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Marine observations

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is sponsored by WMO, IOC of UNESCO, UNEP, and ICSU. It is designed to provide sustained observations from the global ocean, and related analysis and modeling of ocean fields in support of operational oceanography and climate change applications. WMO Members directly participate in the GOOS by the provision of in situ and satellite observations. It is not solely operational, but includes work to convert research understanding into operational tools. It is designed to produce products useful to a wide range of users.

The Observations Programme Area of JCOMM is primarily responsible for the development, coordination and maintenance of moored buoy, drifting buoy, ship-based and space-based observational networks and related telecommunications facilities. It also monitors the efficiency of the overall observing system and, as necessary, recommends and coordinates changes designed to improve it. It has inherited lead responsibility for a number of important and well-established observational programs, which are managed by bodies that now report through JCOMM.

JCOMM is now contributing to the implementation of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) and following the legacy recommendations of the JCOMM Pilot Project for the integration of marine and other appropriate oceanographic observations into WIGOS. Those are published in the report of the Pilot Project, which was completed at the end of 2010 (see here).

Programmes under JCOMM:

bulletThe Ship Observations Team (SOT)
Ship based observations (surface meteorological observations, aerological profiles, sub-surface oceanographic observations).
bulletThe Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP)
Drifting buoys (Lagrangian drifters), moored buoys (meteorological moorings, tropical moorings, ocean reference stations), ice buoys.
DBCP web
bulletThe Global Sea Level Network (GLOSS)
Tide gauges.

Associated programmes:

bulletThe Argo profiling float Pilot Project
Sub-surface profiling floats (temperature/salinity profiles).
Argo web
bulletThe International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP)
Ship based ocean carbon observations.
bulletThe OCEAN Sustained Interdisciplinary Timeseries Environment observation System (OceanSITES)
Deep ocean multi-disciplinary reference stations (mainly moored buoys).
OceanSITES web
bullet GO-SHIP
The Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program

bulletESA and GMES
bulletNASA and NOAA
bulletProjects: e.g. GHRSST

Satellite Remote Sensing programs
Remote Sensing

Implementation support:

bulletThe JCOMM in situ Observations Programme Support Centre ( JCOMMOPS) Technical coordination, deployment opportunities, programme status and monitoring.
bulletObserving System Monitoring Center (OSMC) The purpose of the Observing System Monitoring Center is to show the types, location and timing of in-situ observations throughout the global oceans.


Partnership for ocean observing systems :

bulletThe Partnership for new GEOSS Applications (PANGEA) PANGEA is a concept developed by JCOMM with the goal to develop partnership between developed and developing countries to realize the socio-economical benefits of ocean observing systems at global and regional scales.  


JCOMM Observations Programme Area contact points





World Meteorological Organization, 7bis, avenue de la Paix, CP No. 2300, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland - Tel.: +41(0)22 730 81 11 - Fax: +41(0)22 730 81 81
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