GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
   
page 6 
The  chair  also  noted  challenges  for  OOPC.  These  include  improving  the 
recommendations  for  sea  ice,  high  latitudes,  non physical  variables,  and  transports  in 
particular  places.  Ongoing  coordination  efforts  need  to  be  sustained  with  the  GEO  process, 
and liaison with SCOR needs to be improved. The GCOS 2AR Implementation Plan needs to 
be completed and backing from the UNFCCC and nations solicited. The continuity of satellite 
missions  needs  to  be  advocated,  and  evaluation  and  feedback  on  the  observing  system, 
including the construction of simple ocean climate products and indices, need to be improved. 
How  to  support  the  implementation  efforts,  especially  those  of  JCOMM,  need  to  be 
addressed. And an overarching ongoing concern is the building of institutional processes and 
identification of resources to sustain the ocean observing system as it is being built; while the 
advocated  in  situ  network  is  technically  feasible,  it  is  generally  tapping  research  budgets, 
which is not sustainable. 
4. 
SCIENCE 
4.1 Ocean Climate 2003 2004 
A review of the ocean climate in the last year was presented by Reynolds, Fischer, and 
Harrison.  A  detailed  review  of  SSTs  by  Reynolds  can  be  found  in  Annex  III,  and  the  other 
two 
presentations 
can 
be 
downloaded 
from 
the 
meeting 
website: 
http://ioc.unesco.org/oopc/oopc9/
. 
In large part, the ocean surface climate in the year starting in boreal summer 2003 was 
close  to  the  climatological  mean.  The  largest  anomalies  came  outside  of  the  tropics, 
associated  with  the  European  heat  wave  in  summer  2003,  and  in  the  southern  Indian  and 
Pacific Oceans in late 2003 and early 2004, shifts in the positions of the major anticyclonic 
systems and the Southern Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). The expected tropical dipole or 
zonal  mode  in  the  Indian  Ocean  did  not  materialize  in  the  fall  of  2003,  interrupted  by  an 
equatorial  Kelvin  wave  forced  by  the  passage  of  an  MJO  event,  which  broke  the  Bjerknes 
thermocline SST wind feedback. The tropical Pacific was only slightly warmer than normal, 
but by the NOAA definition of an El Nino state  (SSTA > 0.5  C in the Nino 3.4 box for 3 
months running), El Nino conditions were nearly reached, though there was no evidence that 
the coupled state of the ocean and atmosphere had changed appreciably. This points out some 
of the difficulties in defining and using indices. 
4.2 Invited Presentation: The RAPID MOC Observing Programme 
The  chair  introduced  Harry  Bryden.  The  presentation  can  be  downloaded  from  the 
meeting website. 
The poleward heat transport of the oceans is carried in the gyre circulation and in the 
meridional  overturning  circulation  (MOC),  and  in  the  North  Atlantic  at  25 N,  represents 
about  25%  of  the  total  poleward  heat  transport.  Models  of  climate  change  mostly  show  a 
reduction  in  the  strength  of  the  MOC  as  the  levels  of  greenhouse  gases  in  the  atmosphere 
increase, but vary in their estimates. The air temperature in the vicinity of the North Atlantic 
reduces by 6 C in a model (HadCM3) where the MOC shuts down completely. 
The  RAPID  program,  currently  funded  by  the  UK  National  Environmental  Research 
Council  (NERC)  at  GBP  20M,  includes  paleoclimatology  studies,  field  experiments, 
<





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