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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00471

What have we learned from the Framework for Ocean Observing: evolution of the Global Ocean Observing System

  • 1GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
  • 2Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (Belgium), Belgium
  • 3Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
  • 4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand
  • 5Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • 6Duke University Marine Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment, United States
  • 7Global Ocean Observing System (France), France
  • 8Glover Works Consulting, United States
  • 9University of Tasmania, Australia
  • 10World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland
  • 11Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), Japan
  • 12National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States
  • 13National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States
  • 14University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), United States
  • 15European Global Ocean Observing System, Belgium
  • 16International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP), Poland
  • 17Marine Mammal Commission, United States
  • 18Your Ocean Consulting, LLC, United States
  • 19Retired, Australia
  • 20Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, United States

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and its partners have worked together over the past decade to break down barriers between open-ocean and coastal observing, between scientific disciplines, and between operational and research institutions. Here we discuss some GOOS successes and challenges from the past decade, and present ideas for moving forward, including highlights of the GOOS 2030 Strategy published in 2019.
The OceanObs'09 meeting in Venice in 2009 resulted in a remarkable consensus on the need for a common set of guidelines for the global ocean observing community. Work following the meeting led to development of the Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO) published in 2012 and adopted by GOOS as a foundational document that same year. The FOO provides guidelines for the setting of requirements, assessing technology readiness, and assessing the usefulness of data and products for users. Here we evaluate successes and challenges in FOO implementation and consider ways to ensure broader use of the FOO principles.
The proliferation of ocean observing activities around the world is extremely diverse and not managed, or even overseen by, any one entity. The lack of coherent governance has resulted in duplication and varying degrees of clarity, responsibility, coordination and data sharing. GOOS has had considerable success over the past decade in encouraging voluntary collaboration across much of this broad community, including increased use of the FOO guidelines and partly effective governance, but much remains to be done. Here we outline and discuss several approaches for GOOS to deliver more effective governance to achieve our collective vision of fully meeting society’s needs. What would a more effective and well-structured governance arrangement look like? Can the existing system be modified? Do we need to rebuild it from scratch? We consider the case for evolution versus revolution.
Community-wide consideration of these governance issues will be timely and important before, during and following the OceanObs’19 meeting in September 2019.

Keywords: Ocean observing, governance, Framework for Ocean Observing, Sustainable developement, Multi-disciplinarity, international

Received: 15 Nov 2018; Accepted: 12 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Sanae Chiba, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan

Reviewed by:

Robert A. Weller, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States
Detlef Stammer, Universität Hamburg, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Tanhua, Appeltans, Bax, Currie, DeYoung, Dunn, Heslop, Fischer, Glover, Gunn, Hill, Ishii, Legler, Lindstrom, McCurdy, Miloslavich, Moltmann, Nolan, Palacz, Simmons, Sloyan, Smith, Smith, Telszewski, Visbeck and Wilkin. 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: Dr. Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, 24148, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany,