of the eighth session of the TAO Implementation Panel
France 15 October 1999
The eighth session
of the TAO Implementation Panel (TIP-8) was held at the Hotel Maeva Latitudes
in St Raphael, France, on 15 October 1999. The meeting was convened with
the assistance of the local organizing committee for the OCEANOBS99 conference,
which was held the following week in St Raphael. The purposes of TIP-8
were to review the present status of the TAO array; to address technical
issues related to
its maintenance; and to provide a forum for discussion of enhancements
and expansions of the array for climate studies. Representatives from
the US, Japan, and France were in attendance. Written input was provided
by delegates from India and the People's Republic of China.
The meeting opened
with a review of variations in the tropical Pacific since TIP-7 (held
in November 1998). In the past year, the ocean has continued to be unusually
cold indicative of persistent La Nina conditions. ENSO forecast models
suggest these conditions will persist for the next several months.
delivered a keynote presentation on some of the uses of TAO data for operational
ocean analyses and ENSO forecasts at NOAA/NCEP. He emphasized the value
of having higher temporal resolution (hourly) SST data in real-time to
resolve the diurnal cycle for global SST analyses. He also stressed the
need for more surface and subsurface salinity data, particularly in the
western Pacific, for ocean analyses and for ocean-atmosphere forecast
The following topics
were also discussed at the meeting.
- Shiptime: In 1999,
344 days at sea were required to support the TAO array. NOAA ships (Ka'imimoana,
Ron Brown) accounted for 268 days, JAMSTEC ships (Kaiyo, Mirai) accounted
for 76 days. It is estimated that at least this amount of shiptime will
be required in 2000.
- TAO data return:
For all variables, data return between January 1997-September 1999 was
90% (180-125W), 80% (110W-95W), and 79% (137-165E). Lower data return
in the eastern and western Pacific is ascribed largely to fishing vandalism.
- Fishing vandalism:
Efforts to reduce the effects of fishing vandalism on data return and
equipment survivability were discussed. These efforts included a poster
presentation by PMEL and IRD investigators at an international Fish
Aggregation Device (FAD) conference in Martinique in October 1999. Also,
described were continued outreach efforts via distribution of brochures
to fisheries agencies, fishing associations, and fishermen about the
TAO, TRITON, and PIRATA programs.
- TRITON: ATLAS moorings
will be phased out of the western Pacific along 137E, 147E and 156E
by the end of 1999, to be replaced with JAMSTEC TRITON moorings. As
a prelude to this transition, data from several multi-month side-by-side
deployments of TRITON and ATLAS buoys during 1998 and 1999 were compared
for various locations in the western Pacific to ensure interchangeability
of the mooring measurements. Real-time and delayed mode TAO/TRITON data
will be made available via the GTS and dir the World Wide Web as a seamless
data stream. TRITON/ATLAS/IMET intercomparison:
- Recognizing that
TRITON, ATLAS and IMET meteorological data will be used extensively
for climate studies in the future, a specially designed land-based intercomparison
study will be conducted at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the
summer of 2000. The purpose is to establish the comparabilty of meteorological
measurements made by the various systems when placed in very close proximity
to one another. The incomparison will last two months.
- IRD/ORSTOM SSS
data base: In accord with a recommendation made at TIP-7, a sea surface
salinity (SSS) data archive has been established at the IRD/ORSTOM laboratory
in Noumea. SSS data from thermosalinographs on research vessels and
VOS in the tropical Pacific are now available from this facility for
the period 1991-1998.
- Survival of ATLAS
moorings in hurricanes/typhoons: The issue of whether an ATLAS mooring
could survive hurricane force winds was addressed by showing the track
of super typhoon Paka which passed directly over an ATLAS mooring at
8N, 165E on 12 December 1997. At the time of encounter, surface winds
were 110 knots (56 m/s) according the analyses from the Guam Typhoon
Warning Center. The buoy survived the passage of the storm, and continued
to provide good data except for the loss of its anemometer (rated only
to 50 m/s) and a raingauge.
- The PRC: Written
input from Dr. Jianping Xu of the People's Republic of China indicated
that the State Oceanic Administration is interested in becoming actively
involved in supporting the TAO array. Discussions are underway on how
best to coordinate potential PRC contributions.
- PIRATA: The status
of PIRATA, which is jointly sponsored by France, Brazil and the U.S.,
was reviewed. The array is scheduled for completion with the deployment
of ATLAS moorings at two sites along 10W in early November 1999 from
the RV Antea. The full array will consist of 12 moorings spanning 0-35W,
10S-15N, and will be in place until the end of 2000. Planning for a
5-year continuation of PIRATA beyond its initial pilot phase is also
- Indian Ocean: JAMSTEC
plans for two TRITON buoy deployments in November 2000 in the Indian
Ocean (5S, 95E; 0, 90E) were described. Ongoing and planned Indian buoy
programs were also described by written input.
- TAO involvement
in related climate oriented field programs: A summary was presented
on TAO participation during the past year in the Department of Energy
(DOE)/Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program, including the
NAURU99 process study; the NASA/TRMM program, including the KWAJEX TRMM
validation study; and expansions/enhancements of TAO along 95W as part
of the Pan American Studies (PACS)/Eastern Pacific Investigation of
Climate (EPIC) program.
- Higher resolution
(hourly) SST data in real-time from ATLAS moorings, if technically feasible.
- More moored salinity
measurements in the upper 100 m, especially near the equator between
156E and 170W.
- The creation of
a common shipboard ADCP archive of NOAA and JAMSTEC data routinely collected
while servicing moorings of the TAO/TRITON array. This archive would
be established at the existing US National Oceanographic Data Center/University
of Hawaii shipboard ADCP data center under direction of Pat Caldwell.
Data from this archive would be freely available.
- Production of a
short (15 minute) video on the effects of fishing vandalism, targeted
at the fisheries community.
- The chairman of
the CLIVAR Upper Ocean Panel recommended that the TAO Panel expand its
terms of reference to assume responsibilty for coordinating implementation
efforts of all moored buoy programs targeted at climate studies in the
global tropics. The panel endorsed this recommendation and will draft
a revised version of its terms of reference for review by the CLIVAR
UOP and by its other parent body, the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate
The next TAO panel
meeting (TIP-9) is scheduled for Perth, Australia on 16-17 November 2000
in conjuction with an Australian GOOS meeting.
The TAO Panel is
jointly sponsored by the GOOS, GCOS, and CLIVAR.