3rd GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshop
March 23-25, 2015, Norfolk, VA, USA

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Essential Ocean Variables for Biogeochemistry, towards indicators and indices

Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR, Germany

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is working towards defining essential ocean variables, development of targets for the observing networks and defining observing system metrics and the assessment of risk to the observing system. GOOS is essentially focusing the work around a framework known as FOO — Framework for Ocean Observing — an outcome of the OceanObs conference in 2009 that was driven by a strong will to work collectively among ocean observing groups. The FOO is organized around the concept of essential ocean variables (EOVs), rather than around observing platforms. GOOS aims at delivering an observing system that is fit for purpose and is driven by scientific inquiry and societal issues. While the FOO balances research with the need for sustained observations, it defines a system that is based on requirements, observations, and data and information. The concept of readiness level is important for the FOO and is based on assessment of feasibility, capacity and impact.

This talk will focus on the efforts of the biogeochemical panel of GOOS in formulating societal requirements and defining EOVS for biogeochemistry, and point to a way toward defining indicators and indices of the observing system and ocean “biogeochemistry state”, feeding back to the societal requirements that motivate the EOVs.