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Topic: Models

Models represent a simplification of nature used to describe something that is difficult or impossible to measure directly. At the Institute of Marine Research, models are important for understanding ocean currents, fish stocks, aquaculture, sea lice dispersion and ecosystems. 

Do you check the weather on yr.no before leaving your home? Then you have, like many others, used a model. The weather forecast is an example of results from a numerical model, and such models have been in use for a long time. Models for oceans, populations and ecosystems work in the same way as weather models. Using equations, they describe how different species work together, how the ecosystem can be affected by fisheries, or how ocean currents change.

How are models used at the IMR? 

At the Institute of Marine Research, there is extensive use of models in our research and advice. The applications for the models are many.  They range from models describing the ocean currents, temperature and salinity, models investigating spread of pathogens from fish farms to models describing interactions between the marine environment, plankton and fish. In addition, we have models that look at the combined effects of fisheries, climate and, for example, pollution.
An example of a model is the sea lice growth and dispersion model. It includes knowledge of the growth and behaviour of the salmon lice, currents, temperature and salinity, as well as information from the fish farms on how much lice they have on their fish. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute is an important partner since they deliver daily model results of current, salinity and temperature from the nationwide coastal model NorKyst800.

Models used at the IMR

  1. Circulation 
  2. Spread 
  3. Ecosystem 
  4. Climate 
  5. Population models