Ocean climate research



A recently published report, An Ocean Climate Research Strategy [Webster, 1984] reviews ocean research that will lead to or support an ability to predict year-to-year natural variations in climate one season in advance. The study was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is intended to guide NSF in its lead role for ocean climate research. This article summarizes that study. As with the original report, I here give my personal conclusions derived from the review. Copies of An Ocean Climate Research Strategy are available from the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20418.

Oceanographers and meteorologists have proposed research programs to enhance our understanding of climate variability [Committee on Climatic Changes and the Oceans], 1983a; Board on Ocean Science and Policy, 1983]. Parts of these programs are already underway. The report reviews proposals for two largescale research programs: the Interannual Variability of the Tropical Ocean and the Global Atmosphere (TOGA) and the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). In addition, it reviews plans for large-scale ocean heat flux experiments, ocean climate monitoring, and ocean climate research that are not explicitly included in the existing proposals for large-scale experiments. The report offers advice on strategies for use by NSF.