Connections to International Organisations and Field Initiatives

SOOS has strong connections to many intergovernmental, international and national programs and initiatives.


Efforts are made to connect with these communities, and to, where possible, work together to achieve common objectives, to avoid duplication, and to enhance impact and reach. International coordination of Southern Ocean observations is not new.

Further, several programmes exist that facilitate and coordinate the planning, organisation, collection, and management of observational data. National funding in support of these initiatives make a significant contribution to the coverage of data required in an observing system. These coordination programmes also make enormous contribution to quality control and management of data, as well as ensuring the continuation and enhancement of funding for these observational activities. These programs make significant progress each year towards an integrated and sustained SOOS.

The list below outlines the key communities that SOOS connects to and works with towards common objectives.


Argo logoArgo is a global array of more than 3000 floats that measure temperature and salinity in the upper 2000 m of the ocean. The Argo array is constantly being added to, with many countries deploying new floats each year. 

Argo Website


Connection to SOOS

The data collected through the Argo program has revolutionised our understanding of the Southern Ocean system, and continues to make a very important contribution to SOOS. SOOS and Argo will continue to work together to sustain and enhance Argo coverage, and to push forward with efforts to enhance deployments of ice-capable floats and deep Argo floats.


SOOS Contacts for Argo

Susan Wijffels (Southern Ocean Argo)
Mathieu Belbeoch (JCOMMOPS - Argo data) 

Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt)


ASPeCt is an expert group on multi-disciplinary Antarctic sea ice zone research within the SCAR Physical Sciences program. ASPeCt has the key objective of improving our understanding of the Antarctic sea ice zone through focussed and ongoing field programs, remote sensing and numerical modelling. The program is designed to complement, and contribute to, other international science programs in Antarctica as well as existing and proposed research programs within national Antarctic programs. ASPeCt also includes a component of data rescue of valuable historical sea ice zone information.

ASPeCt website

Connection to SOOS

ASPeCt represents a significant proportion of the Antarctic sea ice community and is therefore a key community for SOOS to connect to. ASPeCt and SOOS will work together to define sea-ice essential variables and specific design requirements for a sea-ice observing system, and ASPeCt field programs contribute key data streams that will be incorporated into the observing system. ASPeCt is also an important user-group of the overall observing system data and will provide important feedback on the capabilities of the system. SOOS maintains communication with the ASPeCt community through a joint representative on the SOOS SSC.

SOOS contacts for ASPeCt

Steve Ackley (joint SOOS SSC and ASPeCt Co-Chair)

Antarctic Treaty System (ATS)

ATSThe main purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to ensure "in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue for ever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord."

ATS website 

Connection with SOOS

The Antarctic Treaty is the intergovernmental structure within which SOOS operates. SOOS provides a comprehensive annual report to the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings through SCAR, and has been represented in numerous Working Papers submitted by a number of nations.

SOOS contacts for ATS

SOOS connects to the ATS through SCAR and appropriate national representatives.

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

CCAMLR logoCCAMLR is an international commission established in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. CCAMLR practices an ecosystem-based management approach that not exclude harvesting as long as such harvesting is carried out in a sustainable manner and takes account of the effects of fishing on other components of the ecosystem.

CCAMLR website

Connection to SOOS

The observations and monitoring that both SOOS and CCAMLR support are complementary. Where possible, SOOS and CCAMLR work together to advocate for sustained and enhanced national support of observations. The data collected by CCAMLR is also an important contribution to SOOS. Communication and connection with CCAMLR is maintained through the SOOS Vice Chair, Andrew Constable, who is the Australian CCAMLR representative. A CCAMLR representative is also invited to all relevant SOOS workshops and meetings.

SOOS Contacts for CCAMLR

Keith Reid (Science Officer)
Andrew Constable (SOOS Vice Chair, AUS CCAMLR Rep)

CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP)

CEMP is run under the auspices of CCAMLR (the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Life) to monitor changes in critical species in the marine ecosystem, and to determine whether population fluctuations are associated with commercial harvesting or natural variability. CEMP's indicator species are Adélie, chinstrap, gentoo, and macaroni penguins, along with black-browed albatross, Antarctic petrels, cape petrels, and Antarctic fur seals. 

Information on data availability is here.


Connection to SOOS

The observations and monitoring that CEMP undertake is an important contribution to SOOS biological observations. SOOS and CEMP work together where appropriate to streamline observation efforts, and this connection will be important in the design and implementation of the observing system. Communication and connection with CCAMLR is maintained through the SOOS Vice Chair, Andrew Constable, who is the Australian CCAMLR representative. A CCAMLR representative is also invited to all relevant SOOS workshops and meetings.


