Update from the SOCCOM Project 

May 1, 2016

The Southern Ocean Carbon & Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Project is in its second season of deploying autonomous biogeochemical floats to make sustained observations of the carbon cycle.  SOCCOM is a six-year initiative to transform our understanding of the Southern Ocean by creating a network of these robotic floats, as well as carrying out shipboard measurements, instrument and sensor development, and data analysis, including state estimation in conjunction with a high-resolution earth system modeling program. SOCCOM is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs, with additional support from NOAA and NASA.


Graduate student Veronica Tamsitt (foreground) deploying a SOCCOM float on an Ocean Observatories Initiative cruise on the R/V Palmer in December, 2015 (Credit: Veronica Tamsitt).

Since 2014, SOCCOM has deployed 39 floats with nitrate, oxygen, pH, and bio-optical sensors in the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans in partnership with the GO-SHIP and Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) programs and research teams from Germany, the UK and Australia.  An additional 13 biogeochemical floats will be deployed by the end of June on SOCCOM’s final deployment cruise of the season, bringing the team ¼ of the way to its goal of ~200 floats deployed and operating in the Southern Ocean.

All SOCCOM float data are flowing to the web and are freely available to the public in real time without restriction.  Float data may be downloaded using a new interactive map and also via SOCCOMViz, a data portal hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

For more information on the SOCCOM observational program, see the SOCCOM Observations page and check out this season’s blogs from scientists on deployment cruises.  For an overview of the entire SOCCOM project, including the biogeochemical state estimate and earth system modeling programs, please visit the SOCCOM website.

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