News archive


Technical report on THOR ADCP Deployments in Faroese Waters 2010 - 2011

The HAVSTOVAN technical report is now available for download here.

Authors: Ebba Mortensen, Karin Margretha H. Larsen, Bogi Hansen, Regin Kristiansen, and Svein Østerhus

HAVSTOVAN NR.: 12-01 TECHNICAL REPORT Tórshavn · Published in January 2012

This report documents nine ADCP deployments in Faroese waters in 2010 – 2011. Aanderaa Current Meters are included in two, and Microcats in two of the deployments. The deployments are listed in Table 1. Each deployment is identified by an 8-character label where the first four characters indicate the site (Fig. 1) while the last characters show year and month of deployment. Most of the moorings were located at standard (Nordic WOCE) sites.


Tests of the subsurface telemetry systems

In WP5.1 we design and test technology that enable us to retrieve data from moored instrumentation, but without the need to recover the moorings. Such system will enable and prolong mooring deployments, will still allow for scientific data analysis, and a enable a "data backup".

  • One system uses underwater acoustic to read out data from instrumentation. This is the Bergen System, developed through collaboration between University of Bergen and Aanderaa Data Instruments. The system has been tested in the Faroe Bank Channel - also in collaboration with Faroe Marine Research Institute. 
  • The other system, the Kiel System, developed through collaboration between IFM-GEOMAR and OPTIMARE, uses expendable messenger buoys (PopUp buoys) to download and communicate the data to shore. 

Here you find movies from a test deployment of the PopUp system in the western Baltic at a place known as "Boknis Eck"

The test deployment mooring consisted of a concrete anchor that was lowered to the seafloor at about 20m water depth. The anchor connected to the PopUp central unit and with 4 expendable PopUp buoys (Movie 1) with a steel chain. Further up six glass spheres provided an ascending force to the construction, to hold it upright in the water and towards the surface (Movie 2).  We tested how to handle the system on board a ship and how the system behaved as being part of a mooring.  The release of the PopUp buoys was also tested later (Movie 3).

(J. Karstensen, IFM-GEOMAR)


Publications: mentioning the funding by the European Commission

In the Guidelines of the European Commission (version June 2010), it is stated that all publications shall include the following statement to indicate that said foreground was generated with the assistance of financial support from the European Union.

The mandatory sentence is the following one:

"The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°212643"

Remember to quote this sentence in your publications


3rd THOR Annual Meeting Bergen Nov. 2011


THOR 3rd Annual Meeting successfully held in Bergen, 9-11 November 2011

The third Annual Meeting of the THOR project was held back to back with the ASOF meeting. The first two days of the meeting concentrated on science talks on the topic “Observed North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean climate variability and its predictability”.

The last day concentrated on the work in progress, the scientific achievements within the project and the upcoming tasks for the last year of the project for the different core themes and workpackages.

The meeting was hosted by the University of Bergen and with the active participation of the ASOF members and the support of the Center of Climate Dynamics at the Bjerknes Centre.

On Wednesday, Tore Furevik of Center of Climate Dynamics at the Bjerknes Centre  opened the session welcoming the 80 participants of 10 countries, followed by Tom Haine and Detlef Quadfasel. The rest of the first day was filled with science talks lead by keynote presentations on “decadal predictions of the subpolar North Atlantic”, ton the observed North Atlantic /Arctic Ocean climate variability of predictive potential”, on the “involvement/responsibility of the ocean in the recently observerd climate shift in the Atlantic”, and on the “anthropogenic controls of the meridional overturning circulation  over the 20th century”. On Thursday we had additional 14 talks on scientific topics (see the agenda of the meeting), delivered by THOR researchers. A total of exciting 30 talks were delivered in two days.

On Friday, the members of the Core Themes confronted their ideas and priorities for the upcoming months, reported upon these in the plenary session and welcomed inputs and comments from the other core themes. All 5 core themes as well as their work packages briefed the audience about the scientific highlights, achievements, work in progress as well as an outlook of the upcoming work in 2011 In addition to this, an explanation of the deadlines for the upcoming reports on the second reporting period for deliverables, workpackages, milestones and use of financial resources was presented by the project coordinator Detlef Quadfasel and the project manager, Chiara Bearzotti.

Further documentation:

1) Agenda of the meeting: see this document.

2) Scientific talks: list of contributions. For the abstract, visit the internal area top download the  talks.

3) Presentation of project management issues/reporting deadlines: see this document.

4) List of participants: see this document.


Annual Briefing of THOR 2010

THOR has just reached the half-time of the project and following is a brief report on the achievements obtained so far. The major task of THOR is to integrate model simulations, observations, as well as process and paleo-studies to facilitate an overall assessment of the dynamics, stability and variability of the Thermohaline Circulation and to predict its development for the next decades.

