Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS): Rationale and strategy for sustained observations of the Southern Ocean
By connecting the ocean basins and the upper and lower
limbs of the ocean overturning circulation, the Southern
Ocean plays a critical role in the global ocean
circulation, biogeochemical cycles and climate. Limited
observations suggest the Southern Ocean is changing:
the region is warming more rapidly than the global
ocean average; salinity changes driven by changes in
precipitation and ice melt have been observed in both
the upper and abyssal ocean; the uptake of carbon by the
Southern Ocean has slowed the rate of climate change
but increased the acidity of the Southern Ocean; and
there are indications of ecosystem changes. However,
the short and incomplete nature of existing time series
means that the causes and consequences of observed
changes are difficult to assess. Sustained, multidisciplinary observations are required to detect, interpret and respond to change. The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) will provide the long-term
measurements required to improve understanding of
climate change and variability, biogeochemical cycles
and the coupling between climate and marine ecosystems.
Authors: Rintoul, S.R., Speer, K., Sparrow, M., Meredith, Michael, Hofmann, E., Fahrbach, E., Summerhayes, C., Worby, A., England, M., Bellerby, R., Speich, S., Costa, D., Hall, J., Hindell, M., Hosie, G., Stansfield, K., Fukamachi, Y., de Bruin, T., Naveira Garabato, A., Alverson, K., Ryabinin, V., Shin, H.C., Gladyshev, S.
In: Hall, J., Harrison, D.E., Stammer, D. (eds.). OceanObs 09: Ocean information for society: Sustaining the benefits, realizing the potential. Vol. 2, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, European Space Agency, 851-863.