Models for oceanographic research

Numerical models are our main tools when doing oceanographic research. We develop and use a suite of sophisticated models describing the physical and biogeochemical processes in the sea. In some applications the models might be coupled together in a multi model system.

The different model systems are used to make forecasts and enable us to issue warnings on shorter and longer time scales, study environmental change in the marine ecosystem, and effects of climate change. The main model systems today are EC-Earth, NEMO, PADM, RCO, SCOBI, and SCM.


EC-Earth is a community global earth system model which is used to project future climate change. The oceanographic department helps with the development  of the marine carbon cycle. EC-Earth takes part of the coming Coupled Model Intercomparison project 6 (CMIP6) and will be used to project future climate change and its influence on marine biogeochemistry.


NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) is also an ocean circulation model with high resolution. It is being developed with a large European community, and has recently been set up at SMHI to model the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The intention is that it will be used both for regional forecasting and for regional climate studies in the near future. It is already used for global climate simulations at the Rossby Centre at SMHI.


PADM (PArticle Dispersion Model) is a model to track particles in the ocean.  The particles can be just passive particles, possible with a certain wind drag, representing objects or they can have properties and represent substances such as oil.  PADM is the backbone of the HELCOM oil spill tracking system Seatrack Web, operated by SMHI.  PADM, as well as Seatrack Web, is developed in cooperation between SMHI, FCOO, BSH and FMI.


RCO (Rossby Centre Ocean model) is also an ocean circulation model with high resolution but its intended use is mainly for studying climatic effects. It has been developed in cooperation with the Rossby Centre at SMHI.


SCOBI (Swedish Coastal and Ocean BIogeochemical model) is a biogeochemical model used to study how the marine system is affected by environmental and climate change related problems.


SCM (the Swedish Coastal zone Model) is a coastal multi-basins 1D model based on the PROBE (PROgram for Boundary layers in the Environment) equation solver. It is used by county administrative boards and the public, through the SMHI WaterWeb web site.