2
INTERNATIONAL GOOS

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is intended to be a truly international effort. International panels are developing guidelines for participation in GOOS. The United States can provide leadership by developing implementation plans for its own agencies to follow. All countries, developed or developing, are encouraged to participate, even if only by expressing needs and allowing access for monitoring systems. The needs and perspectives of the international community must be addressed if GOOS is to be truly global in scope and impact.

Although the committee was formed largely to address aspects of GOOS efforts undertaken by U.S. government agencies, the committee recognizes that those same efforts will have profound influence on actions taken by the international community. Consequently, this chapter describes the present state of international GOOS efforts (as a context for U.S. actions) and recommends certain activities or actions that U.S. agencies may wish to implement or advocate.

INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The senior scientific/technical body advising the Intergovernmental Committee for GOOS (I-GOOS) is the Joint Scientific and Technical Committee for GOOS (J-GOOS) which has met annually since 1994 (Figure 1). Panels preparing plans for and overseeing the implementation of the various modules (e.g., the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate for the climate module) report to J-GOOS.

Following the 1994 meeting of I-GOOS, a Strategy Sub-Committee (SSC) to I-GOOS was established; it has met in 1995 and 1996. The rationale for the SSC was to have a nongovernmental group of experts provide advice to I-GOOS regarding the actions needed to make GOOS a reality. At its first meeting, the SSC focused on preparing an expanded outline of a strategic plan covering the range of activities needed by the various GOOS bodies, with time tables for action. Unfortunately, firm support for such a plan was not forthcoming from I-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities 2 INTERNATIONAL GOOS The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is intended to be a truly international effort. International panels are developing guidelines for participation in GOOS. The United States can provide leadership by developing implementation plans for its own agencies to follow. All countries, developed or developing, are encouraged to participate, even if only by expressing needs and allowing access for monitoring systems. The needs and perspectives of the international community must be addressed if GOOS is to be truly global in scope and impact. Although the committee was formed largely to address aspects of GOOS efforts undertaken by U.S. government agencies, the committee recognizes that those same efforts will have profound influence on actions taken by the international community. Consequently, this chapter describes the present state of international GOOS efforts (as a context for U.S. actions) and recommends certain activities or actions that U.S. agencies may wish to implement or advocate. INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE The senior scientific/technical body advising the Intergovernmental Committee for GOOS (I-GOOS) is the Joint Scientific and Technical Committee for GOOS (J-GOOS) which has met annually since 1994 (Figure 1). Panels preparing plans for and overseeing the implementation of the various modules (e.g., the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate for the climate module) report to J-GOOS. Following the 1994 meeting of I-GOOS, a Strategy Sub-Committee (SSC) to I-GOOS was established; it has met in 1995 and 1996. The rationale for the SSC was to have a nongovernmental group of experts provide advice to I-GOOS regarding the actions needed to make GOOS a reality. At its first meeting, the SSC focused on preparing an expanded outline of a strategic plan covering the range of activities needed by the various GOOS bodies, with time tables for action. Unfortunately, firm support for such a plan was not forthcoming from I-

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities GOOS, and work on the plan had not progressed by the time of the second SSC meeting. These bodies (e.g., I-GOOS, J-GOOS, SSC) are, in principle, to receive staff support from a GOOS support office located within the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Although in existence for several years, the office has only a minimal staff (most of whom have other primary responsibilities) and until recently lacked a permanent director. Thus, the fact that only limited progress has been made by the three aforementioned bodies toward establishing firm plans and mechanisms for implementation and coordination of GOOS is understandable. Committees such as I-GOOS, J-GOOS, and the SSC cannot be expected to complete the required work during their short annual sessions; an adequate staff working during intersessional periods is needed. Full development of a GOOS strategy, decisive actions by international GOOS committees, and adequate staff support for and action by the GOOS support office have not occurred. In order for the full benefits of GOOS to be realized, adequate support for an international GOOS support office is needed. Completion of a GOOS Strategic Plan and decisive actions to follow that plan are needed. STATUS OF INTERNATIONAL PLANNING BY MODULE The international plans for each module vary in maturity. Consequently, plans for the climate module are further developed than for other modules, followed by planning for the health of the ocean module. Climate Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction Under the auspices of the Committee for Climate Change and the Ocean and the Joint Steering Committee of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), an Ocean Observing System Development Panel (OOSDP) was commissioned in 1990 to begin design of the climate module. The panel's charge was ''to formulate the conceptual design of a long-term systematic observing system to monitor, describe, and understand the physical and biogeochemical processes that determine ocean circulation and the effects of the ocean on seasonal to decadal climate changes and to provide the observations needed for climate predictions'' (OOSDP, 1995). In 1995 the OOSDP submitted its plan to the IOC, the Joint Scientific Committee of WCRP, and the Joint Scientific and Technical Committee of GCOS. It was published as a report (OOSDP, 1995) and also placed on the World Wide Web (<http://www.ocean.tamu.edu/OOSDP/oosdp.html>). A comprehensive summary

