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This project aims at developing, testing and implementing innovative methods able to use space geodetic data from altimetry and gravimetry to generate the regional ocean heat content (OHC) change over the Atlantic Ocean. The ESA MOHeaCAN project strategy has been pursued and refined at regional scales both for the data generation and the uncertainty estimate.

In practice, we propose to develop a purely space-based product paying a careful attention to the error propagation along the processing scheme. This will enable to keep the product independent from in situ data which are the unique source of data for validation. By keeping the space-based product independent from in-situ data we ensure that we can validate properly and precisely both the space product and its uncertainty.  In addition, the product will be only based on observations. With this approach there is no premature mixing with model solutions. The data and their uncertainty are driven by observations only. Thus, the space-based product fits the needs for any model validation. This is absolutely essential to ensure an efficient dissemination of the product among the climate modelling community. 

The official version of the 4DAtlantic-OHC product and its associated documentation is now available on the ODATIS/AVISO portal.

The product has been validated against in-situ data and is now used and analysed  to address the major science questions helping us to better understand the complexity of the climate system. The study is focused on the Meridional Heat Transport (MHT) in the North Atlantic with a regional heat budget. In parallel, our early adopters started to assess the strengths and limitations of the OHC product for potential new solutions for society.

The ESA Regional Initiative 4DATLANTIC OHC Project has been kicked-off on 7 July 2021, for a duration of 2 years. The first phase of the project (development and validation of the product) has come to an end. The second phase relating to the scientific use case and the use of the product by early adopters is on-going.

Scientific Papers (submitted) 

Monitoring the regional Ocean Heat Content change over the Atlantic Ocean with the space geodetic approach
Rousseau, V., Fraudeau, R., Hammond, M., Houndegnonto, O. J., Ablain, M., Blazquez, A., Calafat, F., M., Desbruyères, D., Foti, G., Llovel, W., Marti, F., Meyssignac B., Restano, M., and Benveniste, J. Earth Syst. Sci. Data (submitted)

Scientific Papers


Prime contractor
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) (ES)
  • Mercator Ocean International (FR)
  • MetOffice (GB)
  • National Oceanography Centre (NOC) (GB)