SOOS Contacts for CEMP

Keith Reid (Science Officer)
Andrew Constable (SOOS Vice Chair, AUS CCAMLR Rep)

CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP)

The key objective of SORP is to serve as a forum for the discussion and communication of scientific advances in the understanding of climate variability and change in the Southern Ocean. To advise CLIVAR, CliC, and SCAR on progress, achievements, new opportunities and impediments in internationally-coordinated Southern Ocean research.

SORP website

Connection to SOOS

SORP was centrally involved in the development of SOOS objectives and scope. SORP focuses on articulating observational data requirements required for understanding climate variability and predictability in the Southern Ocean. SORP’s need for an observing system that meets these data requirements makes it a primary stakeholder in SOOS. SOOS ensures these climate variables needs are communicated to other stakeholders as the entire Southern Ocean observing system is constructed and maintained. SORP is important in providing feedback and review of this observing system to confirm the required outcomes are being achieved with respect to the climate data. Connection is maintained through regular communication between SORP and SOOS members. At least one SOOS SSC member also sits on SORP, and SOOS and SORP share National Representatives where appropriate.


SOOS contacts for SORP

Inga Smith (SORP Co-Chair)
Riccardo Farneti (SORP Co-Chair)
Matthew Mazloff (SOOS SSC, SORP member)

Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP)

COMNAPCOMNAP is an international association with the objective to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica. COMNAP brings together National Antarctic Programs that have responsibility for delivering and supporting scientific research in the Antarctic Treaty Area on behalf of their respective governments and in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty .

COMNAP website 

Connection to SOOS

COMNAP plays an important role in the international coordination of logistics and planning for Antarctic science. To enhance communication and support collaborative efforts, COMANP has developed a SOOS Think Tank, led by Australian and Chilean representatives. SOOS and COMNAP representatives are in regular communication, attend joint meetings, and will work together in the future to enhance international collaborative efforts in shipping and logistics.

SOOS contacts for COMNAP

Rob Wooding (AUS COMNAP rep, Chair of SOOS Think Tank)
Jose Retamales (Chilean COMNAP rep, Chair of SOOS Think Tank)
Michelle Rogan-Finnemore (COMNAP Executive Secretary)

Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics (ICED)

icedICED is a project of IMBER and aims to develop a coordinated circumpolar approach to better understand climate interactions in the Southern Ocean, the implications for ecosystem dynamics, the impacts on biogeochemical cycles, and the development of sustainable management procedures.

ICED website

Connection to SOOS

ICED activities will make a significant contribution to SOOS Science Theme 6. The modeling efforts of ICED will also be important in developing and reviewing the observing system design. The SOOS-ICED linkage is maintained through shared Scientific Steering Committee members and regular communication between respective project offices.


SOOS contacts for ICED

Andrew Constable (SOOS and ICED SSC member)
Dan Costa (SOOS and ICED SSC member)
Rachel Cavanagh (ICED Executive Officer)

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)

GOOSlogoGOOS is the oceanographic component of GEOSS (Global Earth Observing System of Systems), and is sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNEP, WMO and ICSU. GOOS is a permanent global system for observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. GOOS provides accurate descriptions of the present state of the oceans, including living resources; continuous forecasts of the future conditions of the sea for as far ahead as possible, and the basis for forecasts of climate change.

GOOS website 

Connection to SOOS

GOOS is implemented regionally through a number of regional observing systems called GOOS Regional Alliances (GRAs). GOOS has also developed a number of expert panels to define Essential Ocean Variables. Although not part of the Regional Alliance network, SOOS works closely with GOOS Expert Panels and relevant GRA’s (such as SOOS sponsor Australian Integrated Marine Observing System IMOS) on many issues of mutual interest and has been involved in a number of the Expert Panel activities. SOOS also uses GOOS recommendations on EOVs and the Framework for Ocean Observing as a base to design the observing system for the Southern Ocean. The connection with GOOS is maintained through joint attendance at relevant meetings, and communication between respective project offices.

SOOS contacts for GOOS

Tim Moltmann (IMOS Director, GOOS GRA Chair)
John Gunn (ex-SOOS Co-Chair, GOOS Co-Leader)


goship logoGO-SHIP brings together scientists with interests in physical oceanography, the carbon cycle, marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems, and other users and collectors of hydrographic data to develop a globally coordinated network of sustained hydrographic sections as part of the global ocean/climate observing system.


