Upcoming Events

Assessing the State of the Climate of the Southern Ocean


Full workshop program available here!  

Watch the live stream of this event here


Mike Williams (NIWA, NZ), Matt Mazloff (Scripps, USA), Mike Meredith (BAS, UK)





Assessing the state of any component of the global climate system is highly dependent on available observations. There is a need for observations, both within the desired assessment period and over the long term to provide a basis for determining change. Recently, Meredith et al. (2015) prepared the first state of the climate assessment for the Southern Ocean. This report in the Bulletin of the American Metrological Society was limited to 1000 words in length. This limitation precluded description and discussion of several key issues in determining a Southern Ocean state of the climate. Particular issues that have been identified include:

  1. Data coverage gaps: There is little in situ data on the Antarctic continental shelves and within the sea ice zone. This problem is typically further exacerbated during winter.
  2. Data representativeness: In areas with low data coverage it is unclear how spatially representative the available data are.
  3. Length of baselines: Most data records fall short of the 30 years typically used by climate scientists for determining climate anomalies and trends. For short records it is unclear whether year to year variation is significant.

We propose an open workshop to discuss these and similar issues, with the objective of identifying both where observations are adequate for a state of the climate assessment, where they are not, and where new or continued observational efforts could have the highest impact.  It is anticipated the outcome from this workshop will a scientific paper which will address the spatiotemporal variability of the Southern Ocean and provide a solid footing for doing future state of the environment assessments. This paper will also advise the design and planning of new observations that can contribute to SOOS. 

Panel Members:

- Mike Williams (NIWA, NZ)
- Matthew Mazloff (Scripps, USA)
- Jean-Baptiste Sallee (LOCEAN, France)
- Nathan Bindoff TBC (IMAS, Aus)
- Lynne Talley TBC (Scripps, USA)


Registration for this workshop has now closed.

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