The development of models that describe the ocean general circulation and its variability on decadal time scales is the principal objective of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) within the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). Such models are, in conjunction with atmospheric circulation models, essential for the prediction of climate change. To be a credible tool for this purpose, the models not only must be based on established dynamical principles, but also must be compatible with the observed elements of the global circulation.
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