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The OceanObs decadal conference series has focused on moving the collective needs of ocean research and observations forward by focusing on areas in need of enhanced guidance. While OceanObs’99 resulted in an internationally coordinated system for physical climate and ocean carbon observations, and OceanObs’09 expanded the range of communities working together to undertake more comprehensive and sustain ocean observations, OceanObs’19 targets the link between ocean observations and end users.

OceanObs’19 will build on the success generated by the Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO) developed at OceanObs’09, and further develop effective strategies for a sustained, multidisciplinary, and integrated ocean observing system that better connects user communities and observers. The OceanObs’19 conference will galvanize ocean observing communities to improve coordination of regional and national efforts to better observe the global ocean, to better respond to the joint scientific and societal needs of a fit-for-purpose ocean observing system, and maximize the overall benefit of more integrated observing.

This topic welcomes white papers related to the seven societal benefit themes and three interconnected overarching themes that have been proposed as part of OceanObs19. White papers should describe visions and aspirations for the coming decade related to new and improved synergies between end users and providers of ocean observations, opportunities for more integration at the global and regional level, and advancing the different societal benefits identified. It is anticipated that these white papers will provide community inputs that will influence the outcome of the conference and subsequent activities.

The Topic Editors Tong Lee, Sabrina Speich, and Laura Lorenzoni, declare that they are members of the OceanObs19 program committee and are collaborating with the ocean observation community.

Keywords: Observing system, technology, networks, Ecosystem Health, Climate variability, Blue Economy, Information systems

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