Independent observing systems have evolved to meet the needs of particular disciplines and end-users. As issues facing the globe today are interdisciplinary in nature, it is critical to extend the scope of observing networks to include ocean physics, biogeochemistry and biology. It is also imperative to provide coordination of these global ocean observations across three critical areas:
- Operational services
- Ocean health
A changing climate is linked to a changing ocean. Warming climate is causing land and sea-ice loss while carbon uptake is causing ocean acidification, both at alarming rates. Accurately modelling global climate change and monitoring the impact of climate mitigation programmes requires sustained and extended observations, including those in the deep ocean.
Real-time ocean data services provide improved weather forecasts and early warning for ocean-related hazards on the coast. This enhances the safety and efficiency of all ocean industries and strengthens the global maritime economy. Societies and economies also benefit from this near-term ocean and climate information, such as El Niño forecasts, that are essential to global agriculture, water management and disaster risk reduction. GOOS observations support the development of models of human impact on ocean ecosystems in order to understand how societies can improve coastal protection, food security and tourism – activities that enhance coastal livelihoods and the blue economy.