The Southern Ocean is fundamentally important to the Earth system, influencing global climate, biogeochemical and ecological cycles. Limited observations suggest the Southern Ocean is changing, yet chronic under-sampling makes the causes and consequences of such changes difficult to assess, and limits the effectiveness of any response. A Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) is thus being created, to facilitate integration of resources, to enhance data collection and access, and to guide the sustained development of strategic, multidisciplinary science in the Southern Ocean. Here we outline the long-term vision for this system, the gains inherent in its implementation, and how the international community can move towards achieving it.
Authors: Meredith, Michael P., Schofield, Oscar, Newman, Louise, Urban, Ed, Sparrow, Michael