KS1.3 Observing the Marine Environment

Tuesday, 21 June 2005: 9:00 AM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Paul F. Moersdorf, NOAA/NWS, Stennis Space Center, MS

With the international Group on Earth Observation's System of System's (GEOSS) emergence the number and types of marine observation programs has an opportunity to come to the forefront of international efforts. In-situ and remote sensing platforms are used to monitor and predict the weather, climate and climate variability both operationally and as a research tool. Many networks, or arrays, are in existence, with additions to or new arrays on the way. Buoys (moored and drifting); subsurface free-falling, buoyant or bottom sensors; ships of opportunity (Voluntary Observing Ships) outfitted with various instrument suites; satellite sensors; coastal meteorological and / or oceanographic stations and high frequency radars; and atmospheric profilers provide the bulk of observations in the marine environment. Not every platform is dual purpose for weather and climate applications. The status (sensor suite, location, etc.) of various observing networks are presented as well the overall national requirements addressed at the various locations. The focus will be on NOAA's role in the national and international observation strategy for a variety of government agencies whose missions include (1) Ensuring safe and efficient transportation of personnel and goods; (2) Protect natural resources by conducting environmental impact assessments; (3) Collecting unique observations to strengthen national and international warning projects; (4) Actively providing long term observation sites in accordance with climate research needs; and (5) Monitoring the ocean and atmosphere in support of space launch and sensor calibration activities. The discussion concludes with an up-to-date outlook on the future of existing observational platforms as well as the potential for new sites.
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