A key recommendation from the OceanObs’09 Conferenceheld in Venice in September 2009 was for international integration and coordination of interdisciplinary ocean observations. Based on impressive agreement among the many groups present and their strong desire to work collectively, the sponsors commissioned a Task Team to develop an Integrated Framework for Sustained Ocean Observing (hereafter referred to as the FOO). The FOO was published in May 2012 and the implementation process started shortly after.
One of the initial tasks set by the FOO was for the three Ocean Observing System Panels (Physics & Climate, Biology & Ecosystems and Biogeochemistry), interacting through virtual and in-person meetings and workshops, to propose and advocate for a set of Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) as fundamental measurements needed to address the current scientific and societal ocean-related issues. This list would enable funding of the interdisciplinary, integrated global ocean observing network (the improved, multidisciplinary GOOS). Each panel is tasked to consult the community and create a consortium of relevant and interested experts and/or organizations, helping to justify and negotiate the inclusion of certain parameters in the final list of EOVs.
As the community is gearing up for the forthcoming OceanObs'19 Conference, there is a set of EOVs spanning all three disciplinary panels already established (www.goosocean.org/eov). An overview article documenting the multi-stage process of selecting the final list of EOVs is currently being drafted by the GOOS Expert Panels. Moreover, strong efforts to harmonize the work of three panels have been made to ensure that the vision of a truly multidisciplinary GOOS is gradually being realized.
Below you can find the current (August 2017) version of the Biogeochemistry EOVs. While these documents are being continuously improved, public release of updated versions is planned no more frequently than on an annual basis.
Comments, inputs, edits and any other types of interaction are welcome! Please direct your communications to the IOCCP Chairs and Project Office at ioccp[at]ioccp.org.
IOCCP Project Officer
Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs)
Specification Sheets (version: 25.08.2017; Ocean Colour added on 24.09.2018)
*You can download all GOOS EOV Specification Sheets (Physics & Climate, Biogeochemistry, Biology & Ecosystems) from www.goosocean.org/eov.
Towards the OceanObs'19 Conference
The next steps for FOO implementation have also been undertaken using the EOV concept. This includes most notably the recently held workshop on Implementation of Multidisciplinary Sustained Ocean Observations (IMSOO; for details and report click here), 8-10 February 2017, Miami, FL, USA. The workshop resulted in drafts of project implementation strategies developed under three 'demonstration themes': (i) plankton community changes, (ii) oxygen minimum zones, and (iii) open ocean, shelf and coastal ocean exchanges. First tangible outcomes of these proposed projects could emerge just in time to be highlighted at the OceanObs'19 Conference.
With the set of Biogeochemistry EOVs in place, we initiated efforts to set observing targets for the biogeochemical ocean observing system. As part of the AtlantOS project, which itself can be seen as basin-scale implementation of the FOO, IOCCP ran a prototype workshop on 29 November - 1 December 2016 in Sopot, Poland, during which phenomena-based targets for the observing system were discussed and proposed. The concept of optimally designing the multidisciplinary, multi-platform observing system based on the characteristics of key ocean phenomena to capture is challenging but lies at the heart of the FOO. Furthermore, it is very much complementary to the traditional approach of setting targets per observing network, e.g. through key performance indicators (KPIs).
In a recent AtlantOS deliverable report on "Capacities and Gap Analysis" (co-authored by IOCCP), AtlantOS partners took up the challenge of analysing the current capacities and gaps of all three disciplinary components of the Atlantic Ocean Observing System (OOS). This task was unprecedented due to the very different levels of "maturity" in setting societal requirements for designing and carrying out sustained measurements of physical, biogeochemical and biological phenomena and the EOVs needed to observe and model them. Following up on an earlier integrated look at the societal requirements across the three disciplines, the report outlines a strategy towards a comprehensive capacity and gap analysis of the OOS, and as such, marks another significant step towards regional as well as global implementation of the FOO.
Stages of the value chain of the Ocean Observing System, following the FOO approach.
History of the BGC EOV development process
Due to its extensive expertise in coordination of ocean carbon observations, the IOCCP was asked in early 2012 by the FOO Task Team to lead the GOOS Biogeochemistry Panel. The IOCCP developed a 4-step work plan leading to the initial assessment of the existing observing network. The IOCCP has compiled the available information on societal and scientific requirements regarding the marine biogeochemistry parameters necessary for inclusion into the FOO as EOVs. The next step involved consulting with programmatic and institutional partners on their requirements for the multidimensional feasibility assessment of the proposed parameters. Observing, modeling and sensor/instrument developing communities were involved. Following the consultation process, the IOCCP carried out a multidimensional feasibility assessment of the proposed parameters built on the FOO recommendations and summarized the results for inclusion into the Global Climate Observing System.
The process was kick-started through a GOOS-sponsored and IOCCP-organized expert meeting which was carried out side by side with the Biology and Ecosystem Panel meeting. The First Technical Workshop for Biology and Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry Panels was held in Townsville, Australia in November 2013 (Technical Experts Workshop for GOOS Biogeochemistry Panel Draft Report). During this workshop the GOOS Biogeochemistry Panel sought advice from technical experts to assist with:
identification of major scientific and societal challenges that require sustained observations of ocean biogeochemistry variables;
identification of candidate biogeochemical Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs);
defining the state of readiness of set requirements, existing observing system elements and existing data streams for all proposed EOVs on the various frequency and resolution levels;
identifying monitoring activities and projects to practically implement the biological and biogeochemistry recommendations in the GOOS Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO), the Panel for Integrated Coastal Observation (PICO) Plan and the upcoming update of the Global Climate Observing System’s Implementation Plan.
Input of a wider community was invited before, during and after the town hall meeting organized during the OSM'14 in Honolulu.
Finally, the IOCCP Chair Toste Tanhua and IOCCP Director Maciej Telszewski then gave a GOOS webinar entitled "Towards Essential Ocean Variables for Biogeochemistry" which was an opportunity to provide the community with a short status update but most importantly, means of seeking the community's opinion on the biogeochemical EOVs proposed for long-term global monitoring.