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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.74

Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS): Rationale and Strategy for Sustained Observations of the Southern Ocean

S.R. Rintoul(1), K. Speer(2), M. Sparrow(3), M. Meredith(4), E. Hofmann(5), E. Fahrbach(6), C. Summerhayes(3), A. Worby(7), M. England(8), R. Bellerby(9), S. Speich(10), D. Costa(11), J. Hall(12), M. Hildell(13), G. Hosie(14), K. Stanfield(15), Y. Fukamachi(16), T. de Bruin(17), A. Naveira Garabato(15), K. Alverson(18), V. Ryabinin(19), H.C. Shin(20), S. Gladyshev(21)

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By connecting the ocean basins and the upper and lower limbs of the ocean overturning circulation, the Southern Ocean plays a critical role in the global ocean circulation, biogeochemical cycles and climate. Limited observations suggest the Southern Ocean is changing: the region is warming more rapidly than the global ocean average; salinity changes driven by changes in precipitation and ice melt have been observed in both the upper and abyssal ocean; the uptake of carbon by the Southern Ocean has slowed the rate of climate change but increased the acidity of the Southern Ocean; and there are indications of ecosystem changes. However, the short and incomplete nature of existing time series means that the causes and consequences of observed changes are difficult to assess. Sustained, multi-disciplinary observations are required to detect, interpret and respond to change. The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) will provide the long-term measurements required to improve understanding of climate change and variability, biogeochemical cycles and the coupling between climate and marine ecosystems.

1CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and ACE CRC (Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre), GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 Australia
2Florida State University, 600 W. College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840 USA
3SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research), Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK
4BAS (British Antarctic Survey), High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
5Old Dominion University, CCPO (Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography), Norfolk, Virginia, 23529 USA
6AWI (Alfred Wegener Institute), Bussestrasse 24, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
7AAD (Australian Antarctic Division) and ACE CRC (Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre), University of Tasmania, Private Bag 80, Hobart, 7001, Australia
8UNSW (University of New South Wales), Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
9Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Allegaten 55, 5007 Bergen, Norway
10LPO (Laboratoire de Physique des Océans), UMR6523, UFR Sciences; Florida State University, 6, av Le Gorgeu C.S. 93837, 29238 Brest Cedex 3 France
11University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, Ca 95064 USA
12NIWA (National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research), 301 Evans Bay Parade, Hataitai, Private Bag 14901, Wellington 6021 New Zealand
13University of Tasmania Hobart, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
14Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
15National Oceanography Centre, Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom
16Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-19, Nishi-8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
17NISR (Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research), Landsdiep 4 t'Horntje, Postbus 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texe, Noord Holland, Netherlands
18IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission), 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
19WCRP (World Climate Research Programme), c/o WMO (World Meteorological Organization), 7bis, Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
20KOPRI (Korea Polar Research Institute), Songdo Techno Park Get-perl Tower 19F, 7-50, Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406-840, Korea
21Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, St Petersburg, 30, 1 Liniya, Vasilievskiy Ostrov, 199053 St.-Petersburg, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: steve.rintoul@csiro.au

This paper shall be cited as:

Rintoul, S. & Co-Authors (2010). "Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS): Rationale and Strategy for Sustained Observations of the Southern Ocean" 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.74

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