The JCOMM Ship-of-Opportunity Programme makes use of volunteer merchant ships which routinely transit strategic shipping routes. Ships' officers are trained to deploy Expendable Bathythermographs (XBTs) at predetermined sampling intervals to acquire temperature profiles in the open ocean. Selected data which accurately represent the entire data profile are transmitted by satellites to shore centres, for insertion and exchange on the GTS, and assimilation into operational ocean models. System performance is monitored continuously and sampling strategies are adjusted in the light of new scientific understanding, evolving requirements, in particular those of GOOS and GCOS, and new technologies and systems, most notably Argo. The SOOP data are vital in particular to seasonal to interannual climate prediction. The programme is managed by the SOOP Implementation Panel (SOOPIP), also a part of the JCOMM Ship Observations Team, and supported by a technical coordinator. The SOOP coordinator maintains a dedicated SOOP website.
(page last updated 2 June, 2009 )
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