I would have liked to have seen a specific data integration component to the framework that drives both data integration between the various designated components and those new technologies / platforms that come into the framework and the delivery of high quality data and information products to both the scientific and environmental management community.
Argo is put forward as the great success story but a key part of that success has been via its focus on data management and data quality. We have come a long way since then and to reflect this we need to up the focus and commitment to data, data quality, data integration and the extraction of knowledge from the data.
Together we prosper, divided we fall! Integrate or perish…
There are a number of new initiatives being developed as a partnership with IT and ecological observing that would/could dramatically change how ocean data is accessed, used and valued. yes this can be done piecemeal but you can do so much more if it is a fundamental component of the framework not as a tacked on bit of a smaller project.
I realize that many topics may be worth being included in this Framework for Oceanobs ! It is rather easy to find “Nice to have” features… that could be quoted here ! Being in retirement since 2000, I am not really in a position to assess if, and which, of the remarks below may be relevant, either in this document, or in some other one.
In view of the holiday season, these issues could not be discussed inside Le Club de Argonautes before the closing date. They are only personal views that may, or may not, be supported by colleagues from the Club.
1) Capacity Building and improved awareness are mentioned, as well as Data Sharing. These good ideas are acknowledged with pleasure ! However, it seems to me that there exists a risk of convincing only those decision makers that already have sufficient awareness… (I guess that this Framework is intended to convince also some of… “those who need to be convinced”?!)
For instance, I read on page 7:
“For many in the ocean observing community, the concepts promoted in this report will require few behavioral or organizational changes, but will simply codify and strengthen existing successful practices.”
While my experience as former TOPEX-Poseïdon and Jason series Cnes Program manager allows me to concur with this statement, I am concerned that useful ressources may exist outside the “ocean observing community”.
For instance, in “UN family programs” (in particular those devoted to LME’s by the World Bank and/or the GEF), to the best of my knowledge, we lack a “rule of good practice” (or rather… a requirement !), to share in near real time any “ocean relevant” measurement that may be performed under this umbrella (e.g. as a task of the int’l program control & monitoring).
From previous involvements in GOOS meetings, I maintain the feeling that even when awareness among UN officers is present, still… there are some “stupid questions” such as “Who should push where… or Who should pull from…” these data ? The tiny incremental work required… may hamper data sharing ! (since… “No resources have been allocated for this task which is clearly outside our program”.)
The same loss of useful observations may occur in future industrial exploitation of Renewable Marine Energies, where, (at least in EEZ), requirements to monitor possible environmental impacts of such marine energy plants may be enforced.
In my view, such possible waste of ressources should be adressed either in this Framework, or elsewhere, (including, in an ideal world… some deviation from current Law of the sea).
2) I could not find any reference to the WWW of WMO: we have under our eyes several decades of World Weather Watch operations, in the framework of a set of intergovernmental agreements designed primarily to preclude a “data gap” somewhere in the (badly needed) global coverage of atmospheric and ocean surface conditions. At any time, such a data gap may result from a governemental shift in one particular member state government, (or from cuts in public funding following a debt crisis, for instance).
Int’l programs and organisations are indeed important, but the WWW would not deliver, if there was not a broad network of national met agencies whose mandate is supported by these intergov agreements for continued operations… I wonder why this model, (where a set of permanent observations is recognised as a critical public infrastructure), could not be considerered… either to highlight its field proven advantages, or to correct its few pitfalls, including bureaucratic trends. (Thirty years ago… one of my colleagues -and a future director of WCRP- used to say: “En meteo, peu importe ce [l’obs] qui vient, pourvu que ça [elle…] vienne a l’heure !”)
3) Consideration of the outcome of the Conference. Even though “a collective call from the conference participants” is mentioned in the Introduction (page 6), I could not find any reference to the Conference Statement (as well as to the Conference Summary).
