of Tropical Moored Buoy Implementation Panel (TIP) Activities
M. J. McPhaden, NOAA/PMEL
Prepared for CLIVAR SSG-12
Victoria, BC, Canada
6-9 May 2003
data have been used widely for monitoring the evolution of the 2002-2003
El Niņo event and for initialising ENSO forecast models at operational
weather and climate centres around the world. TAO/TRITON
data also underpin much of CLIVAR research on ENSO and related variability
in the tropical Pacific. In calendar
year 2002, 43 refereed publications used TAO/TRITON data to improve the
description of tropical Pacific phenomena, to diagnose variability on
seasonal to interannual timescales, and to validate and improve climate
models, data assimilation methods,
and satellite products (see /tao/proj_over/pubs/taopubsr.shtml). The value of TAO/TRITON mooring time series
for CLIVAR research is enhanced by shipboard measurements of physical,
chemical and biological parameters made on repeat routine buoy serving
cruises. These cruises also afford opportunities to
support other elements of the climate observing system by providing a
convenient platform for buoy, drifter and weather balloon launches and
other measurement activities.
The originally planned TRITON array of 18 sites
in the Pacific and Indian Oceans was completed in August 2002.
in 1997, has not yet achieved the same level of scientific productivity
as TAO/TRITON. Use of PIRATA data
for research and forecasting is growing though.
The 9th session of the PIRATA SSC was held in Angra
dos Reis, Brazil from 3-5 February 2003 to review progress and plans. Problems with vandalism, data return, ship
time, and shipping were discussed, as were possible array expansions.
As part of the CLIVAR/OOPC
Time Series Reference Stations initiative, 5 TAO/TRITON sites and 3 PIRATA
sites are recommended as future surface flux reference stations.
Additional sites are recommended as multi-disciplinary observatories.
Process studies embedded
in TAO/TRITON: 1) The EPIC experiment along 95°W is winding down this
year after a successful 4 year field phase. 2) Discussions are underway in US CLIVAR for a possible study of
equatorial upwelling in the Pacific, incorporating intensive field measurements
in the framework of the TAO/TRITON array.
The planned study, called PUMP (Pacific Upwelling and Mixing Physics),
will hold a first organizational meeting in Boulder, CO during 19-21 May
2003. See http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/~kessler/clivar/pump.html.
The TIP was represented
by M. McPhaden and M. Jury at the Indian Ocean GOOS meeting held during
4-8 November 2002 in Mauritius. Discussion
concerning moored buoy measurements benefited from a multiple-author position
paper developed prior to the meeting (Masumoto et al, 2002).
The meeting made progress towards design of a large-scale open
ocean moored buoy array, identifying near term priorities relevant to
CLIVAR science. At the conclusion
of the meeting, an ad hoc working group of the TIP was formed to further
develop the array design and implementation strategies.
Buoy design continues to evolve. This
year, field testing of sonic anemometers has begun in the hopes of reducing
wind data loss from vandalism and increasing wind measurement accuracy.
An intercomparison of IMET, TRITON, and ATLAS buoy meteorological measurements
highlighting the general comparability of these measurements was published
as Woods Hole technical report in December 2002. Barometric pressure and
downwelling long wave radiation from ATLAS moorings along 95°-110°W have
been added to the TAO data delivery web page, and barometric pressure
from ATLAS moorings is now being transmitted via the GTS. A longer term
development underway at PMEL and in the prototype phase at present is
to develop a new generation of deep ocean surface mooring that can more
easily be constructed, deployed and serviced and that will be less expensive
than existing technologies.
The Report of the CLIVAR
co-sponsored Tropical Moored Buoy Workshop, held in Seattle in September
2001, was published in June 2002. The
report strongly endorsed the science being supported by the TAO/TRITON
array, its continuation (with PIRATA), and an expansion of moored buoy
measurements into the Indian Ocean.
In the past year, the Administrator of NOAA recommended transfer of TAO
and PIRATA operations from PMEL to NOAA's National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).
A transition plan was submitted to the NOAA Administrator on 15
January 2003. The NOAA Executive Council met in March 2003
and recommended against the transfer at this time. Rather, NOAA has adopted
a strategy to determine observational requirements in support of its climate
forecasting and assessment missions, considering all components of the
observing system as a coherent whole in making recommendations for transition
from research to operations. Input
from the CLIVAR SSG to the NOAA Administrator on this issue was both welcomed
and beneficial in the decision making process.
IMPACTS OF ACTIVITIES OF OTHER PROGRAMS
TAO/TRITON data are used extensively in ENSO forecasting and in generating
climate products. TAO/TRITON and PIRATA data are incorporated
into GODAE data bases to support operational ocean data assimilation and
data product development.
DECISIONS REQUIRED FROM SSG
Formal recognition by CLIVAR is requested for the TIP Ad Hoc Indian Ocean
Working Group. The primary goal
of the group would be to develop and coordinate implementation of a moored
buoy array to address CLIVAR scientific objectives and to support operational
analyses and forecasting. Individuals willing to serve on the working
group are: M. McPhaden (USA), M. Jury (So. Africa), Y. Masumoto (Japan),
R. Molcard (France), M. Ravichandran (India), C. Perigaud (USA), G. Vecchi
(USA), G. Meyers (Australia), VSN Murty (India), and P. Hacker (USA). This working group may not be necessary however if CLIVAR establishes
an Indian Ocean Panel (see below).
FUTURE DIRECTION OF CLIVAR
The CLIVAR SSG should consider establishing an Indian Ocean Panel given
the importance of the region for understanding climate from intraseasonal
to decadal time scales, the recent increase in resources deployed in the
Indian Ocean, and the need for a more coordinated approach towards developing
and implementing sustained multi-national ocean observational systems
in the region.