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.


Publication status:
Authors: Rintoul, S.R., Speer, K., Sparrow, M., Meredith, Michael ORCIDORCID record for Michael Meredith, 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.

Editors: Hall, J., Harrison, D.E., Stammer, D.

On this site: Michael Meredith
1 January, 2010
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.