Thursday 16 March, 20:00 GMT/UTC
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The genesis of systematic ocean observing can be traced back more than 165 years but, compared to our sister weather observing system, development has been quite slow. Around 30 years ago the importance of ocean observations for climate began to emerge and scientists began to develop a systematic approach to ocean observations, first through TOGA for the tropical oceans, and then through WOCE and JGOFS for longer time scales. The first global design for the ocean observing system for climate was published in 1994 and the Ocean Observation Panel for Climate was born soon thereafter.
Many person years have been devoted to developing designs, plans, scientific and technical refinements, and guidance for implementation of the observing system, but seemingly without ever quite reaching our goal. Is it because some Machiavellian master keeps on shifting the goals even further away, or is the process inherently slow and tied to technical and scientific knowledge gains?
We look at progress over the last 20 years and argue that the community should be proud of the many achievements, even if there have been some failures, but also point out that, indeed, we are not there yet.
Our presentation will be an eclectic and, we hope, sometimes entertaining examination of this journey, touching on what we perceive to be the big milestones but, perhaps unfortunately, without the time to cover much detail. We will use our collective wisdom (each of us involved 25+ years) to take a little peek into the future and perhaps take a guess at what the agenda of OOPC-40 might look like, and who among the present Panel might still be involved at that time!
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