Given a well know trend of any new working, (or advisory), group to… get rid of constraints that could result from consideration of work by previous groups… I have a (bad) feeling that little may be saved from the work accomplished prior or during OceanObs09. This finding is reinforced by sentences such as: “For an observation requirement to drive a sustained global observation effort, it must be reviewed within the Framework according to several criteria…” (Parag. 4.3 page 17).
I wonder what would happen if… (given the “mix of criteria and membership” within the contemplated Framework periodical reviews), a recomm. for discontinuing gravity field or SSH measurements emerged during such a review process ?
Conversely, there may be some unknown, (at least to me), outstanding issue… that prevents the scientific community, (and on going climate process studies), to benefit from time series of oceanic surface winds of “Climate quality”: while present wind measurements seems to be adequate for mesoscale short term forecasting (including improvement of hurricanes trajectories), it is a pity that no single organisation exists that could be blamed for the current severe lack of confidence in the “climate change value” of long term series of oceanic wind. (There are almost as many trends in average oceanic wind as time series available…). It seems to me that a “GHRSST like” effort to improve this situation should be considered.
4) I noticed a somehow excessive use of words like “increasing” (or increase: 15 occurences), and above all, of “societal” (or society: over 35 occurences).
While the desire to convince that Global change deserves permanent global ocean measurements… is understood, it seems to me that a more comprehensive description of this overall requirement should be given (e g: “In a period of Global Change, a data gap in a time series of such and such geophysical parameter, may be an irrecoverable loss”, or some improved comprehensive explanation along this line !)
5) Given the vastness of the ocean and the current situation of undersampling, repetitive and multi localised in situ measurements insuring global coverage are needed… In turn, this could call for some “grouped mass procurement of standardized sensors” to be considered, at least on a regional scale.]]>
2) I am unclear as to the intended scope of the Framework. GCOS defines ECVs at the surface in both the oceanic and atmospheric domain. Both are needed for estimates of air-sea exchanges. The division of responsibilities for measurements in the atmosphere over the ocean has, to my mind, never been entirely clear between AOPC and OOPC. AOPC is not mentioned in the framework document. The document should be clear as to whether all GCOS ECVs measured in the atmosphere near the ocean surface are within the scope of the framework, and if so ensure that there is expertise on the steering group to cover this.
3) GCOS ECVs are limited to those variables which are considered “feasible for global implementation and have a high impact on UNFCCC requirements” (although impact seems the wrong word there). The framework has broader scope (within the ocean and marine atmospheric domain) in that it is explicitly also considering variables not yet feasible for global implementation and does not restrict applications to climate. I can understand that the authors are reluctant to provide a list of EOVs but not to provide any information is problematic. Are any ocean or marine surface atmospheric ECVs not considered to be EOVs? One of the goals of the FOO seems to be to extend the ECV concept to include more non-physics variables. What are the priorities? We will never have all the money we need, I expected the framework to provide some mechanism to evaluate and prioritize candidates for ocean observing system expansion, enhancement or depreciation - but can’t really understand from the document how it would do this.
4) The ESA Climate Change Initiative has put a lot of effort into the collection and assessment of user requirements and a lot has been learned, at least in the case of SST with which I was involved as a contributor. The ESA CCI collected information beyond what is available in the WMO Rolling Review of Requirements, for example the need for stability and for detailed error information in products. It would be good to build on this new information and to perform a review of the “rolling review” in terms of ensuring that all users requirements are captured (I can’t see the accuracy requirements for surface fluxes in there for example), that the requirements are assessed and streamlined where possible (not all groups of users actually know what they want) and that all the appropriate information is included. I suspect that exploring different ways of presenting the information, guided by the CCI experience, would help people to engage with the development of more robust and comprehensive user requirements. Not all the requirements can be adequately expressed by statements about spatiotemporal resolution, accuracy and timeliness.
