|COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER||10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.48|
The Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme
Elizabeth C. Kent(1), Graeme Ball(2), David I. Berry(1), Julie Fletcher(3), Alan Hall(4), Sarah North(5), Scott Woodruff(6)
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The Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) Scheme is an observing program for marine meteorology, continuing a record extending back centuries. VOS are an important component of the surface observing system, providing air and sea surface temperatures, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, waves, ice and weather data. Observational metadata allow biases to be diagnosed and corrected.
Despite its importance, the Scheme faces challenges. Observation numbers have declined as more data from satellites and buoys becomes available. However, buoys and satellites do not replace the full multivariate VOS record, which is needed for applications including climate monitoring, air-sea interaction and satellite validation. Other issues include changes to the transmission system and the security and commercial concerns of ship operators whose ships are identified in the data stream. Current initiatives are aimed at improving data quality, real time metadata availability and archival of data for climate applications.
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This paper shall be cited as:
Kent, E. & Co-Authors (2010). "The Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.48
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