National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1999

The legacy of COARE for technology and ocean-atmosphere observing capability

Fairall, C.W., P. Hacker, E.F. Bradley, S. Anderson, Y. du Penhoat, C. Eriksen, K.S. Gage, S. Kennan, M. LeMone, M. McPhaden, C. Ohlmann, D. Parsons, C. Paulson, R. Pinkel, S. Rutledge, A. Soloviev, R. Weller, E. Westwater, and E. Zipser

In COARE98—Proceedings of a Conference on the TOGA Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment, WCRP-107, WMO/TD-No. 940, Boulder, CO, 7–14 July 1998, 116–138 (1999)

The observational goals of COARE called for measurements on a grand scale and with, in many cases, unprecedented accuracy. Only a few measurement systems were fielded essentially for the first time in COARE (e.g., the Eldora airborne Doppler radar). Rather, COARE was the focus for several long oceanographic and meteorological development programs to improve instruments, measurement techniques, and analysis/processing methods. During the COARE field program, several carefully planned intercomparisons were conducted, and after COARE years were spent in developing processing methods and reconciling observational disparities. Several post-COARE measurement programs were designed to resolve unexplained disagreements; for example, intercomparisons of radiation sensors and rain-tower calibrations of conventional and optical rain gauges. Many of the key observing systems (the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) surface mooring, the seagoing and island-based atmospheric profiling systems, ship-based Doppler rainfall radars, and direct flux measurements from ships) derived benefit from a series of earlier deployments, pilot cruises, and international cooperation. In some cases, relatively new but well-proven technologies were employed on a larger scale and with much more quantitative emphasis in COARE. For example, the use of profiling, towed SeaSoar temperature and salinity measuring systems in concert with shipboard acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) to monitor upper ocean heat and freshwater budgets was a rousing success, yet was seriously (and quite reasonably) questioned in the planning stages of COARE. Several recent and/or planned field programs have built on the success of COARE by using many of these systems and methods. Thus, COARE became a major turning point for a variety of air-sea interaction observing technologies that have not only yielded valuable science with COARE but have benefited science more broadly and for the future.

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