GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
page 9 
dynamics  of  the   shallow   and   deep   overturning  cells,  of  interbasin  exchange  and  the 
Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC), and teleconnections with climate variability outside the 
region. Coverage of the Southern Ocean by Argo floats has improved dramatically since last 
year,  though  full  coverage  will  not  be  obtained  until  observations  under  sea  ice  can  be 
routinely taken. A number of planned and ongoing observing projects have moved forward, 
these  include  the  Good  Hope  project  focused  on Indo Atlantic  exchanges,  AnSlope focused 
on  exchanges  at  the  Antarctic  Slope  Front,  WECCON  focused  on  Weddell  Sea  convection, 
and  SAMFLOC  focused  on  deep  mixed  layer  formation  processes  in  the  southeast  Pacific. 
Details  of  these  and  other  observing  programs  can  be  found  on  the  SO  Panel s  website: 
http://www.clivar.org/organization/southern/
.  Observational  challenges  raised  at  the  last 
OOPC  meeting  are  for  the  most  part  ongoing,  apart  from  the  progress  with  Argo.  These 
include calibrating surface drifters for the high wind conditions of the SO, enhancing surface 
meteorological coverage including into the seasonal sea ice zone and on subantarctic islands 
to  validate  satellite  observations,  finding  champions  for  surface  time  series  stations, 
subsurface monitoring in the sea ice zone, and sea ice monitoring. Further challenges the SO 
Panel  has  identified  include  the  need  to  encourage  the  filling  of  observational  gaps,  the 
extension of Argo into the seasonal sea ice zone, and making sure data from the SO is being 
submitted  to  data  centers.  The  SO  panel  also  sees  the  IPY  as  an  important  opportunity  to 
enhance  the  observing  system  in  the  polar  oceans.  It  also  supports  the  South  Pacific 
Workshop proposed by the CLIVAR Pacific panel. 
Kevin Speer presented some thinking the SO Panel has done in response to OOPC s 
request for climate indices. The presentation is available on the meeting website. Many of the 
well known  Antarctic  climate  indices  are  based  on  atmospheric  data:  the  Southern  Annular 
Mode, the Pacific S. American mode, the Antarctic Dipole and Circumpolar Wave. There are 
connections  with  the  ENSO  pattern,  though  various  studies  taking  different  zones  and  time 
periods  show  different  levels  of  correlation.  Less  work  has  been  done  on  connecting  ocean 
variability  with  these  atmospheric  modes  of  variability,  in  large  part  hampered  by  a  lack  of 
data.  There  are  hints  of  covariability  between  the  Antarctic  Circumpolar  Current,  Ekman 
transport, and the major atmospheric modes, though these remain unclear. A crucial variable 
where available data is sparse is of course the sea ice, and particularly coastal polynas driven 
by  katabatic  winds,  which  are  zones  of  new  ice  production  and  salinification  that  are 
important  in  driving  the  deep  overturning  cell  in  the  SO.  The  various  new  process  and 
sustained studies of the SO will add to the ocean data base and allow more research into the 
link  between  climate  variability  and  the  SO  variability,  but  many  holes  still  remain, 
particularly in the Pacific sector. Simultaneous transport arrays could reveal internal modes of 
ocean variability, and improvements in the measurements of air sea flux fields are crucial in 
understanding the coupling between ocean, ice, and atmosphere.  
After discussion, the OOPC panel members suggested that the SO Panel (and the other 
CLIVAR basin panels) should continue its work in considering ocean indices, try to link these 
with wider patterns of climate variability that have societal impact, and as much as possible 
document  this  work.  The  IPY  was  again  mentioned  as  a  unique  opportunity  to  further  the 
polar  observing  network,  to  prove  value  for  potential  transition  to  sustained  status.  The 
particular lack of observations in the seasonal sea ice zone was noted. 
6.  
SPONSORS REPORTS AND INTERSESSIONAL ACTIVITIES 
The  chair  presented  the  activities  of  the  OOPC  sponsors.  A  general  presentation  on 
GCOS, GOOS, and JCOMM by Harrison is available on the meeting website. 
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