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ArticleDelivering sustained, coordinated, and integrated observations of the Southern Ocean for global impact(Frontiers Media, 2019-08-08) Newman, Louise ; Heil, Petra ; Trebilco, Rowan ; Katsumata, Katsuro ; Constable, Andrew ; van Wijk, Esmee ; Assmann, Karen ; Beja, Joana ; Bricher, Phillippa ; Coleman, Richard ; Costa, Daniel P. ; Diggs, Stephen ; Farneti, Riccardo ; Fawcett, Sarah E. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Hendry, Katharine R. ; Henley, Sian ; Hofmann, Eileen E. ; Maksym, Ted ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Meijers, Andrew J. S. ; Meredith, Michael M. ; Moreau, Sebastien ; Ozsoy, Burcu ; Robertson, Robin ; Schloss, Irene ; Schofield, Oscar M. E. ; Shi, Jiuxin ; Sikes, Elisabeth L. ; Smith, Inga J. ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Wahlin, Anna ; Williams, Guy ; Williams, Michael J. M. ; Herraiz-Borreguero, Laura ; Kern, Stefan ; Lieser, Jan ; Massom, Robert A. ; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica ; Miloslavich, Patricia ; Spreen, GunnarThe Southern Ocean is disproportionately important in its effect on the Earth system, impacting climatic, biogeochemical, and ecological systems, which makes recent observed changes to this system cause for global concern. The enhanced understanding and improvements in predictive skill needed for understanding and projecting future states of the Southern Ocean require sustained observations. Over the last decade, the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) has established networks for enhancing regional coordination and research community groups to advance development of observing system capabilities. These networks support delivery of the SOOS 20-year vision, which is to develop a circumpolar system that ensures time series of key variables, and delivers the greatest impact from data to all key end-users. Although the Southern Ocean remains one of the least-observed ocean regions, enhanced international coordination and advances in autonomous platforms have resulted in progress toward sustained observations of this region. Since 2009, the Southern Ocean community has deployed over 5700 observational platforms south of 40°S. Large-scale, multi-year or sustained, multidisciplinary efforts have been supported and are now delivering observations of essential variables at space and time scales that enable assessment of changes being observed in Southern Ocean systems. The improved observational coverage, however, is predominantly for the open ocean, encompasses the summer, consists of primarily physical oceanographic variables, and covers surface to 2000 m. Significant gaps remain in observations of the ice-impacted ocean, the sea ice, depths >2000 m, the air-ocean-ice interface, biogeochemical and biological variables, and for seasons other than summer. Addressing these data gaps in a sustained way requires parallel advances in coordination networks, cyberinfrastructure and data management tools, observational platform and sensor technology, two-way platform interrogation and data-transmission technologies, modeling frameworks, intercalibration experiments, and development of internationally agreed sampling standards and requirements of key variables. This paper presents a community statement on the major scientific and observational progress of the last decade, and importantly, an assessment of key priorities for the coming decade, toward achieving the SOOS vision and delivering essential data to all end-users.
ArticleA new structure for the Sea Ice Essential Climate variables of the Global Climate Observing System(American Meteorological Society, 2022-06-01) Lavergne, Thomas ; Kern, Stefan ; Aaboe, Signe ; Derby, Lauren ; Dybkjaer, Gorm ; Garric, Gilles ; Heil, Petra ; Hendricks, Stefan ; Holfort, Jürgen ; Howell, Stephen ; Key, Jeffrey ; Lieser, Jan ; Maksym, Ted ; Maslowski, Wieslaw ; Meier, Walt ; Muñoz-Sabater, Joaquín ; Nicolas, Julien ; Ozsoy, Burcu ; Rabe, Benjamin ; Rack, Wolfgang ; Raphael, Marilyn ; de Rosnay, Patricia ; Smolyanitsky, Vasily ; Tietsche, Steffen ; Ukita, Jinro ; Vichi, Marcello ; Wagner, Penelope M. ; Willmes, Sascha ; Zhao, XiClimate observations inform about the past and present state of the climate system. They underpin climate science, feed into policies for adaptation and mitigation, and increase awareness of the impacts of climate change. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), a body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), assesses the maturity of the required observing system and gives guidance for its development. The Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) are central to GCOS, and the global community must monitor them with the highest standards in the form of Climate Data Records (CDR). Today, a single ECV—the sea ice ECV—encapsulates all aspects of the sea ice environment. In the early 1990s it was a single variable (sea ice concentration) but is today an umbrella for four variables (adding thickness, edge/extent, and drift). In this contribution, we argue that GCOS should from now on consider a set of seven ECVs (sea ice concentration, thickness, snow depth, surface temperature, surface albedo, age, and drift). These seven ECVs are critical and cost effective to monitor with existing satellite Earth observation capability. We advise against placing these new variables under the umbrella of the single sea ice ECV. To start a set of distinct ECVs is indeed critical to avoid adding to the suboptimal situation we experience today and to reconcile the sea ice variables with the practice in other ECV domains.