THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
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]
Full NameSurface current
Satellite Signficant ContributionNo
GCOS Actions
DescriptionWhoTime FramePerformance IndicatorCost Implications
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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