GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
Ed Harrison reported on the status of the Global Sea level Observing System
(GLOSS). Mark Merrifield is the new chair of GLOSS. There is a GLOSS Core Network of
300 gauges, unfortunately the majority of them do not report in real time, and their status can
be difficult to ascertain. The OOPC stressed the importance of a good relationship with
GLOSS, and decided to ask GLOSS to provide a real time reporting map and to revisit the
question of time resolution in the tide gauge data, to see if it is meeting climate observing
Peter Taylor reported on the status of the VOSClim project. A full report is given in
Annex VIII, and his presentation is available on the meeting website. The VOSClim project
has as its goals to improve the metadata available for ships reporting meteorological data, to
encourage better quality control, and to encourage better reporting. It had its last meeting in
July 2003. Progress has been made on real time monitoring on all variables, and in the
preliminary scientific analyses. However, numerous challenges remain. The WMO has been
slow in maintaining its metadata database of VOS ships (Publication 47). Harrison reported
that progress had been reported at the February JCOMM Management Committee meeting,
but this should be followed up. Support of port meteorological officers is in many cases
lacking, and continuity in the face of constantly changing shipping routes was a big challenge.
Strong involvement of a user community, such as the SURFA project, was also necessary.
The VOSClim project is seen as a pilot project to eventually raise the standard of all the VOS
observing platforms. Discussion by the OOPC focused on the numerous challenges to the
program, and the need to keep advocating on behalf of the project.
Bob Weller reported on the activities of the International Time Series Team, now
known by the acronym OceanSITES. The website has been moved, and is now
. A big effort has been made in data standards and
data sharing, where Sylvie Pouliquen heads up a working group. A draft whitepaper is ready
for review by the OOPC, and a brochure and new clickable web based maps based on the
JCOMM standard are forthcoming.
One new initiative in the US has been the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) /
ORION, which will build an observing infrastructure over the next 5 years, NSF is investing
$250 million. A call for letters of intent will come out this fall. The OceanSITES group has
put effort into choosing sites, taking into account disciplinary needs. Individual process
studies will also have a place on the maps maintained by OceanSITES, though separated from
the main sustained observations initiative. Free availability of data will be a central tenet.
Moving this initiative forward will be a big challenge, however, both in terms of the resources
needed to put in place the observatories (estimated at 30 40 months of ship time per year for
the full system), and in supporting the coordinating mechanism and team. Discussion focused
in large part on the heavy infrastructure and coordination requirements. OOPC saw the need
to target the major research funding agencies to identify support for a coordination team.