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Hansen J. A. and C. Penland (June 2007): On stochastic parameter estimation using data assimilation. Physica D, 230 (1-2), 88-98. doi:10.1016/j.physd.2006.11.006

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Data assimilation-based parameter estimation can be used to deterministically tune forecast models. This work demonstrates that it can also be used to provide parameter distributions for use by stochastic parameterization schemes. While parameter estimation is (theoretically) straightforward to perform, it is not clear how one should physically interpret the parameter values obtained. Structural model inadequacy implies that one should not search for a deterministic “best” set of parameter values, but rather allow the parameter values to change as a function of state; different parameter values will be needed to compensate for the state-dependent variations of realistic model inadequacy. Over time, a distribution of parameter values will be generated and this distribution can be sampled during forecasts. The current work addresses the ability of ensemble-based parameter estimation techniques utilizing a deterministic model to estimate the moments of stochastic parameters. It is shown that when the system of interest is stochastic the expected variability of a stochastic parameter is biased when a deterministic model is employed for parameter estimation. However, this bias is ameliorated through application of the Central Limit Theorem, and good estimates of both the first and second moments of the stochastic parameter can be obtained. It is also shown that the biased variability information can be utilized to construct a hybrid stochastic/deterministic integration scheme that is able to accurately approximate the evolution of the true stochastic system.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2006.11.006