THOR is running on schedule and most (>95%) of the planned work has been done. So far, we have completed 14 deliverables on time and 2 are slightly behind schedule. In all, 15 publications in peer-reviewed journals have appeared or are in press, another 13 manuscripts have been submitted for publication. At the beginning of THOR each core project has focused on its own individual tasks, but now cooperation between the core themes has begun and the first results of this cross-fertilization have emerged.

The modeling groups of Core Theme 1 have... Click here the to view the annual briefing



THOR 2nd Annual Meeting successfully held at DMI, Copenhagen

It ‘has become a tradition’ of the project that during the annual meetings we always have the first day talking about SCIENCE and the second day about the WORK IN PROGRESS – the scientific achievements within the project and the upcoming tasks. This was also the structure of the 2nd annual meeting at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen on November 17th and 18th.

The head of the Oceanography department, Erik Buch, welcomed the meeting participants and gave a short overview on climate research at DMI. This was followed by a brief introduction about the milestones and activities during the past two years by project coordinator Detlef Quadfasel. The rest of the first day was filled with science talks categorized in 3 topics including “the variability of overflows”, “MOC Variability in general and over the last millennium” and “the decadal variability and predictions”.  On the second day, some more talks were given and all 5 core themes as well as their work packages briefed the audience about the scientific highlights, achievements, work in progress as well as an outlook of the upcoming work in 2011.

The host institution DMI also organized a visit of a lead scientific journalist, Jan Haugaard from Danish National Radio to attend the science talks. He made several interviews and reported about the meeting in a broadcast at DR P1 on 3 December 2010.

Click here to download the meeting minutes or visit the internal area top download the sceintific talks.



EGU 2011: Session "Decadal, Seasonal and Monthly Forecasts"

The European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 (EGU2011) will be held in Vienna, Austria, from the 3rd to the 8th of April. Together with other scientists from IC3 Spain, MeteoSwiss and RMI Belgium Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, THOR member from KNMI (NL) is currently organizing the EGU2011 session CL3.1/NP5.5 on "Decadal, seasonal and monthly forecasts".
More information and the meeting program can be viewed at

All those who are interested are invited to join the session in order to get up-to-date on the latest topics in one of the few occasions in the year to gather such a wide and interactive community. Results from both dynamical and statistical approaches, and/or a combination of these are welcoming. The session will cover topics like ensemble forecast generation, multi-model approaches, initialization, verification, physical mechanisms at the origin of forecast quality and predictability, forecast downscaling and calibration, with a special emphasis on end-user applications. The organizers are looking forward to seeing the first results of many decadal forecast initiatives.

Abstract submission starts on the 1st of November 2010 and will remain open until the 10th of January 2011. Please be ware that the deadline for support applications is the 10 Dece,ber 2010.

For further information and assistance, please get in touch with the organizers
Francisco Doblas-Reyes (IC3, Spain)
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh (KNMI, The Netherlands)
Mark Liniger (MeteoSwiss, Switzerland)
Stéphane Vannitsem (RMI, Belgium)



THOR Workshop: The North Atlantic Circulation - Climate research and its practical application

Tomorrow, Friday, the 1st of October 2010, representatives of scientific institutions, various organizations, government agencies and the private sector will meet at the KlimaCampus for the THOR Enduser Workshop. The objective of the one-day workshop is to promote the exchange of ideas and cooperation.

The participants come from the Climate Service Center Germany (CSC), the North German Climate Office, the German Weather Service  (DWD), Hamburg's Department of Urban Planning and the Environment, the European Environmental Agency, the European Commission, the international environmental project  "GLOBE“, as well as research institutes and companies producing observational and measurement equipment.

On Friday morning, scientists will inform about various aspects of the instrumental observations in the North Atlantic. This includes the operational potential of the "THOR System", which has been developed during the past 18 months.The measurements are important for the development of methods for decadal prediction. The tasks and the expectations by environmental organizations arising from this are further topics. In the afternoon, possibilities for further cooperation will be explored. Not only the work together with endusers such as the DWD and the CSC will be intensified but also the dissemination to schools and the general public.

Download the meeting minutes (2010-10-01)

Presentations available to download in internal area, please request your access to member only area at THOR.EU@we dont want



THOR in the German press "WELT online"

Im Nordatlantik wird auch die Zukunft der hiesigen Bauern erforscht
Wissenschaftler auf dem gerade gestarteten Hamburger Forschungsschiff "Meteor" untersuchen den Austausch von Wassermassen und dessen Klimaeinflüsse (von Gisela Schütte) (mehr...)

17 Jun 2010
17 Jun 2010
18 Jun 2010
18 Jun 2010
18 Jun 2010

Fotos © Andreas Dibiasi



The Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal is the highest award for atmospheric science of the American Meteorological Society. It is presented to individual scientists, who receive a medal. Named in honor of meteorology and oceanography pioneer Carl-Gustaf Rossby, who was also its second (1953) recipient. (wikipedia)

One of the leading scientists involved in THOR project, Timothy N. Palmer of ECMWF, UK, was just awarded the Medal for 2010 for his fundamental contribution to understanding the role of nonlinear processes in the predictability of weather and climate, and for developing tools for estimating such predictability.
More on List of 2010 Award Winners.




