GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
7.3.4 Indian Panel
Fritz Schott reported on the first meeting and activities of the new CLIVAR/IOC
Indian Ocean Panel (IOP). His presentation, prepared with Gary Meyers (IOP chair), is
available on the meeting website. While a CLIVAR Asian Australian Monsoon Panel
(AAMP) has existed for 8 years, the Indian Ocean Panel was formed to specifically address a
sustained ocean observing system for climate variability research, and is tasked with building
an implementation plan. The scientific questions that will be addressed are: monsoon and
intraseasonal variability (mostly in the domain of the AAMP), shallow and deep overturning
circulations, the Indian Ocean dipole/zonal mode, decadal warming trends, carbon and
biogeochemistry, the Indonesian throughflow, and global linkages. The presentation includes
some of the latest results from these areas.
Progress has been made in putting together an implementation plan. It will include a
tropical Indian Ocean moored array including measurements in the subtropical wave regime
in the southern hemisphere (to about 15 S) and flux measurements on the equator and in the
southeastern subtropics. It will also include XBT lines, carbon and standard hydrography, and
throughflow monitoring. There are a few commitments to elements already, with 3 Japanese
Triton moorings and a number of Indian moorings already deployed. There is a good network
of tide gauges, though data availability remains a problem, and the Argo network is growing
in the Indian Ocean. A modeling workshop in November/December 2004 in Hawaii will
address some of the sampling questions.
Future challenges for the IOP are to complete the implementation plan, to work out the
best mix of observations required by models, to build bridges between the coastal and open
ocean observing communities, and to develop an integrated research theme on the role of the
Indian Ocean in climate variability and change that spans the full ocean width and depth.
Another challenge would be integrating with efforts in the Southern Ocean. The OOPC
welcomed the efforts of the IOP, noting the growing understanding of the influence of the
Indian Ocean sector on other parts of the global climate. The OOPC was concerned with
ongoing questions about data availability in the region, and urged that data availability
metrics be made available alongside maps of data collection.
7.4 Other International Activities
7.4.1 Tropical Moored Arrays
Edmo Campos gave a brief presentation on the status of the tropical Atlantic PIRATA
array, the presentation is available on the meeting website. Brazil services 5 moorings and 3
island stations, while France services the 5 eastern moorings, each of which is visited once
per year. Brazil has proposed three additional moorings in the southwestern Atlantic.
Sustained funding for all elements of PIRATA remains a challenge. The OOPC in discussions
urged closer links between the TACE and PIRATA communities, and urged a review of
PIRATA as it approached the end of its pilot phase. It asked the CLIVAR Atlantic Panel to
take the lead on this issue.
Ed Harrison gave a brief overview of the status of the TAO array. Data returns from
the array remain typical, though a problem with salinity sensors has meant that the elements
of the array have needed servicing every 6 months. Some of the components of the moored
systems have reached the end of their service lifetimes, and an engineering refresh will be
needed in the near future. A transfer of responsibility for the TAO and PIRATA arrays to the