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  1. The Way Forward From JCOMM-IVSome Personal Perspectives D.E.Harrison NOAA/PMEL & Univ. Wa. JCOMM-IV Technical Symposium Yeosu, South Korea May 2012

  2. Personal Perspective • These remarks are based on my experiences of the development of the sustained global ocean observing system and use of its data and products. • They are strongly influenced by my personal climate research efforts and engagement with the Global Climate Observing System and Global Ocean Observing System programs. • They address the JCOMM goal of supporting Climate Services delivery. • The future success of JCOMM depends very much on many shorter-term activities that I will not be able to address. “Near real time” activities are being discussed in many other parts of this Symposium

  3. Outline • A few comments on status and sustaining the present Global Observing System and community issues. • Some examples of why we need to improve, not just sustain, a global ocean observing system for climate to deliver ocean and climate services. ENSO, sea level rise, PDO. • Efforts to develop met-ocean community consensus about the way forward. • How we move forward…the endless research – technology improvement – evaluation - evolution cycle. • Some JCOMM Opportunities and Realities • Let’s celebrate the many accomplishments of JCOMM!

  4. The Present Situation with Obs • Recently we have begun to systematically observe temperature and salinity over much of the global ice-free open ocean. We also have useful global records for SST, surface winds, sea ice concentration and ocean color, but with issues. Our historical data set is not adequate for much of what we wish to ask of it. We MUST at least SUSTAIN the present level of efforts. • Our satellite observing capability has become remarkable & is complementary with our in-situ obs. But it cannot be taken for granted; Viz present altimeter situation. • We have followed the community-agreed roadmap from OceanObs1999/ GCOS Implementation Plan • Because our nations generally have not established commitments to these activities, it will be an ongoing challenge to sustain what we have accomplished.

  5. Some Observing System Web Resources Used Here • Observing System Status Monitoring: • Some Ocean Climate Anomaly Indices:

  6. All GTS Reports, last 3 days Global uniform coverage remains to be accomplished

  7. SST Surface Drifters, last week Down ~300 from goal of 1250 uniformly distributed. Batteries?

  8. Argo Profiling Floats, last 2 weeks A great achievement although still not at their coverage goal


  10. New Technology • The present system is based on what was judged feasible to sustain, based on technology in hand and developing ca. OceanObs1999. • OceanObs2009 calls for us to bring enhanced capabilities into the sustained system. • Some neat platform technology is moving to feasibility. Have a few examples to share. • Sensor development proceeds, also. • Successful use depends upon funding, deployment, best practices and standards, and data system development.

  11. Key Attributes: • More flexibility for including additional sensors • Greater real-time data throughput (hourly resolution) • All commercially available components • Simplified design ‘T-FLEX’ tropical moorings allow easy new sensor deployment

  12. 18kg Profiling Float Can profile to 2000m over global ocean Increased number of profiles Easier to transport and deploy. “Solo-II” is pictured but others have been developed.

  13. “BIO-ARGO” Provides open ocean ecosystem obs and makes eco-GODAE assimilation possible

  14. Slocum Gliders Weight :52Kg Hull Dia: 21.3cm Length: 1.5m Realtime command/control via Iridium Neutral Ocean Horiz speed: <0.25m/s Depths: <1000m Endurance: <60 days (Alkaline), <270 days (Li) Common Sensors: CTD, DO, FLNTU, Hydrophone, Altimeter, acoustic modem Emerging Sensors: pH, eH, currents, backscatter

  15. Wave Gliders Weight :220kg Length: 1.8m Realtime command/control via Iridium Speed : <1m/s (sea-state dependant) Endurance: currently crossing Pacific Ocean Common Sensors: CTD, DO, FLNTU, ADCP, pCO2, pH hydrophone, acoustic modem, others Emerging Sensors: many

  16. CTD Profiling by Harvesting Energy from a Surface Mooring …a step towards next gen TAO Length: 1.5m Realtime command/control via Iridium Depths: <6000m Endurance: <1 Year Buoy Common Sensors: Wind, AT/RH, BP, SSTC, pCO2, Current Meter, Inductive coms Profiler: CTD, Inductive coms 1.5m 1.5m

  17. PICO Mooring Diagram Standard: -Vaisala WTX-520 (ATRH, Wind,BP, Rain) -Inductive link -Iridium coms -SSTC, others Prawler: SBE pumped CTD CTD cycle depth ~3-500m Realtime command/control Emerging Sensors: DO, pH

  18. Now turn to some Climate Research/Services Topics • Sea Level Rise • Arctic Sea Ice Extent • El Nino-Southern Oscillation • Pacific Decadal Oscillation

  19. Global Sea Level Rise • The satellite + tide gauge analysis tells us the recent 20 year trend is ~3mm/yr, with interannual variability • Our upper ocean heat content analyses are not able to explain the observed trend. • Where is the missing heat and/or mass? • Deeper Ocean? Ice? Land water changes? Are ocean processes key to future rate?

  20. Mean Sea Level - AVISO 1992 2000 2010

  21. PMEL 0-700m Heat Content Anom. Johnson & Lyman 1993 2000 2010

  22. Arctic Sea Ice Extent • Sea ice extent shows substantial year to year variability and 30 yr trend during satellite era • Regional variability is greater • Desire for short term as well as mid- and long-range forecasting is great. • What met-ocean data and forecast systems are needed?

