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The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS)

SCAR/SCOR Expert Group on Oceanography

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The Southern Ocean provides the principal connection between the Earth's ocean basins and between the upper and lower layers of the global ocean circulation. As a result, the Southern Ocean strongly influences climate patterns and the cycling of carbon and nutrients. Changes in the Southern Ocean would therefore have global ramifications. However, the short and incomplete nature of existing time series makes the causes and consequences of observed changes difficult to assess. Sustained, multi-disciplinary observations are required to detect, interpret and respond to change.

The SCAR/SCOR Expert Group on Oceanography now forms the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) Scientific Steering Committee. The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) is an initiative of SCAR, SCOR, POGO, WCRP, GOOS and other international bodies, with the mission to establish a multidisciplinary observing system to deliver the sustained observations of the Southern Ocean. These observations are needed to address key challenges of scientific and societal relevance, including climate change, sea-level rise, and the impacts of global change on marine ecosystems.

The chairs of the SOOS Steering Committee are Mike Meredith and John Gunn. For more information, please contact the SOOS Executive Office (

For further details, see the SOOS Update on activities in 2011 or visit the SOOS website.

For information on earlier activities of the SCAR/SCOR Expert Group on Oceanography, see the Oceanography Group archive page

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