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GOOS - Global Ocean Observing System

Understanding the effects of the ocean upon climate is central to wise resource management. Indeed, the world ocean plays a major role in a vast number of processes occurring at the surface of the earth. Governments, industry, science and the public need a unified global network to systematically acquire, integrate and distribute oceanic observations.

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is an ambitious undertaking by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) together with scientific guidance from the International Council for Science (ICSU). It is the prime world focus for:

  • coordinated, cooperative interaction between nations to create a true "globally interlinked" system for the gathering, archiving and distribution of all useful kinds marine and oceanic data on an ongoing basis;
  • the invention and implementation of technology for acquiring and handling these data, and for generating "products" using these data that can be applied for the benefit of mankind and the safe use and preservation of the marine and oceanic environment;
  • the building of technical and educational capacity in less-developed and smaller countries, to enable them to acquire and use marine and oceanic data and products for their own particular needs.

The prime body overseeing the planning and implementing of GOOS is the jointly sponsored GOOS Steering Committeee (GSC). For convenience GOOS has been divided into five "Modules" planned by Panels of scientific and technical experts which report to the GSC. Panels are also created as needed to deal with cross-cutting and implementation aspects of GOOS, such as data and information management and capacity-building. Since other global systems for climate and terrestrial observing are also under development, and because of the central importance of space-based observation, many of the GOOS panels are linked with these systems and with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

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© FAO   ::   Global Terrestrial Observing System - GTOS   ::   15 January 2007