. "3. COMPONENTS OF THE U.S. TOGA PROGRAM." Learning to Predict Climate Variations Associated with El Nino and the Southern Oscillation: Accomplishments and Legacies of the TOGA Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1996.
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Learning to Predict Climate Variations Associated with El Niño and the Southern Oscillation: Accomplishments and Legacies of the TOGA Program
extent to which it will produce knowledge applicable to the basic objectives of TOGA is not yet known.
The TOGA Program required cooperation among scientists from several disciplines, several government agencies, and scientists and organizations from several nations. The required cooperation did not always develop smoothly. Although by the end of TOGA, participating atmospheric and oceanic scientists had learned to work together, and the larger community was viewing the atmosphere and oceans in a more unified way, at the beginning of the program lines of communication were not as open (see p. 106). Data management, though kept relatively inexpensive, relied heavily on the work of the scientists collecting the data, so that not all data were immediately available to the larger community or the operational centers that could use them for real-time model initialization. However, data accessibility improved as the program evolved, to the extent that all data from the TAO array are now freely available in real time. Furthermore, for the results from TOGA to be valuable to a large user community, applications must be developed (see p. 124), but communication and understanding between physical and social scientists is still difficult, and no coherent strategy for identifying and effecting applications has yet arisen.
Interagency cooperation presented difficulties because of the differing objectives and operating styles of the agencies involved. NOAA had a specific operational mission guiding its research. NASA had a research strategy more linked to development of space-based technology then to specific research problems. NSF preferred to respond to the best scientific proposals it received without promising funds for a program. These agencies struggled to coordinate their activities. The problems are structural and will face any future large programs for climate research. The facts that this report concentrates so heavily on the U.S. efforts, that not all financial data from participating U.S. federal agencies are uniform and available for all years of the program, that financial data from other countries are limited, and that some issues remained unresolved through the preparation of this report on the relationship of the advisory and review mechanism (e.g., the TOGA Panel) to the program and the several sponsoring agencies all point to the difficulties of coordinating the large international TOGA Program. However, such problems confront all large cooperative ventures.