Data from climatology (World Ocean Atlas) and two large scale operational ocean models (Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model – FOAM, UK Met. Office) and the Navy Coastal Ocean Model – NCOM, US Naval Research Laboratory) are used to give initial and open boundary conditions for a northeast Atlantic implementation of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Model System (POLCOMS). We study the effects of using the different datasets on the temperature fields and the circulation. \ud \ud On the continental shelf, comparisons of POLCOMS output with AVHRR sea surface temperature data suggest that the effect of using different ocean model initial and boundary conditions is small and that, after 15 months of model time, the impact of the different initial conditions is negligible. Stronger evidence of influence is seen in the deeper oceanic regions of the domain. Volume fluxes through sections governing flow into and out of the North Sea, through the Irish Sea and along the shelf edge show that the impact of the different boundary conditions is small on the shelf but significant elsewhere. These results are contrasted with the use of climatology to assess the value of these Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) ocean model products.\u
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