  23. El Nino-Southern Oscillation • We observe the evolution of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system adequately. • But we still don’t forecast very well • What is needed? • Better obs. to evaluate models? Better coupled data assimilation? Data from other regions?

  24. “5-day” TAO/Triton Surface OBS Zonal Wind SST Z20C

  25. Dynamical Model NINO3.4 SSTA Forecasts

  26. Pacific Decadal Oscillation • The warm and cold phases of the PDO have substantial weather and ecosystem and fisheries impacts on a number of countries. • We observe it adequately at the surface, but the subsurface story is not yet clear. • What is needed to understand and enable prediction of at least its transitions?:

  27. Pacific Decadal Oscillation SSTA 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000

  28. PDO SST Index: 1982-date

  29. OceanObs09 • Following on the success of OceanObs99 and the progress implementing its vision via engagement of the GCOS IP by GOOS, WCRP and the UNFCCC, OceanObs09 developed a community vision for the coming decade. • See for Statement and supporting documents. • Vision is to sustain present efforts and to develop the technically feasible sustained system to provide the data and information needed to serve the range of societal needs for marine and climate information . • Needs community building, much planning and new resources

  30. OceanObs09 also called for development of a new community FRAMEWORK Why a Framework? • OceanObs’09 identified tremendous opportunities, significant challenges • Called for a framework for planning and moving forward with an enhanced global sustained ocean observing system over the next decade, integrating new physical, biogeochemical, biological observations while sustaining present observations

  31. Framework for Ocean ObservingSponsors and team Keith Alverson, Bee Berx, Peter Burkill, Francisco Chavez, Dave Checkley, Candyce Clark, Vicki Fabry, Albert Fischer, John Gunn (co-chair), Julie Hall, Eric Lindstrom (co-chair), Yukio Masumoto, David Meldrum, Mike Meredith, Pedro Monteiro, José Mulbert, Sylvie Pouliquen, Carolin Richter, Sun Song, Mike Tanner, Martin Visbeck, Stan Wilson • IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO • GEO Group on Earth Observations • CEOS Committee on Earth Observation Satellites • POGO Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans • SCOR Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research • SCAR Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research • GCOS Global Climate Observing System • GOOS Global Ocean Observing System • JCOMM Joint WMO-IOC Tech. Comm. for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology • PICES North Pacific Marine Science Organization • ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea • CoMLCensus of Marine Life • IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme • WCRP World Climate Research Programme

  32. Framework for Ocean ObservingHigh level objectives • Take lessons learned from successes of existing observing efforts – best practices • Guide observing community as a whole to sustain and expand the capabilities of the ocean observing system • Deliver an observing system that is fit-for-purpose • Promoting collaborative alignment of independent groups, communities and networks, building on existing structures as much as possible • Sounds highly congruent with JCOMM approach and history. • Will JCOMM reach out to presently underserved communities ?

  33. JCOMM and Feasibility • The open ended remit of JCOMM, together with the aspirations of the OceanObs09 VISION, mean a great expansion of JCOMM activities is, in principle, desirable. • But the human and financial resources available are not sufficient. • The Program Areas have aspirations that will be difficult to be achieve with present resources. • What is a plausible way forward?

  34. The Endless Loop • I suggest that the way forward likely will be the same way that got us to the present status: • Research questions/forecast/service skill needs drive development of new technology. • These opportunities lead to the creation of new communities & programs. • These produce pilot projects (or TTs) whose results get evaluated. • The system then evolves in response to what is learned, but always within national priorities. • The result is new research questions or forecast /service skill expectations • Fortunately many of our nations are willing to undertake long term research and forecast improvement programs to keep this loop functioning.

  35. JCOMM Going Forward • JCOMM only accomplishes what national priorities, and community engagement, make possible. • If new Ocean Essential Variable communities create themselves, as called for by the Framework, what will JCOMM need to make it attractive for them to become part of JCOMM? • At minimum: Help with deployment coordination; GTS and data system support; a standards and best practices approach. • This assumes that the services communities will be resourced adequately to take on analysis and forecasting systems for the new variables and their products. That the altimeters and Argo will stay on track. And that other communities will provide the new sensors and platforms. • Adding new variables will require additional human and financial resources even if they self-organize.

  36. Data Access • NWP is only possible because nations share observations and products in near-real-time. • The Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed to share Essential Climate Variable observations, which include many JCOMM variables. • The provision of marine, ocean and climate services will depend upon near-real-time sharing of relevant variables. • Data sharing in near real time should be the goal for all JCOMM nations. JCOMM Data System efforts should give high priority to NRT.

  37. JCOMM Resourcing • Unless there is new funding from nations, JCOMM will have limited ability to respond to the sorts of opportunities described above. • It is not resourced to lead in the development of new activities, whether Ocean Essential Variables or Services. • Even achieving the present JCOMM Strategy and the Program Area work plans will likely require additional resourcing. • JCOMM-IV (and the IOC and WMO) are urged to be realistic in their expectations.

  38. Let’s Celebrate • Despite its modest resources JCOMM has become a key part of the international ocean observing, data and services world. It leverages many national resources, and a remarkable amount of work is done under its coordination. • The world now has an initial sustained ocean observing system, and improving ocean data systems and services, including forecasts. JCOMM coordination works. • JCOMM’s PAs will progress their plans. • We have a solid basis for better science and services. And lots of goodwill from the dedicated technical experts involved.

  39. THANK YOU!Comments/Questions?