EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring marine heatwaves in CMEMS ocean analysis systems

Eric de Boisseson
Eric de Boisseson
  • ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Since 2015, CMEMS has been providing near-real time and multi-year ocean analyses that describe both past and current ocean states. In the recent years, the increased frequency of marine heatwave events has raised the attention of the community. Strong and long-lasting events have been shown to have a significant impact on the marine ecosystems and industries. In the work presented here, recent cases of marine heatwaves have been analysed in the ECMWF ORAS5 reanalysis that is part of the CMEMS catalogue of multi-year products. Marine heatwaves are detected from time series of Sea Surface Temperature using a tool developed at CSIRO. Various aspect of the heatwaves are investigated in ORAS5 fields such as the strength and duration of the events and their propagation into the subsurface. The characteristics of recent heatwave events in the North Pacific and off New Zealand as captured in ORAS5 will also be discussed. Particular attention will be brought onto the Pacific Ocean 'Blob', the longest marine heatwave on record that lasted from 2014 to 2016. ORAS5 captured the ‘Blob’ and its propagation down the vertical column in coastal regions where the fishing industry usually strives. The extent of the ecological and economical impact of such an event is still felt to this day. The evolution of future marine heatwave events will be monitored in ORAS5. The predictability of these heat waves at monthly and seasonal range is under investigation.

How to cite: de Boisseson, E.: Monitoring marine heatwaves in CMEMS ocean analysis systems, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19468,, 2020


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