From the Executive Officer 

An update on SOOS activities up to April 2016

A few key activities have consumed the IPO staff’s time since the last newsletter issue:

SCAR/SCOR Review of SOOS Progress

SOOS is a joint initiative of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR). In alignment with the SCAR process of regularly reviewing its programs, SCAR and SCOR have together coordinated an international external review of the SOOS 5-Year Implementation Plan and of SOOS Progress thus far. Following this review, the Implementation Plan will be finalised and made available on the SOOS website. SOOS looks forward to receiving the SCAR/SCOR review feedback and input into our plans moving forward!

Updated SOOS Website

It has been a long process but the SOOS website has been significantly updated to better reflect activities, products, news and data!

The “new” website now includes more information on the network and community that SOOS works with, detailed information on all working groups, task teams and core activities, a database of all SOOS resources and media, and a comprehensive data section with links to key repositories and the SOOS metadata portal.

Keeping the website alive and up-to-date is a constant activity for the IPO and a number of pages are still in development, please contact us if you have any issues getting the information you are looking for! 

Working Groups and Task Teams - Update

SOOS activities are carried out by various implementation groups (Working Groups and Task Teams). All of these groups are open for involvement and input. The community is also invited to propose new implementation groups. Below is an update on current SOOS group activities:

CAPS (Censusing Animal Populations from Space): CAPS has been very active since it was officially approved as a SOOS Capability Working Group in October 2015. Funding proposals have been submitted to help drive the work forward, and a number of workshops are being planned. All information will be made available from the CAPS webpage.

SO-FLUX (Southern Ocean Air-Sea Fluxes): SO-FLUX has been busy building membership, publishing a report in Eos (accepted), developing a pilot project, advocating flux variables for inclusion in GCOS Essential Climate Variables, and finalising a schedule of deliverables for review by the SOOS SSC at the upcoming SSC meeting.

eEOV (Essential Ocean Variables for Southern Ocean Ecosystems): The core activity for eEOV has been the publication of a key community paper defining the process, criteria and list of candidates for ecosystem EOVs for the Southern Ocean (accepted pending revision). This Working Group is currently building membership, and will hold a short lunch-time information session at the upcoming SCAR Open Science Conference – details coming soon.

SOIS (Southern Ocean Indian Sector): This WG is currently building membership and defining core deliverables. The recent SOOS-endorsed field campaign “K-Axis” provided a great mechanism for building connections to the key communities observing the Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean. 

WAP (West Antarctic Peninsula): WAP WG is currently defining key deliverables and building membership. The UK Royal Society will fund a workshop on 17-18th May 2017 to drive development of the WG.

Task Team - Satellite Data Community Report: The report has been accepted pending revision in Antarctic Science. It will be made freely available from the SOOS website following publication.

Task Team - Field Project Database: The infrastructure for the database is currently being developed and is scheduled for testing and release in September 2017.


Newman L., et al., 2016: Understanding the Southern Ocean through sustained observations, The Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. Dec15/Jan16 issue, 19-23p

Meredith M., et al., 2016: The interdisciplinary marine system of the Amundsen Sea, Southern Ocean: Recent advances and the need for sustained observations, Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 123, 1-6pp doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.12.002

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact me at the International Project Office!


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