A polar bear with a cub stand on an ice floe. Photo.

High latitude coastal circulation modelling

Knowledge of coastal ocean transport processes is vital for predicting human impact on the coastal marine environment. Coastal industry discharges pollutants and nutrients into the ocean, and this has an impact on the coastal marine ecosystem. To understand and predict such impacts require a high level of understanding of near-shore transport processes and we need coastal ocean circulation models to calculate concentrations and pathways of spreading of discharges.

The researchers in Akvaplan-niva collect and analyse data from the coastal environment and we develop and use high-resolution coastal circulation models as a tool to understand the human impact. Our main area of interest is the Norwegian coast, but we also use our ocean models to study the coastal ocean in the Arctic and Antarctic.

High-resolution atmospheric data is added to force the ocean circulations models. Using MPI parallel applications, it is safe to say that the models require lots of calculating resources and the project used 9 million CPU hours in 2020 alone. The large amounts of model data and simulations also need to be safely stored. During a typical run, they produce 100 files of 100 GB each.

We need to store data that we use for forcing ocean circulation models. This data is continuously updated by development of large-scale circulation models. The amount of data storage will increase because models develop towards higher resolution and datasets generally becomes larger.
Ole Anders Nøst, Akvaplan-niva AS