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Support for the NEMO Model

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    Youyu Lu Dalhousie University

Making NEMO more accurate and applicable for Canada by using regional data, incorporating sea-ice variability, coupling it to our regional climate, etc.

When trying to predict the dynamic condition of the ocean, MEOPAR’s projects rely heavily on a forecast system/model called Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO).

Dr. Lu is working with NEMO to make it more accurate and applicable for MEOPAR and Canada (e.g. using regional data, incorporating sea-ice variability, coupling it to our regional climate, etc.). His expertise provides technical support to adjust the model and then test it to assess its performance and accuracy.

This project has made substantial contributions to the creation and enhancement of Canada’s capacity in ocean modelling and forecasting, as evidenced by the growing number of users, configurations and applications of the NEMO model in Canadian universities and government departments. It has:

  • Supported various components of MEOPAR through providing the model code, software for model preparation and analysis, and training of new model users.
  • Created an ocean and sea-ice model covering the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans and provided it to the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) for development of coupled regional climate model, and to the University of Manitoba (external to MEOPAR) for down-scale ocean climate projection.
  • Helped the initial setup of high-resolution models for the Strait of Georgia, Scotian Shelf, Cape Sable region off southwest Nova Scotia, and the East Canadian shelf seas by groups at Dalhousie University and University of British Columbia (IP1.1, IP1.2 of MEOPAR), and for the Northeast Pacific Ocean being applied for the World Class Tanker Safety Systems program of the federal government.
  • Maintained strong link and collaboration with the federal government inter-departmental CONCEPTS (Canadian Operational Network for Coupled Environmental PredicTion Systems) program, and its international partner Mercator-Ocean (France), through organizing and participating in coordination meetings and exchange of HQP.
  • Generated Knowledge Transfer Exchange and Exploitation (KTEE), in terms of model improvement, validation dataset and methods, etc., between MEOPAR and CONCEPTS. 
  • Contributed to the successful organization of a session on “Collaboration in development, application and analysis of ocean forecasting models” in the 2014 and 2015 annual congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.
  • Trained 6 HQPs, two were hired by Fisheries and Ocean Canada and two returned for their academic positions in China.
  • Contributed to 12 papers published in peer review journals.


  • Environment Canada - NLMCM
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada - BIO - Maritimes
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada - CONCEPTS
  • Mercator Ocean


  • David Barber University of Manitoba
  • Mike Casey Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Jiaxing Li Dalhousie University
  • Paul Myers University of Alberta


  • Jean-Phillipe Paquin Dalhousie University


  • Christian,Jim,Monahan,Adam,vonSalzen,Knut,Tesdal, J.-E.. 2015, Evaluation of diverse approaches for estimating DMS concentration and air-sea flux at global scale. , Environmental Chemistry, 10.1071/EN14255,
  • Lu,Youyu,Wei, H, C Yaun, Z Zhang, X Luo . 2013, Forcing Mechanisms of Water Temperature Variations in the Yellow Sea., Journal of Geophysical Research,
  • Lu,Youyu,Dupont, F., Higginson, S., Bourdalle-Badie, R.. 2015, A High-resolution Ocean and Sea-ice Modeling System for the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, Geosci. Model Dev., Discuss, 8, 1-52,
  • Lu,Youyu,Smith,Greg,Zhai, L., S. Higginson, F. Davidson, F. Dupont, F. Roy, J. Chanut. 2015, High-resolution modelling of mean flow and meso-scale eddy variability around the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Ocean Dynamics, 65(6), 877-887,10.1007/s10236-015-0839-5. .
  • Lu,Youyu,Paquin,Jean-Phillipe ,S. Higginson, F. Dupont, G. Garric. 2016, Modeled variations of deep convection in the Irminger Sea during 2003-2010, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46(1), 179-196,10.1175/JPO-D-15-0078.1.
  • Lu,Youyu,Zhou, Y., B. Yang, J. Jiang, A. Huang, Y. Zhao, M. La, and Q. Yang,. 2016, On the relationship between the Madden-Julian Oscillation and 2 m air temperature over central Asia in boreal winter, Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmosphere, 121,13,250–13,272,10.1002/2016JD025651..
  • Lu,Youyu,S Davidson, S Smith, S Woodbury. 2013, Operational Atmosphere-ocean-ice Prediction Systems in Canada: Providing Decision-enabling Marine Environmental Information to End Users, Canadian Ocean Science Newsletter, Issue no. 70,
  • Lu,Youyu,Ritchie,Harold (Hal),Thompson,Keith,He, Z., Dupont, F.. 2014, Reducing Drift and Bias of a Global Ocean Model by Frequency Dependent Nudging, Atmosphere-Ocean, 52(3), 242-25,
  • Allen,Susan,LeSouef,Kate,Lu,Youyu,Paquin,Jean-Phillipe ,Soontiens,Nancy ,Thompson,Keith,V. Korabel, D. Latornell. 2016, Storm surges in the Strait of Georgia simulated with a regional model, Atmosphere-Ocean, 54(1), 1-21,10.1080/07055900.2015.1108899.
  • Lu,Youyu,Ritchie,Harold (Hal),Thompson,Keith,Z He, F Dupont. 2014, Suppressing drift and bias of a global ocean model by frequency dependent nudging to observed seasonal climatology, Atmosphere-Ocean,
  • Loder,John,Lu,Youyu,. 2013, Variations of Sea Surface Height and Circulation in the North Atlantic: Forcing Mechanisms and Linkages, Progress in Oceanography,

Dr. Lu is working with NEMO to make it more accurate and applicable for MEOPAR and Canada (e.g. using regional data, incorporating sea-ice variability, coupling it to our regional climate, etc.).