COAPEC (http://coapec.nerc.ac.uk/) is a five-year Directed Science Programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). COAPEC is providing advances in understanding the mechanisms by which the ocean and atmosphere interact, how these processes are represented in state-of-the-art numerical climate models and how they determine the predictability of the climate system over seasonal-decadal timescales. Processes studied include the generation and propagation of salinity and heat anomalies in the North Atlantic, the influence of the thermohaline circulation and the role of storm tracks on European Climate. The influence of remote processes, including ocean-atmosphere coupling in tropical Atlantic warm events and Southern Ocean circulation are also being investigated. As part of the programme, new coupled models are being developed, including: a coupled hybrid isopycnic coordinate model; fast models for multi-ensemble runs to investigate model parameters space, using both high performance machines and spare home PC resources; a QG model to investigate high resolution ocean processes in coupled systems and validated ice models for coupled modelling. Underpinning research into improving the observational datasets, such as the SOC flux climatology, and into the influence of sea-ice observations in General Circulation Models is also being carried out as part of the programme. To place these advances into a socially relevant context, COAPEC is also investigating the methods for using, and economic benefits of, climate forecasts at seasonal timescales for the UK health sector and the UK energy industry
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