Final Draft: Conference Summary - for comment through 8 November 2010

The final draft Conference Summary is open for public review through 8 November 2010. Please leave your comments below, or e-mail them to (in track changes if you wish).

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This version of the Conference Summary is quite different from a previous draft that was circulated for comment in early 2010. We have in the end worked down two dead ends in the past year:

  • We tried building a conference summary out of the session summaries that were prepared by the session chairs and rapporteurs, but found these to be rather uneven in style and density;
  • We went back to the source material and extracted from all of the Community White Papers their core recommendations for the observing system, and tried to compile this into a meeting summary - but similarly failed because these were so uneven in style and prescriptiveness;

and we have finally come to this draft version inspired by the material above but using a different approach, which has 3 overall sections:

  1. a high-level executive summary,
  2. a description of the conference process,
  3. a synthesis of recommendations, opportunities and challenges for the observing system, broken down by component: observing platforms, sensor and technology development, the data system, information and services, and overall observing system design.

The document also includes a preface that would be the first piece of the volume, followed by the table of contents, the adopted Conference Statement, and the summary we seek comment on.

5 open review comments to “Final Draft: Conference Summary - for comment through 8 November 2010”

  1. Mark Drinkwater says:

    Start of Section 1.1 - should read:
    “global oceans influence mankind”

    Pg 4, Section 2.0 4th para (after bullets), should read:
    “…, and introduced high-level perspectives… ”

    Section 3.1.1 - Commercial Ships sub-section, should read
    meterological –> meteorological

    pCO2The –> ” pCO2. The..”

    Section 3.1.4 - Satellites Section”:
    typo “intercallibration” –> intercalibration

  2. Lisa Beal says:

    Section “3.1.2 Moored Buoys” has subsections “Long-term (OceanSITES-type) timeseries”, “Tropical arrays”, “Observatories”. Suggest that “End-Point Arrays” or similar should be added for moored arrays of the type at 26.5 N in the Atlantic (RAPID-MOCHA), which are now planned for the subpolar North Atlantic and the South Atlantic and hence will become a significant component of the global ocean observing system. These arrays provide the capability for monitoring basin-wide circulation and overturning. Also, suggest removing “(OceanSITES-type)” from first subsection, unless “types” for other moored buoys are added - e.g. “TOGA-TAO” for Tropical Arrays.

  3. Lisa Beal says:

    3.1.5 Ocean Acoustics, (1) Proven technology - should include velocity data from acoustics.

  4. Bruce Howe and Brian Dushaw says:

    This draft of the conference summary is very good!

    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:

    in 3.2
    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.


  5. Hanne Sagen says:

    Under the paragraph 3.1.3

    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.