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TAO Implementation panel
The TAO Implementation Panel (TIP) was decommissioned in 2001. This web page represents the status of the panel in its last year of operation, and is maintained for historical interest. The TAO Panel has been replaced by the new Tropical Moored Buoy Implementation Panel.

The TAO implementation Panel (TIP) is responsible for coordinating essential resources needed to ensure long-term, uninterrupted maintenance of the TAO array.

TIP proceedings and reports

TIP-9, Perth, Australia 2000
TIP-8, France, October 1999
TIP-7, Ivory Coast, November 1998
TIP-6, England, November 1997
TIP-5, India, November 1996
TIP-4, Brazil, September 1995
TIP-3, South Korea, October 1994

The Panel was established in 1992 as the TOGA-TAO Implementation Panel under auspices of the International Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program. At the end of TOGA in 1994, sponsorship shifted jointly to the World Climate Research Program's study International Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR), the IOC/WMO/UNEP Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) program and the WMO/IOC/UNEP/ICSU Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program. TIP became an action group of the WMO/IOC Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) in 1998. Panel meetings are held yearly (see TIP proceedings and reports).

Terms of reference
The following terms of reference apply to the TAO Implementation Panel:

  1. To prepare an annual operating plan and budget for the TAO array. To coordinate the technical and logistic support of institutions participating in the maintenance of the array.
  2. To ensure the rapid dissemination of TAO data (in real-time where possible) to serve both research and operational applications. To promote the utilization of TAO data in national and international climate research and prediction programs.
  3. To cooperate with organizations such as the CLIVAR Upper Ocean Panel and the GOOS/GCOS/WCRP Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC) to ensure an integrated approach to observing the climate system in the tropics.
  4. To report regularly to the GCOS/GOOS Planning Offices and to the CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group on the status of the TAO array.

Membership of the TAO Implementation Panel will be by invitation of the Global Ocean Observing System Planning Office, based on recommendations made by the TAO Panel or its sponsors (GOOS/GCOS/CLIVAR).

Categories of membership are:

  • Executive Committee: One representative from each nation actively supporting the TAO Array. The TAO Panel chairman and vice-chairman will serve as national representatives on the executive committee. Responsibilities of the executive committee include: coordinating intersessional activities, recommending membership changes, organizing panel meetings, reporting to parent bodies, etc.
  • Members: Individuals representing institutions (or agencies) that provide resources such as ships, mooring hardware and/or technician time to maintain the TAO array; or individuals representing institutions having special expertise in analysis and/or interpretation of TAO and other ocean-clmate data sets.

Present TAO Panel Membership

Executive Committee:
M. McPhaden (NOAA/PMEL, chairman)
J. Picaut (IRD/ORSTOM)
Y. Kuroda (JAMSTEC)

W. Kessler (NOAA/PMEL)
K. Kutsuwada (Tokai University)
A. Busalacchi (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)
J. Servain (IRD/OSTOM)
M. Vianna (INPE)
P. Kumar (National Institute of Oceanography, India)

Definition of support
"Support for TAO implies multi-year contributions of critical resources to the maintenance and/or expansion of the moored array."

"Critical resources" are defined as:

  • ship time
  • specialized mooring hardware and/or instrumentation
  • grant money for operations.

"Multi-year" means ongoing rather than one-time support. Multi-year does not necessarily mean each and every year, however. It is expected that there may be political and/or economic downturns that can affect a particular country's ability to contribute on a consistent annual basis. A maximum of three years may pass with no critical contributions before a country slips off the "supporters" list.

By the above definition, the U.S., Japan, and France are all presently supporters.

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