National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce



Global Sea Surface Temperature - August 2015.
Image courtesy of NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

With more than 70% of the Earth covered by oceans, global weather and climate are strongly affected by exchanges of heat and moisture between the ocean and the air.  The mission of the Ocean Climate Stations Project (OCS) is to make meteorological and oceanic measurements from moored buoys. These reference time series are used to improve satellite products and forecast models, and improve our understanding of air-sea interactions, and their role within the climate system.

Improved understanding of the climate system will help society adapt to climate variations and changes. Improved, more physically realistic forecast models will help reduce society's vulnerability to weather and climate extremes, preparing a weather-ready nation.

The OCS program encourages broad use of the data and welcomes collaboration.  Visit our data pages, and feel free to contact us to learn more.

What's New

The OCS Station Papa mooring has been deployed since 2007, measuring parameters including sea surface salinity and temperature (top), and seawater and atmospheric boundary layer xCO2 (bottom).  Data plots from Fassbender, et al. 2016.  Background image and graphic by J. Keene.

March 16, 2016

Members of the PMEL Ocean Climate Stations Project (OCS) and the PMEL Carbon Program recently published two companion papers describing ocean processes in the North Pacific that play a role in the Earth’s climate system. 

OCS Principal Investigator Dr. Meghan Cronin and her co-authors examined the exchanges of heat and salt affecting the mixed water layer of the upper ocean, since exchanges of heat and freshwater between the ocean and the atmosphere can have an effect on weather and climate.  Using data from the OCS KEO and Papa moorings, satellites, Argo floats, and a glider, the authors calculated and closed the heat budget for the mixed layer at both KEO and Station Papa, and also closed the salt budget at Papa.  The good agreement between the diffusive coefficients from the heat and salt budgets suggested that this coefficient could be used to help close the mixed layer budgets of other ocean properties.

Building on these results,... more