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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00435

The International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set – Meeting Users Needs and Future Priorities

  • 1ERT, Inc, United States
  • 2National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States
  • 3National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 4Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC), United Kingdom
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), United States
  • 6German Weather Service, Germany
  • 7Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, United States

The International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) is a collection and archive of in situ marine observations, which has been developed over several decades as an international project and recently guided by formal international partnerships and the ICOADS Steering Committee. ICOADS contains observations from many different observing systems encompassing the evolution of measurement technology since the 18th century. ICOADS provides an integrated source of observations for a range of applications, is widely used for the development of research and climate monitoring, and forms the main marine in situ surface data source, e.g. near-surface ocean observations and lower atmospheric marine-meteorological observations from buoys, ships, coastal stations, and oceanographic sensors, for oceanic and atmospheric research and reanalysis. ICOADS has developed ways to incorporate user and reanalyses feedback information associated with permanent unique identifiers, and is also the main repository for data that have been rescued from ships’ logbooks and other marine data digitisation activities.
ICOADS has been adopted widely because it provides convenient access to a range of observation types, globally, and through the entire marine instrumental record. ICOADS has for decades provided a secure home for such observations. Because of the increased volume of observations, particularly those available in near-real-time, and an expansion of their diversity, the ICOADS processing system now requires extensive modernisation. Based on user feedback, we will outline the improvements that are required, the challenges to their implementation, and the benefits of upgrading this important and diverse marine archive and distribution activity.

Keywords: surface, in situ, Observations, Marine meteorology, ocean, climate, data management

Received: 13 Nov 2018; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Sabrina Speich, École Normale Supérieure, France

Reviewed by:

Fabien Roquet, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Wenju Cai, 107 Station Street
Antonio Navarra, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Ca 'Foscari University, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Freeman, Kent, Brohan, Cram, Gates, Huang, Liu, Smith, Worley and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Eric Freeman, ERT, Inc, Asheville, United States,