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities of the report appeared in the October 1996 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (Nowlin et al., 1996). Other views of the report are given by Smith et al. (1995). As stated previously, the climate module of GOOS is intended to be the ocean component of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The OOSDP design for the common module of GOOS and GCOS is based on four goals dealing with (1) observations needed to determine necessary ocean surface fields (including sea ice) and fluxes through the surface; (2) observations needed for deterministic prediction of the variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system on seasonal to interannual time scales and for the regular monitoring of climate variability at monthly to interannual scales; (3) measurements of the deep ocean essential for monitoring and understanding natural and anthropogenic ocean climate variability at long time scales with a focus mainly on monitoring, understanding, and validating model simulations rather than model initialization and prediction; and (4) provision of the infrastructure and techniques to ensure that these data are quality controlled and archived and that products are prepared and distributed. It is envisioned that this synthesis will be achieved in a variety of ways, including routine monitoring, analyses (typically at monthly intervals), preparation of improved climatologies, and through model data assimilation. Eleven subgoals dealing with observations and three dealing with needed infrastructure were developed to support these goals. For each subgoal, contributing observations were weighted as to their impact on meeting the subgoal as well as their feasibility. Finally, the subgoals were prioritized, and the observations needed to meet them were ranked. Thus, there exists a design for the climate module that awaits implementation. However, few new observations have yet been added because of lack of financial support. Following completion of its report, the OOSDP was dissolved. Recognizing the need for continued scientific oversight of the design and implementation of the climate module, J-GOOS, the Joint Scientific and Technical Committee of GCOS, and the Joint Steering Committee of the WCRP together formed the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC). This panel is charged with evaluating, modifying, and updating the design for the common module of GOOS and GCOS and with preparing a procedural plan, with priorities, for the requirements consistent with that design. The OOPC first met in 1996 and is scheduled to meet in February 1997. The panel has already begun to take needed steps to refine the design based on new technical developments and understanding, and it seems clear that this panel will take a proactive role in implementation of the climate module.

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities Assessment and Prediction of the Health of the Ocean A strategic plan for assessment and prediction of the Health of the Ocean (HOTO) module has been under development for several years by the HOTO panel. The plan has been considered by I-GOOS and J-GOOS and is available as a preliminary report from the IOC (HOTO Panel, 1996). The panel identified issues of current concern in a global sense when considering the health of the ocean, including biodiversity, endangered species, climate variability, human health, tourism, and eutrophication. Collectively, these health of the ocean issues were related by the panel to a range of contaminants or analytes: aquatic toxins, pesticides and herbicides, pathogens, oxygen, petroleum hydrocarbons, suspended particulate matter, phytoplankton pigments, artificial radionuclides, litter, nutrients, synthetic organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, trace metals, and pharmaceuticals. For each of these variables, the panel considered the socioeconomic impacts in coastal zones, the resulting stressrelated signals of harmful effects, capabilities for their measurement, and priorities among the world's marine areas. Quantitative ratings were associated with most comparisons. Consequently, the panel was able to rank each variable's impact on the health of the ocean versus its difficulty of measurement. The HOTO module should be considered ready for implementation, although the degree of prioritization and ranking of measurements as related to specific goals are not yet nearly as complete as for the climate module. In 1995 the HOTO Panel recommended to the I-GOOS, via J-GOOS, a number of specific recommendations for implementation. These included the preparation of a global inventory of measurement capabilities and relevant programs, the completion of the ongoing International Mussel Watch Program, and numerous steps to initiate or improve measurement techniques and quality assurance procedures. Revised terms of reference for a reconstituted HOTO panel were formulated by J-GOOS in April 1996, and a request was made for nominations of new members (IOC, 1996b). The first meeting of the reconstituted HOTO panel is scheduled for spring of 1997. Monitoring and Assessment of Marine Living Resources Changes in the marine environment may result in changes in the composition and behavior of living marine resources (IMP,). In turn, such changes can further impact the environment, including mankind. As stated in international plans, the LMR module will develop a system to monitor the physical, chemical, and biological variables needed to describe marine ecosystems and their variability. The LMR module is intended to identify user requirements for oceanographic data on living marine resources and to give advice on design and

