THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
GLOBAL CLIMATE OBSERVING SYSTEM
ESSENTIAL CLIMATE VARIABLE - Surface current
DomainOceanicDescriptionSurface currents span a wide range of space and time scales, from basin-wide motions to mesoscale eddies with scales greater than 100 km, fast narrow currents of the order of 100 km wide, sub- mesoscale features down to the kilometre scale, and finally down to turbulence scales of less than one metre. Large-scale circulations, such as the meridional overturning circulation, have surface components that transport a great deal of energy and consequently allow that energy to be transferred to the atmosphere and greatly impact weather and climate downwind of the air-sea exchanges. On smaller spatial scales, the boundary currents on each side of the ocean basin transport heat, salt and passive tracers, and have a large impact on seaborne commerce and fishing. Motion on these scales also has a large impact on vertical circulation and mixing, and in turn on marine ecosystems and ocean productivity. The equatorial currents and counter currents have a relatively large impact on surface exchanges of energy and moisture. Currents, particularly tidal currents, can also modify storm surge impacts and sea-level changes. [GCOS-195 5.3.6]
Sub-domainSurface
Full NameSurface current
Satellite Signficant ContributionNo
GCOS Actions
Action
Status*
DescriptionWhoTime FramePerformance IndicatorCost Implications
O17
Cat-D
Establish an international group to assemble surface drifting buoy motion data, ship drift current estimates, current estimates based on wind stress and surface topography fields; prepare an integrated analysis of the surface current field.OOPC will work with JCOMM and WCRP.2014Number of global current fields available routinely.<1M US$ (10% in non-Annex-I Parties).
*GCOS-195 Status Categories: Category A: Action completed, perhaps exceeding reasonable expectations. Very good progress on ongoing tasks. Category B: Action largely completed according to expectation. Good progress on ongoing tasks. Category C: Moderate progress overall, although progress may be good for some part of the action. Category D: Limited progress overall, although progress may be moderate or good for some part of the action. Category E: Very little or no progress, or deterioration rather than progress.
GCOS ProductsNo GCOS-154 products defined.
CEOS ResponseN/A
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