1st Annual Meeting held at UPMC, Paris

It has been a year since the Grant Contract 212643 was approved and signed by the Commission and 20 THOR participating institutes. Thanks to the hospitality and organization of the French colleagues, we had a compact meeting, as originally scheduled in DoW, on 25/26 November 2009 at UPMC-LOCEAN, Paris.

The first day was completely focused on the up-to-date scientific progress. 17 science talks were spread over 4 areas consisting of core themes from MOC variability to model uncertainty, observation and decadal predictions. The abstracts and the presentations are now available to download in the member only area

During the second day, core thems reported on current status and future activities of individual work packages, made review of upcoming deliverables and discussed about the interaction between different core themes. Another key issue which was intensively discussed was the data management of the project, detailed information and suggestions made during the meeting can be viewed in the meeting minutes.




held by THOR partner KNMI on 4-6 November in De Bilt, the Netherland

The workshop is aimed to exchange best practices and provide future directions for earth-system initialization of decadal predictions. Special goals include to make an inventory of initialization and perturbation techniques in earth system models; compare and contrast, where possible, forecast made with these different initialization strategies; to discuss the effectiveness of initilization and perturbation techniques and the review the observing system and available data for initialization: ocean, soil moisture, ice, snow, atmospheric composition (including aerosols). More about the workshop can be found at

A combined THOR CT4 and COMBINE meeting was held one day prior to the workshop. Detailed output of the core theme meeting can be downloaded in the internal area




CT 3 Workshop in Torshavn

It was almost the best season to visit Faroe Islands, the place where came out on top as the most appealing destination in the world in the National Geographic Traveler Survey 2007. A destination that is not only perfect for a peaceful vacation, but also for hard-working workshops. As a matter of fact the idea of holding the first CT workshop at Torshavn was inspired by the phonetic [tho:] of the project’s acronym THOR. Stephen Dye, the physical oceanographer and one of the project’s key researchers proposed to hold the THOR’s workshop on a Thor’s day and at a Thor’s place. The participating institute HAV (the Faroe Marine Research Institute) was pleased to accept the proposal and organized the workshop in Torshavn on 25th (Thursday) and 26th June 2009.

15 project members representing 9 institutes participated in the 2-days workshop on core them 3 “Observation of the North Atlantic THC”. The workshop was focused on the upcoming tasks and deliverables committed in the grant agreement that will be due in November 2009. After the detailed introduction by Svein Østerhus of University of Bergen (CT3 leader), five presentations on reference data set and the pre-existing data as well as the methodologies were given by scientists from Leibniz-Institute of Marine Science at the University of Kiel, University of Hamburg, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Natural Environment Research Council and Marine Research Institute of Iceland. Intensive and lively discussions on the project as well as further scientific cooperation took place during the workshop. Before closing session a team of the local television filmed the meeting for the production of a documentary movie about climate Research in Faroe Islands.

The workshop minutes as well as presentations are available to download for THOR members in the internal area.



THOR Meeting in Reading: Core Theme 4

The meeting of CT 4 (Predicability of the THC) will take place at the University of Reading, UK on 15 July 2009. The CT is led by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). If you wish you wish to know more about the CT meeting, please get in touch with the team leader of CT4.

Detailed information about this core them, work packages, tasks and participating institutions can be reviewed here.



THOR Meeting in Torshavn: Core Theme 3

The CT3 (Observations of the North Atlantic THC) workshop is going to be held at Fiskirannsóknarstovan on 25 and 26 June 2009 . The CT is led and co-led by the work group from University of Bergen and Marine Research Institute Iceland.

Detailed information about the three work packages and tasks can be downloaded here.



EU Funding distributed

2009-05-07 | Soon after THOR started in December 2008, the coordinating university UHAM has received the direct funding from EU for the first project period. So far the funding has been allocated to affected institutions, an overview of funding distribution can be downloaded here.

In case of feedback or questions, please contact the project team at THOR.EU@we dont want



Project kick-off meeting, Hamburg

One month after take-off: THOR hosted the kick-off meeting at the Institute of Oceaology of University of Hamburg on January 12th and 13th 2009.

Objectives of the meeting were focused in four areas:

  1. Get to know each other
  2. Getting a closer view of the project, its tasks and targets
  3. Group work of core project teams. Establishment and fine tuning of work plan for the first 18 months project period
  4. Discussion and coordination of administrative issues

There were 45 participants attended the 2 days kick-off meeting. For more details, please contact THOR.EU@we dont want

Click here to review the Agenda of kick-off Meeting