Designing an Observing System

A core SOOS objective is the design of a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary observing system for the Southern Ocean. Following the process outline in the Framework for Ocean Observing, SOOS will provide quantified sampling targets for a number of key parameters (Essential Ocean Variables, EOVs) and work with the community to ensure sustained coverage of these requirements.


Through a number of Task Teams, SOOS has identified a list of candidates for consideration as EOVs, shown in the table below. A core focus of the May 2016 Scientific Steering Committee meeting will be to identify the way forward with prioritising the candidates into a list of EOVs, and planning for activities towards quantification of sampling targets. This information will be made available on this page as soon as possible. 

There is significant momentum by the international community towards defining EOVs, such as GOOS, GCOS, IOCCP, OOPC, GEOBON amongst others. SOOS aims to build on these efforts and adapt them for Southern Ocean-specific requirements when required.


A compiled list of SOOS candidates can be found here. More detail is available from the topical EOV lists below.

Topic Comments/Details Supporting Documents
Physical Oceanographic Variables The SOOS physical oceanographic variables build on efforts of GCOS-OOPC-GOOS.  
Biogeochemical variables Taken directly from IOCCP-GOOS and still need to be reviewed for their appropriateness for a Southern Ocean system (e.g., inclusion of Iron and consideration of variables identified by the SOOS Physical Oceanographic Task Team).  
Air-Sea Flux variables Developed through the SOOS Air-Sea Fluxes Task Team and resulting workshop and have recently been approved by GCOS for inclusion in the global Essential Climate Variable (ECV) list.  
Sea-ice variables Defined by SOOS with community input by ASPeCt  SOOS Sea-Ice Workplan
Biological variables Listed here are candidates to be considered for prioritisation into EOV status.  
Under Ice variables Defined by SOOS with significant input by the FRISP community.  


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