GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
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
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