Barthélémy, S., Brajard, J., Bertino, L., Counillon, F. 2022: Super-resolution data assimilation. Ocean Dyn. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-022-01523-x
Summary: Increasing model resolution can improve the performance of a data assimilation system because it reduces model error, the system can more optimally use high-resolution observations, and with an ensemble data assimilation method the forecast error covariances are improved. However, increasing the resolution scales with a cubical increase of the computational costs. A method that can more effectively improve performance is introduced here. The novel approach called “Super-resolution data assimilation” (SRDA) is inspired from super-resolution image processing techniques and brought to the data assimilation context. Starting from a low-resolution forecast, a neural network (NN) emulates the fields to high-resolution, assimilates high-resolution observations, and scales it back up to the original resolution for running the next model step. The SRDA is tested with a quasi-geostrophic model in an idealized twin experiment for configurations where the model resolution is twice and four times lower than the reference solution from which pseudo-observations are extracted. The assimilation is performed with an Ensemble Kalman Filter. We show that SRDA outperforms both the low-resolution data assimilation approach and a version of SRDA with cubic spline interpolation instead of NN. The NN’s ability to anticipate the systematic differences between low- and high-resolution model dynamics explains the enhanced performance, in particular by correcting the difference of propagation speed of eddies. With a 25-member ensemble at low resolution, the SRDA computational overhead is 55 percent and the errors reduce by 40 percent, making the performance very close to that of the high-resolution system (52 percent of error reduction) that increases the cost by 800 percent. The reliability of the ensemble system is not degraded by SRDA.
Check out this nice article by Dr. Ellen Viste at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, on the evaluation of sea ice models and how far we are to being able to provide reliable, near-term sea-ice predictions:
In it, we hear from Tarkan Bilge, our BCPU data manager, and his recent paper on sea ice thickness forecasts to support Arctic marine transport, together with other collaborating scientists at our partner, NERSC, among others.
Brajard, J., Carrassi, A., Bocquet, M., Bertino, L. 2020: Combining data assimilation and machine learning to emulate a dynamical model from sparse and noisy observations: A case study with the Lorenz 96 model. Geoscientific Model Development. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocs.2020.101171 .
Summary: A novel method, based on the combination of data assimilation and machine learning is introduced. The new hybrid approach is designed for a two-fold scope: (i) emulating hidden, possibly chaotic, dynamics and (ii) predicting their future states. The method consists in applying iteratively a data assimilation step, here an ensemble Kalman filter, and a neural network. Data assimilation is used to optimally combine a surrogate model with sparse noisy data. The output analysis is spatially complete and is used as a training set by the neural network to update the surrogate model. The two steps are then repeated iteratively. Numerical experiments have been carried out using the chaotic 40-variables Lorenz 96 model, proving both convergence and statistical skill of the proposed hybrid approach. The surrogate model shows short-term forecast skill up to two Lyapunov times, the retrieval of positive Lyapunov exponents as well as the more energetic frequencies of the power density spectrum. The sensitivity of the method to critical setup parameters is also presented: the forecast skill decreases smoothly with increased observational noise but drops abruptly if less than half of the model domain is observed. The successful synergy between data assimilation and machine learning, proven here with a low-dimensional system, encourages further investigation of such hybrids with more sophisticated dynamics.
Shah, A., Bertino, L., Counillon, C., El Gharamti, M., Xie, J. 2019: Assimilation of semi-qualitative sea ice thickness data with the EnKF-SQ: a twin experiment. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography. https://doi.org/10.1080/16000870.2019.1697166
Summary: A newly introduced stochastic data assimilation method, the Ensemble Kalman Filter Semi-Qualitative (EnKF-SQ) is applied to a realistic coupled ice-ocean model of the Arctic, the TOPAZ4 configuration, in a twin experiment framework. The method is shown to add value to range-limited thin ice thickness measurements, as obtained from passive microwave remote sensing, with respect to more trivial solutions like neglecting the out-of-range values or assimilating climatology instead. Some known properties inherent to the EnKF-SQ are evaluated: the tendency to draw the solution closer to the thickness threshold, the skewness of the resulting analysis ensemble and the potential appearance of outliers. The experiments show that none of these properties prove deleterious in light of the other sub-optimal characters of the sea ice data assimilation system used here (non-linearities, non-Gaussian variables, lack of strong coupling). The EnKF-SQ has a single tuning parameter that is adjusted for best performance of the system at hand. The sensitivity tests reveal that the tuning parameter does not critically influence the results. The EnKF-SQ makes overall a valid approach for assimilating semi-qualitative observations into high-dimensional nonlinear systems.