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities implementation of the observing system. The scope of the module is dictated by the need to obtain data and make predictions about living resources of the ocean and coastal seas that meet the economic, social, and environmental needs of society. An ad hoc panel to begin planning for the LMR module was held in Costa Rica in December 1993. Building on that groundwork the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), at the request of the J-GOOS, convened a workshop in Dartmouth, Massachusetts during March 1996. Participants of that workshop made six recommendations to J-GOOS: Consider how the following issues should be addressed within the overall framework of GOOS: critical marine habitats, living marine resources in coastal waters (including issues of biodiversity and genetics), harmful algal blooms, diseases in relation to the health of humans and marine biota. Consult with sponsoring organizations on the establishment of mechanisms to ensure the appropriate involvement of other agencies. Facilitate the formation of close working relationships between LMR and existing bodies responsible for the collection of data at the higher trophic levels (e.g., fisheries agencies, environmental organizations). Their collaboration is needed both as contributors of the data they collect and as users of LMR products derived from observations made specifically as part of the LMR program. Formal structures to facilitate these relationships may need to be elaborated, and such bodies should be represented on the LMR panel so that it may contribute to the planning process. J-GOOS should undertake responsibility for issues of training and capacity building as an integrated GOOS-wide activity rather than it being addressed separately by each module. A formal LMR panel should be established to facilitate planning of the LMR module. Selected LMR panel members should be members, or corresponding members, of planning groups for related modules (e.g., HOTO, coastal). Earth observations from satellites and aircraft will be essential given the need to observe broad areas of the ocean on a regular basis. Workshop participants supported the J-GOOS recommendation to establish a panel on satellites, which should ensure consideration of the requirements and needs of the various GOOS modules.

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities The design of the LMR module is in progress. As a fundamental issue, there is not yet agreement on the proper balance between needed ecosystem research and more pragmatic operational data needs. Entire ecosystems are complex. Thus, for various reasons (economy, lack of time or data, etc.), their investigators may choose to emphasize certain ecosystem constituents or properties to the exclusion or oversimplification of others. For example, studies of pelagic ecosystems may focus solely on lower trophic levels, excluding higher predators, such as fish, or relegating their effects to "closure terms" in the ecosystem balance. Conversely, fishery investigations often neglect crucial elements of ecosystem monitoring, concentrating on abundance and other characteristics of the various stages of fish populations alone. This is particularly true of studies that depend on data from commercial fish catches. Neither ecosystem studies that pay only cursory attention to higher predators or fishery investigations that neglect other ecosystem influences (especially environmental) can be considered a satisfactory basis for the observing strategy of the GOOS LMR module. A more complete integration of fish populations into ecosystem/environmental monitoring is required. As noted in the recommendations from the LMR workshop, there is the need for a formal GOOS panel to complete planning for the LMR module. Only then can implementation began. Meeting in April 1996, the J-GOOS approved terms of reference for an LMR panel and requested development of a potential membership (IOC, 1996b). Coastal Zone Management and Development As mentioned previously, the coastal module is of high priority to many coastal nations. Monitoring and documenting changes in coastal and near-shore areas require integration of physical, chemical, biological, and geological observations with socioeconomic uses of the coastal zone. The coastal module should provide necessary infrastructure needed by service providers who provide products used in various areas of coastal management, including environmental protection, vessel traffic services, recreation and tourism, coastal engineering, or water management. Such products clearly will depend in large measure on coastal zone observations also needed for other modules, especially the HOTO and LMR modules. To date, there has been no enunciation at the intergovernmental level of specifics regarding a design for the coastal module. It is internationally acknowledged that many responsibilities for the coastal module may be effectively carried out by regional organizations. Following that approach, nations in Europe and northeast Asia have been actively planning two consortia for several years, European GOOS (Euro GOOS) and Northeast Asia Regional GOOS (NEARGOOS). Discussion of the establishment of these two consortia appears in the report of the second meeting of I-GOOS (IOC, 1995).

