There are a few programs dedicated to providing high-quality, automated surface oceanographic and meteorological observations from ships to the research and operational community. These observations typically include vessel position and motion, winds, air and sea temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity, precipitation, radiation at the Earth's surface, sea surface salinity conductivity, fluorescence and other ocean measurements. The observations, which are a component of a global ocean observing system, provide essential benchmark values that can aide in understanding the exchange of heat, moisture, carbon, and other quantities that cross the ocean-atmosphere interface.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Climate Observation sponsored a recent workshop to initiate collaboration between the Global Ocean Surface Underway Data (GOSUD) pilot project (http://www.gosud.org/), the Shipboard Automated Meteorological and Oceanographic System (SAMOS) initiative (http://samos.coaps.fsu.edu/), and other international programs that provide these essential observations. The goals of the workshop were to improve international collaboration between shipboard observation programs and to stimulate interest in applying these observations to applications such as satellite and model product evaluation, air-sea flux analyses, and ocean process studies.