GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
   
page 26 
Dickey  described  some  of  the  advances  in  interdisciplinary  oceanography  that  have 
been  enabled  via  new  interdisciplinary  sensors  and  improved  platform  capabilities. 
Biogeochemical and ecosystem problems involving extreme and/or episodic events including 
upper  ocean  response  to  hurricanes  and  typhoons,  mesoscale  eddies,  and  internal  solitary 
waves have been studied during the past decade.  
Dickey  recommended  OOPC  compile  a  short  technical  paper,  a  living  document, 
outlining  key  climate relevant  biogeochemical  processes,  sensors  and  systems,  and 
observational  programs  in  place.  The  website  could  also  include  links  to  research 
observations and programs. 
Maria Hood led a brief discussion about the concerns of some of the global research 
programs  that  the  observing  systems  are  not  sufficiently  coordinated  or  integrated  with 
research  programs  and  their  needs,  especially  for  biogeochemical  variables.  These  concerns 
are  expressed  in  the  recent  ICSU  review,  and  will  be  discussed  in  detail  at  an  upcoming 
meeting in September 2004 between representatives of the global research programs and the 
observing  systems.  Hood  outlined  some  of  the  major  concerns  that  had  been  relayed  to  her 
through personal communications with representatives of the global research programs. The 
global research programs feel that they have no access to  GOOS data streams  and no access 
to   GOOS  infrastructure   for  use  as  research  platforms.  This  highlights  a  serious 
communication failure in getting across the message that the climate observing system is, in 
fact, a system of systems and that, at present, most systems (e.g., TAO/TRITON array, Argo 
Program,  VOSClim,  etc)  are  managing  their  own  planning,  implementation,  and  data 
products,  following  agreed  strategies  and  principles.  Hood  suggested  that  the  time  is  right 
(and  the  need  critical)  to  make  a  major  effort  at  the  GOOS  level  to  develop  a  professional 
Web site (as well as print material, such as an informational brochure) that is informative and 
useful  for  the  general  public,  system  managers,  and  scientists.  It  should  be  made  clear,  at  a 
glance, what the observing system is and how it works:
   What are the components of the observing system, who operates them, and what do 
they measure? 
   How to obtain the data? 
   Who are the Advisory Groups, Science Teams, SSCs, etc, for each component and 
how can they be contacted? 
   How can the research community use the infrastructure of the observing system?  
  
What is the status of the system and what's next?
The  Web  should  include  GOOS,  OOPC,  and  COOP  activities  within  a  single  and 
integrated  framework  that  does  not  require  outside  users  to  understand  the  administrative 
structure  of  the  panels  in  order  to  find  the  information  they  want.  The  Web  should  contain 
basic  information  about  the  observing  system,  document  and  image  libraries,  standardized 
maps and tables showing the status of the systems, and a clearing house of information about 
technology  developments,  best  practices,  and  standards.  This  has  been  an  outstanding  issue 
for both GOOS and OOPC for several years, and it is time to mark the beginning of a new 
phase of GOOS management with a concerted effort on communications and outreach at the 
international project office level. 
The OOPC had a discussion of ecosystems observations, and their place in GOOS and 
in  climate  observations.  There  is  not  currently  a  natural  home  under  the  GOOS  structure. 
There  are  interesting  potential  points  of  liaison  in  different  communities  including  the 
fisheries  communities,  and  indications  that  some  ecological  indicators  could  be  strong 
<





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