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities The United States is proceeding with the development of an implementation plan in which the coastal module has three major themes: Sustain Healthy Coasts, Natural Hazard Mitigation, and Safe Marine Navigation (U.S. GOOS IWG 1996). For each of these themes, customers and beneficiaries as well as initial, specific objectives (in terms of observations and products) are being identified. For example, proposed special initiatives under the Sustain Healthy Coasts theme are to monitor coral reef ecosystem changes, land-based sources of pollution, and toxic contaminants in bivalves. Each of these themes has many U.S. programs in place. Initial discussions have begun between U.S. officials and their Canadian counterparts regarding cooperation in the coastal module. Marine Meteorological and Oceanographic Operational Services A large range of marine meteorological and oceanographic services already is available worldwide. These services are provided by both national agencies and private companies. These services are utilized for economic operation of shipping, fisheries, tourism and recreation, improving the safety of life and property at sea, and seabed exploration. The marine services module aims to enhance the collection and analysis of oceanographic and marine meteorological data required for improved short-and medium-term weather forecasting, improved warning of severe weather events, as well as specialized global and regional oceanographic and meteorological services. The enhancements will consist of improved methodologies, standards, data, data analysis, models, and predictions. It is anticipated that this module will encompass a training program for assistance in establishing operational services and in the use of products. As a start toward a plan for this module, the I-GOOS established an ad hoc working group in 1995 to prepare a report on existing operational marine meteorological and oceanographic services, user requirements, perceived deficiencies and future trends, and suggestions as to how GOOS might enhance these services. The report is due in 1997. An interim report appears as Annex VI to the report of J-GOOS-III (IOC, 1996b). Overall Status of Module Planning at the International Level Planning for the climate module is well advanced and refinement is continuing. Planning for the HOTO module is well under way but still lacks certain dimensions (e.g., impacts on human health and the health of various marine species). To date, plans for the coastal module have been formulated only on regional or national bases. Plans are in progress for the LMR and marine services modules. The division in emphasis between fisheries and

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities research on major ecosystems has yet to be addressed as part of the development of the LMR module. Planning must be initiated and/or continued for each module at a level adequate to produce plans that can be the basis for implementation. Scientific and technical panels may be required to guide the planning for each module. As discussed in the 1994 NRC report, Review of U.S. Planning for the Global Ocean Observing System, It is essential for the United States to provide leadership internationally and to set firm directions nationally. Adequate financial support should be devoted to international planning and coordination by the United States and other nations participating in GOOS. Without the resources required to provide sufficient international staff and support to J-GOOS and I-GOOS activities, it is unlikely that GOOS will be able to carry out the international functions that are critical to its success. (emphasis added) The United States, through U.S. GOOS IWG and the U.S. GOOS Interagency Project Office, should provide financial support for this effort commensurate with national interests. Plans are being developed for the implementation of much of GOOS as purely regional initiatives (e.g., Euro GOOS, NEARGOOS) based on local concerns and interests. Although regional operational oceanography may be important for initiating GOOS support and demonstrating its potentials, there is risk that such initial division will impede the ultimate development of a global operational system. Regionalization poses a special problem in the case of the fundamentally global modules such as the climate module. Global cooperation is needed to learn how to make measurements and products, and so contributes to capacity building. All nations are encouraged to focus on the needs of the international community in developing global observations and models; in sharing methods, standards, instruments, data, and products; and in capacity building. Importance of Time Series Ocean observations taken during research programs are often collected intensively but for brief times, whether as individual long hydrographic lines or three-dimensional process studies. GOOS can interact productively with such programs by extending the time axis at individual time-series sites or lines. New drifter and mooring technologies can be a part of this monitoring scheme, as can the rich suite of satellite measurements.

OCR for page 20
The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities Currently occupied time series should be cataloged and their priority for GOOS established through an evaluation of their relative costs and potential benefits or some other similar systematic approach. For high-priority stations, steps should be taken as needed to preserve and make available the data. Where future continuity is in jeopardy, international planning should focus on maintaining the observations and introducing new technology to effect cost savings as possible. RELATIONSHIP OF RESEARCH PROGRAMS TO GOOS The design of a successful observing system for the oceans is predicated on the designers having an informed understanding of the ocean and associated phenomena. Consequently, the design for GOOS is based on the results of innumerable research efforts around the world, such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Program (GLOBEC), the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), and the Programme on the Variability of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere System and Climate Prediction (CLIVAR), to name a few. Research programs, such as those organized under WCRP or International Biosphere-Geosphere Programme (IBGP), are contributing data, understanding, and mechanisms on which GOOS plans axe being formulated. To obtain optimal results, the design of any observing plan should be based on as complete and accurate an understanding of the system to be observed as possible. Support should be continued for the full and orderly completion of ongoing research programs contributing to GOOS plans and implementation. GOOS data, in addition to providing the basis for products used by national and local governments and the private sector, will be used by researchers. CLIVAR is one program being planned by the international community (under WRCP auspices) that anticipates using GOOS data. The results of such research programs undoubtedly will further the methods, instrumentation, and conceptual development of GOOS. Close liaisons should be developed between the research programs and GOOS, formalized by the mutual involvement of planning and steering groups. The goals of this effort should be to address (1) the needs of the research programs for GOOS data, (2) the transition of elements of observing systems from research programs to GOOS, and (3) the evolution of the existing GOOS to new technologies and/or modified sampling schemes driven by experience and knowledge gained in the research programs.