variables for crop production are extremely variable. This therefore leads to a large dispersion in crop yield prediction when using regional models in a climate/crop modelling system. This dispersion comes from the different physics in each regional model and also the choice of parametrizations for a single regional model. Indeed, two configurations of the same regional model are sometimes more distinct than two different regional models. Promising results are obtained when applying a bias correction technique to climate model outputs. Simulated yields with bias corrected climate variables show much more realistic means and standard deviations. However, such a bias correction technique is not able to improve the reproduction of the year-to-year variations of simulated yields. This study confirms the importance of the multi-model approach for quantifying uncertainties for impact studies and also stresses the benefits of combining both regional and statistical downscaling techniques. Finally, it indicates the urgent need to address the main uncertainties in atmospheric processes controlling the monsoon system and to contribute to the evaluation and improvement of climate and weather forecasting models in that respect. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Seferian R.,LSCE IPSL | Seferian R.,Meteo - France | Iudicone D.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Bopp L.,LSCE IPSL | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Climate | Year: 2012

Impacts of climate change on air-sea CO 2 exchange are strongly region dependent, particularly in the Southern Ocean. Yet, in the Southern Ocean the role of water masses in the uptake of anthropogenic carbon is still debated. Here, a methodology is applied that tracks the carbon flux of each Southern Ocean water mass in response to climate change. A global marine biogeochemical model was coupled to a climate model, making 140-yr Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5)-type simulations, where atmospheric CO 2 increased by 1% yr -1 to 4 times the preindustrial concentration (4 × CO 2). Impacts of atmospheric CO 2 (carbon-induced sensitivity) and climate change (climate-induced sensitivity) on the water mass carbon fluxes have been isolated performing two sensitivity simulations. In the first simulation, the atmospheric CO 2 influences solely the marine carbon cycle, while in the second simulation, it influences both the marine carbon cycle and earth's climate. At 4 × CO 2, the cumulative carbon uptake by the Southern Ocean reaches 278 PgC, 53% of which is taken up by modal and intermediate water masses. The carbon-induced and climate-induced sensitivities vary significantly between the water masses. The carbon-induced sensitivities enhance the carbon uptake of the water masses, particularly for the denser classes. But, enhancement strongly depends on the water mass structure. The climate-induced sensitivities either strengthen or weaken the carbon uptake and are influenced by local processes through changes in CO 2 solubility and stratification, and by large-scale changes in outcrop surface (OS) areas. Changes in OS areas account for 45% of the climateinduced reduction in the Southern Ocean carbon uptake and are a key factor in understanding the future carbon uptake of the Southern Ocean. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.

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