5) The Framework does not describe the need for adequacy assessments against the user requirements. Some observing system requirements have been expressed as a number of platforms (e.g. Argo, surface drifters) and these have tended to be those elements of the observing system that have reached their targets because it is easy to understand and to measure progress. When considering an integrated observing system combining many different types of platform with different accuracies and error dependencies it is harder to express requirements in this simple way. When user requirements were first developed they tended to be “back of the envelope” calculations because the information required to make more complex calculations was not available. The user requirements process should be a cycle of defining (and assessing) requirements, followed by assessment of the adequacy of the system which then feeds back to improved definition of user requirements and/or changes to the system design in a continuing loop. Considering climate applications, many datasets now have uncertainty estimates and we can use this information to develop observing system assessments and feedback information to those overseeing the implementation of the observing system. The importance of considering the correlation structure of uncertainty that feeds into adequacy assessments is increasingly being recognized, in particular the need to consider partial correlation (e.g. for observations from a single platform, platform type or under certain synoptic conditions) in addition to random and purely systematic uncertainties.
6) I struggled to understand how the proposed Framework would sit alongside the other organizations that exist to do similar/related things, some of which are mentioned in the text. The Framework is clearly intended to be more than an umbrella for existing activities, and I suspect there are things that would be gained from the sort of approach outlined. But I think it needs to be clearer which elements the Framework process is intended to cover. I’ll take GCOS as an example. The GCOS IP has an ocean chapter - is that seen as providing the definitive word for those EOVs it covers? Or does the Framework plan to construct it’s own implementation plan, which would be a rather ambitious undertaking? Reading the document I didn’t get a good feel for the amount of work that was envisaged. I think it would be helpful to be specific about which elements are considered to be already covered and the Framework would just pull in information from another source, and where the serious work needs to be done. There’s potentially a lot of work to be done and I think the document needs to be clearer about the tasks, effort and the bureaucratic overhead that are envisaged so that these can be balanced against the benefits of the Framework. I can see that scientists involved in pre-ECV programs would likely perceive benefit in engagement, but the benefits for those involved with mature systems are less clear.
7) I am also unclear about how the individual scientists who were authors of the OceanObs White Papers will contribute to the process. There are references in the document to outreach, and to various communities whose views will be sought. The governance structure relies heavily on the existing (and extensions to) the observing panel structures, plus the engagement of partners and sponsors. The several hundred OceanObs authors have already made an investment in the process, it would be good to explain how that cohort can become engaged with the Framework and hence remain engaged with OceanObs. Do they just sit around and wait to be asked by one of the panels to, for example, contribute to one of the expert reviews? Will anyone be ensuring that the Framework covers the interests of all of those encouraged to contribute to OceanObs papers? The Framework seems to be relying on familiar names (through the panels) who are already busy. As a contributing author of several white papers I have heard nothing from OceanObs for nearly 2 years, and am now asked to comment on a document which describes a process that it is not clear to me how I can contribute to.
The importance of DOIs for data products is mentioned. I think it would be helpful to also talk somewhere about the need for unique observation IDs which it is being recognized are important for assembling datasets from different sources (e.g. identifying the real time equivalent of a delayed mode observation).
9) Figure 1 has GHTSST instead of GHRSST]]>
p. 20, section 6, 2nd para under SST : Replace “Operational weather forecasting services worldwide maintain a database of SST requirements as a part of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) “Rolling Review of Requirements,”” by “the World Meteorological Organization maintain a database of observational user requirements - including SST in particular - for WMO Applications (e.g. numerical weather prediction, marine services, climate monitoring and applications, seasonal to inter-annual climate forecasting, hydrology, …) as a part of its “Rolling Review of Requirements,””]]>
1. Repeat Hydrography (GO-SHIP)
2. Surface Underway pCO2 Measurements
3. Moorings (OceanSITES)
4. Floats and Gliders.
I suggest that the development of an integrated observing system network that utilizes some or all these activities should be mentioned in the Framework document and should be a part of the discussion of the “essential environmental variables” in terms of readiness because some variables are more “ready” on some platforms than others. Perhaps a function of the Ocean Observing Implementation Team activities could be the delineation of a network design that utilizes the best attributes of the available platforms and sensors. If so, this should be articulated in the Framework document.