GO-SHIP website

Connection to SOOS

The observations that GO-SHIP coordinates and delivers makes an important contribution to the SOOS effort for high quality, sustained Southern Ocean observations. SOOS will work with GO-SHIP to advocate for sustained and, where appropriate, enhanced occupation of transects. SOOS also connects with GO-SHIP on data issues, through the efforts of JCOMMOPS.


SOOS Contacts for GO-SHIP

Bernadette Sloyan (GO-SHIP Co-Chair)
Martin Kramp (JCOMMOPS, Ship Coordinator)
Mike Williams (SOOS SSC, GO-SHIP Committee member)

Future Earth

Future Earth is an international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades.


Future Earth website

Connections to SOOS

SOOS connects with the Future Earth community through the science projects “Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER)”, and “Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Studies (SOLAS)”. These projects have a number of objectives that overlap with SOOS interests, either regionally or thematically. For example, IMBER is involved in the identification of Essential Ocean Variables for ecosystems, and SOLAS is involved in SOOS air-sea flux activities.

SOOS contacts for IGBP

Lisa Madden (IMBER Deputy Executive Officer)
Eileen Hofmann (IMBER SSC Chair)
Brian Ward (SOLAS SSC Member)
Emilie Breviere (SOLAS Executive Officer)

International Programme for Antarctic Buoys (IPAB)

ipabIPAB is a joint initiative of WCRP, CliC and SCAR, and works with international participants to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Southern Ocean, in particular over sea ice, to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes.

IPAB website


Connection to SOOS

IPAB contributes to SOOS through the coordination and management of important data on meteorologically and oceanographically important variables.


SOOS Contacts for IPAB

Christian Haas

International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP)

IOCCPIOCCP is a joint initiative of SCOR and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. IOCCP promotes the development of a global network of ocean carbon observations for research through technical coordination and communication services, international agreements on standards and methods, and advocacy and links to the global observing systems.

IOCCP website 

Connection to SOOS

IOCCP is charged with defining biogeochemical oceanographic EOVs for GOOS. SOOS therefore connects with the IOCCP community through EOV activities and products. IOCCP also provide input and recommendations to SOOS on matters related to carbon and biogeochemistry in the Southern Ocean. In support of this connection, an IOCCP ex-officio sits on the SOOS Scientific Steering Committee and attends relevant meetings.

SOOS contacts for IOCCP

Maciej Telszewski (IOCCP ex-officio to SOOS, IOCCP Project Director)

Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP)

In the Southern Ocean, seals often forage under and around sea ice, where Argo floats and ships struggle to go. Oceanographic data loggers are attached to mammals, providing information on their foraging behaviour temperature, depth and salinity (CTD profiles). The MEOP program brings together national programs from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Norway, South Africa, UK and USA, and has so far collected more than 300 000 CTD profiles in polar waters. These datasets are freely available for download from MEOP and from the Integrated Marine Observing System.

MEOP website


Connection to SOOS

MEOP makes a significant contribution to SOOS through coordination, quality control and delivery of important data on predator movements and behaviour, and temperature and salinity. SOOS will work with MEOP and national contributors to advocate for the continued delivery of this key data stream. Communication with MEOP is maintained through respective project offices, and through data management activities.


SOOS Contacts for MEOP

Dan Costa (SOOS SSC)

Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC)

OOPClogoThe OOPC is a scientific expert advisory group charged with making recommendations for a sustained global ocean observing system for climate in support of the goals of its sponsors; the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), GOOS and WCRP.

OOPC website 

Connection to SOOS

OOPC is charged with defining physical oceanographic EOVs for GOOS and GCOS. Where appropriate SOOS connects with the OOPC community through EOV activities and products.

SOOS contacts for OOPC

Katherine Hill (OOPC Technical Officer)

Partnership for Observations of the Global Ocean (POGO)

POGOPOGO is a forum for leaders of major oceanographic institutions around the world to promote global oceanography, particularly the implementation of international and integrated global ocean observing systems. POGO is an international network of collaborators who foster partnerships that advance efficiency and effectiveness in studying and monitoring the world’s oceans on a global scale.

POGO website 

Connections to SOOS

POGO officially endorsed SOOS in 2012. SOOS provides regular updates to POGO members, resulting in a number of official statements of support for SOOS data management and observational activities. Communication is maintained through both the respective project offices, and through joint membership of SOOS members on the POGO committee.

