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GOOS is the Global Ocean Observing System. A single, contiguous, body of water encircles the globe. From the Arctic ice through the warm equatorial waters to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current all the Earth's oceans, seas, bays and inlets are connected. They form one body of water, the one Global Ocean. GOOS is designed and being implemented to embrace the oceans as a single entity, to provide a global view of the ocean system.

GOOS is a permanent global system for observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. GOOS provides accurate descriptions of the present state of the oceans, including living resources; continuous forecasts of the future conditions of the sea for as far ahead as possible, and the basis for forecasts of climate change.

GOOS is a system of programmes, each of which is working on different and complementary aspects of establishing an operational ocean observation capability for all of the world's nations. UN sponsorship and UNESCO assemblies assure that international cooperation is always the first priority of the Global Ocean Observing Sytem.

GOOS is the oceanographic component of GEOSS, the Global Earth Observing System of Systems .

GOOS is designed to:

Buoy and boat
  • Monitor, understand and predict weather and climate
  • Describe and forecast the state of the ocean, including living resources
  • Improve management of marine and coastal ecosystems and resources
  • Mitigate damage from natural hazards and pollution
  • Protect life and property on coasts and at sea
  • Enable scientific research

GOOS is a platform for:

  • International cooperation for sustained observations of the oceans
  • Generation of oceanographic products and services
  • Interaction between research, operational, and user communities

GOOS serves:

Oceanographic researchers, coastal managers, parties to international conventions, national meteorological and oceanographic agencies, hydrographic offices, marine and coastal industries, policy makers and the interested general public.

GOOS is made of many observation platforms:

  • 3000 Argo floats which collect high-quality temperature and salinity profiles from the upper 2000m of the ice-free global ocean and currents from intermediate depths
  • 1250 drifting buoys which record the currents of surface, the temperature and the atmospheric pressure
  • 350 embarked systems on commercial or cruising yachts which collect the temperature, salinity, the oxygen and the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean and the atmosphere, and the atmospheric pressure.
  • 100 research vessels which measure all the physical, chemical and biological parameters, between the surface of the sea and the ocean floors every 30 nautical miles out of 25 transoceanic lines.
  • 200 marigraphs and holographs which transmit information in quasi real time, thus providing the possibility of detecting tsunamis.
  • 50 commercial ships which launch probes measuring the temperature and salinity between the surface and the ocean floor on their transoceanic ways.
  • 200 moorings in open sea which are used as long-term observatories, recording weather, chemical and biological parameters on a fixed site between the surface and the bottom.

GOOS is sponsored by:

GOOS is implemented by:

Member states via their government agencies, navies and oceanographic research institutions working together in a wide range of thematic panels and regional alliances.