My concern about this draft Framework document is that unless each of these observing systems are mentioned in the Framework document (as you did for GO-SHIP) I fear that the Framework process will NOT address this important coordination issue and we’ll be left to deal with this problem as separate independent observing systems, as is precisely being done now. I strongly suggest that you reconsider this issue with your panel and give it careful consideration. The Framework document is much too important not give this important issue its due consideration.]]>
Please add the following sentence at the end of that paragraph
“Future under ice operations of drifting buoys, profiling floats and gliders requires installation of acoustic infrastructure for tracking, navigation, timing and communication. ”
Under the paragraph 3.1.5 Ocean Acoustics I suggest to change to
“……new emerging opportunities:
(1) Proven technology of active acoustics; includes the full-depth monitoring of ocean temperature and current changes as integrals over long distances at an adjustable temporal resolution. Ocean acoustic tomography can be done along single path or in a tomographic setting to resolve entire basins. The infrastructure used for acoustic tomography also provide navigation of underwater vehicles and tracking of floats, e.g. under ice. Sonar systems also have shown enormous potential in the past and will be used in increased applications in the future, particularly for exploring the sea floor and the interior of the Arctic Ocean.
(2) New acoustic technology will reside especially in the passive applications. Here the monitoring of rain near the surface, the monitoring noise in the ocean, noise caused by sea ice dynamics, or fish and larger marine organism logging will be among the important new applications and opportunities. Technology for acoustic assessment of mid trophic level organisms (mesozooplankton and micronektonic prey) is now possible using multifrequency acoustics providing data for identification and quantification at a global scale.
Two general comments and then (minor) detailed edits.
1. One of the main results (for me) of the conference was the more explicit recognition that the deep/abyssal observing system is nearly non-existent, and needs to be developed with multiple technologies. Both of these points did not come through to me in the current draft (only piecemeal here and there). Exactly where to emphasize this, though, is not clear to me.
2. Similarly, the explicit use models and data assimilation tools (e.g., observing system simulation experiments) to better guide the development of this system of systems is missing from the “Information and Services” section (that briefly mentions models and assimilation). In section 3.5 Observing system design, the phrase “adaptive design process” is used and “a 5- to 10-year revisit cycle is appropriate” is suggested. While this is true perhaps from a programmatic point of view, the actual activity of designing the observing system objectively using models and data assimilation to quantitatively assess information available, information needed, and essential redundancies (to be either reduced or supported) must be a continuing one. And, it must address the current imperfect system with its weaknesses as well as looking to the future when biogeochemical and biological elements become routine.
preface p1. … to respond to these opportunities
p1, 1.1 … The global oceans influence mankind …
half of the surface of our planet is made up of the high seas
p4, … were asked to write papers
is “a CEOS satellite virtual constellation” not implied already in “a particular element of the sustained observing system” and could be deleted? If left in, define CEOS.
These papers were available in draft form for review and comment, and they form the core…
p5. … include many elements: observations from both satellite and in situ platforms, a data infrastructure …
p7. Observatories: … providing sustained infrastructure above, on, and below the seafloor, including power, communication and timing to individual applications.
p8 define CEOS, SAR and ALT
change first sentences to:
Ocean acoustics opens new opportunities for monitoring properties of the ocean currently not observed with existing observing components. In contrast to satellite and electromagnetic remote sensing, the ocean is largely transparent to sound enabling this form of in situ remote sensing. Here, we can distinguish between proven technology and new emerging opportunities:
change: … The development of energy harvesting and renewable energy sources hold great long-term promise and may include methane hydrate fuel cells, microbial fuel cells, sea surface voltaic cells, and ocean thermal and motion-to-electricity technology.
[I am thinking of the recent success of Yi Chao, JPL, and his OTEC powered Argo/SOLO-TREC float]
p11 define JCOMM and IODE
Acoustic communication between a sensor and a relay device would be very valuable as would improved biotagging capability.