SOOS contacts for POGO

Michael Meredith (BAS rep to POGO, SOOS SSC member)
Richard Coleman (IMAS rep to POGO, SOOS Sponsor)
Sophie Seeyave (POGO Executive Director)

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

SCARlogoSCAR is an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU), with the mission to be the leading, independent, non-governmental facilitator, coordinator, and advocate of excellence in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science and research and to provide independent, sound, scientifically-based advice to the Antarctic Treaty System and other policy makers.

SCAR website

Connection to SOOS

SCAR is a core sponsor of SOOS and provide governance and strategic support. Additionally, SCAR supports the annual SOOS Scientific Steering Committee meeting. Many SCAR Scientific, Expert and Action Groups provide important input and data, and are key stakeholders in the observing and data system that SOOS is developing. SOOS also represents a significant proportion of SCAR Southern Ocean expertise and is therefore important in providing information and advise on Southern Ocean requirements to SCAR. Connection between SOOS and SCAR communities is strong, and is maintained through regular communication between respective project offices, involvement of SCAR representatives at SOOS meetings, and comprehensive annual reports.


SOOS contacts for SCAR

Chandrika Nath (Director)

Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)

SCORlogoSCOR is an Interdisciplinary Body of the International Council for Science (ICSU) that coordinates and facilitates activities with focus on promoting international cooperation in planning and conducting oceanographic research, and solving methodological and conceptual problems that hinder research. SCOR covers all areas of ocean science and cooperates with other organisations with common interests to conduct many SCOR activities.

SCOR website 

Connection to SOOS

SCOR is a core sponsor of SOOS and provides governance and strategic support. Additionally, SCOR supports the annual SOOS Scientific Steering Committee meeting. SOOS also makes connections with SCOR through its focussed Working Group and Research Group activities. Connection between communities is maintained through regular communication between the SCOR Director and the SOOS Executive Officer, a SCOR ex-officio is invited to all SOOS SSC meetings, SOOS provides comprehensive annual reports to SCOR and is presented at the annual SCOR EXCOM meeting.

SOOS contacts for SCOR

Ed Urban (Director)

World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

WCRPlogoWCRP is a program of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and is sponsored by WMO, UNESCO, IOC and ICSU. The mission of WCRP is to facilitate analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are 1) to determine the predictability of climate; and 2) to determine the effect of human activities on climate.

WCRP website 

Connection to SOOS

SOOS is endorsed by the WCRP “Climate and Cryosphere (CliC)” and “Climate Variability and Modelling (CLIVAR)” projects, both of which were involved in the development of SOOS following the International Polar Year. SOOS and WCRP projects work together on issues of mutual interest, such as the identification of air-sea flux essential variables for climate, and articulation of Southern Ocean requirements for satellite data. Communication between SOOS and WCRP is maintained through respective project offices and a number of SOOS Scientific Steering Committee members are also representatives on WCRP panels, further enhancing this connection.

SOOS contacts for WCRP

Mike Sparrow (WCRP Joint Planning Staff, Senior Scientific Officer)
Nico Caltabiano (CLIVAR, Senior Scientist)
Gwenaelle Hamon (CliC, Executive Officer)
Mauricio Mata (SOOS SSC, WCRP JSC member)

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

WMOThe WMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

WMO website 

Connections to SOOS

SOOS has connections to WMO through the Polar activities of the Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services (EC-PORS), and the Polar Space Task Group (PSTG). SOOS connects with these communities on specific activities and products when required.

SOOS contacts for WMO

Mark Drinkwater (WMO PSTG Chair)
Miroslav Ondras (WMO EC-PORS)

Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)

YOPPThe Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is one of the key elements of the WMO-WWRP-WCRP Polar Prediction Project, and has the mission to enable a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond, by coordinating a period of intensive observing, modelling, verification, user-engagement and education activities.

YOPP website

Connection to SOOS

In 2015, SOOS worked with SORP to outline a community comment on the YOPP Implementation Plan, which was predominantly Arctic focussed. This paper outlined priority areas for collaborative effort between communities, highlighting in particular, that all efforts should be made to align field and modelling efforts. As a result of this paper, YOPP has developed a Southern Hemisphere subcommittee to further planning and activities in this region. Both SOOS and SORP have representatives on this committee.


SOOS contacts for YOPP

Matthew Mazloff (SOOS SSC and YOPP SH committee member)
David Bromwich (YOPP SH Chair)
Steve Ackley (SOOS SSC, YOPP SH committee member)

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