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  Report - NP5.02 Data assimilation in the presence of nonlinearities

Report on session NP5.02, Data Assimilation in the presence of nonlinearities, General Assembly of European Geosciences Union, Vienna, Austria, 3-4 April 2006
Convener: G. Khomenko, co-convener:O. Talagrand

The session on Data Assimilation in the presence of nonlinearities, which followed on similar sessions held in the previous years, was attended by a large audience, extending well beyond the specialists of Data Assimilation.

Fourteen papers were presented in the oral part of the session, held on April 3. About half of these dealt with theoretical or methodological aspects of data assimilation, while the other half dealt with specific practical applications. Concerning the theoretical aspects, regular progress continues to be made on the mathematics of assimilation, especially optimization and optimal control. A rather new, but now well-established approach to assimilation is estimation through Maximum Entropy. As for practical applications, the constant development of new instruments permanently raises new problems, some of which have deep theoretical implications. More and more efforts are developed for using cloudy satellite radiances and, more generally, for including in assimilation the determination of the atmospheric cloud structure. Other measurements which are the object of major efforts are GPS refractivity and angular deviation measurements.

Eighteen papers were presented in the poster part of the session, held the following day. The variety of topics was still larger, including assimilation in domains of geoscience other than meteorology and oceanography, such as earthquake prediction, ionospheric and magnetospheric physics, or shock-waves in fluids.

The session has confirmed the regular and continuous progress of assimilation methods, and their extension to more and more diverse applications. It has also confirmed the growing importance of assimilation in all domains of geoscience. It is to be stressed that only a part of the papers devoted to assimilation of observations were presented in session NP5.02 of the EGU General Assembly, since three other sessions explicitly included assimilation in their title: sessions AS1.02 (Numerical Weather Prediction and Data Assimilation), OS4 (Operational Oceanography and Data assimilation) and AS3.13 (Chemical Data assimilation).

For the second year in a row, the session was scheduled at a time of low attendance (this year, at 8:30 a. m. on the first day of the General Assembly). And even so, the room in which it was held (Lecture Room 16) was too small, and many people had to stand. Many sessions, which had many less attendees, were held during the meeting in much larger rooms. It the session is to held again next year, it will be necessary to hold it at a time of full attendance, and in a larger room.

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