GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
modeling, and a monitoring component. Cooperation with the US (NSF and NOAA),
Norway, and the Netherlands is underway. The monitoring component examines the MOC at
25 26 N. This is where the MOC is strongest, and has the operational advantage of a strong
monitoring program in the Florida Straights of the Gulf Stream, which together with the
Ekman flow (estimated from wind fields) and interior geostrophic flow (measured in the
program) makes up the MOC. An array of 22 moorings was deployed across the Atlantic in
February/March 2004, the key instrument being a profiling CTD, which along with currents,
will give estimates of the interior geostrophic flow every 2 days.
The expected results of the experiment will be estimates of the Gulf Stream transport
variability, the deep western boundary current, and recirculating gyre waters, including a
partition waters of North and South Atlantic origin. The funding is secure for 4 years, and the
vision is that this will be a pilot project, to prove the concept, on the way to becoming part of
the sustained observing system.
HIGH LATITUDES STATUS, ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES
The chair introduced this session, noting that the Next Steps recommendations do not
fully cover the requirements in high latitudes.
5.1 Arctic Ocean
This presentation by Cecilie Mauritzen can be downloaded from the meeting website.
An extended report can be found in Annex IV.
The dynamics of the Arctic Ocean form an important leg in the MOC, with inflow of
Atlantic water into the basin and outflow of colder and fresher water. The dynamics of this
region are fairly complex, with important roles for boundary currents and topographic
steering, overflow mixing and large water mass transformations, fresh water input, and sea
ice. The Arctic s larger role in climate variability and change is indicated in coupled
variability of the ice, ocean, and atmosphere, but causal relationships and the
upstream/downstream separation of events has been difficult based on the current
observations and data.
Several research programs to address these uncertainties are underway or planned,
including the Arctic Subarctic Ocean Fluxes (ASOF) experiment and SEARCH, originally a
US based and now international initiative. The new CliC/CLIVAR Arctic Climate Panel (of
which Mauritzen is chair) will work on requirements for an Arctic observing system of both
cryosphere and ocean.
Simultaneous measures in the atmosphere, ice, and ocean domains are crucial. Some
of the major challenges in this region are in observing technology for under ice observations,
in increasing deep ocean observations, in ground truthing satellite products, particularly for
sea ice, and in the provision of high quality climate analyses and reanalyses for research.
The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007/9, coordinated through ICSU and the WMO,
is likely to be a unique opportunity to build the base of an Arctic Ocean observing system,
though the technology for it has to be ready now.
Discussion on the presentation focused on the many open science questions and the
general lack of data in the region, partly due to technical challenges. The chair stated his view