• Background on the WMO Governance Review and implications for JCOMM, GCOS, GOOS, and WCRP.

      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2018)
      A reform of WMO constituent bodies has potential implications for co- sponsored bodies and programmes, including most notably the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), but also the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). These last three have other co-sponsors in addition to IOC and WMO. Here, the proposal for a new mechanism of cooperation between WMO and IOC, the Joint Committee for Oceanography and Meteorology (JCOM), is described in greater detail. A potential future for present essential functions under JCOMM is described, along with potential benefits and risks
    • IOC Communication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information Management (2017-2019).

      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
      The present Communication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information Management, also referred to in this document as the “Communication Strategy” was prepared by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), an intergovernmental programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCOestablished in 1961. The purpose of the IODE programme is to enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of ocean data and information between participating Member States, and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products. The IODE vision is informed by the IOC Strategic Plan for Oceanographic Data and Information Management, 2017–2021, which identifies that: To ensure its success, the IOC Strategic Plan for Data and Information Management must achieve strong awareness, involvement, acceptance and recognition within and between IOC programmes, and with IOC partners. Efficient communication and outreach remain key elements of the Strategic Plan.'The recent IODE restructuring exercise has also highlighted that the number of international marine science related organizations is growing and there is often a perception that they have similar or overlapping objectives to IODE. It is therefore increasingly important to state clearly what IODE’s unique role is, how it differs from other organizations, who its stakeholders are and how to prioritize and optimize its communication methods with each of these. IODE must work with Member States, governments, partner organizations, academia and industry, to articulate the global benefits to society and required funding to build and sustain the ocean observing data and information system. IODE must capitalize on the networks, communication outreach, and global visibility of UNESCO’s IOC as its parent organization. IODE has a strong mandate for communication and outreach with a variety of stakeholders, including the general public. IODE needs to communicate regularly with its community as well as having a strategy on how to be engaged in ocean community activities, cooperate and expand its membership. This strategy document outlines a framework for communication and outreach activities for the IODE to address these needs and underpin its ability to achieve its strategic objectives; to ensure that there is recognition of its role as a lead provider in marine data and information management, training and information products; and further enhance both the IOC and IODE profiles. The IOCCommunication and Outreach Strategy for Data and Information was proposed by the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange at its 24thsession, 24–28 March 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and endorsed by the IOC Assembly at its 29th session, 21–29 June 2017.
    • Manual on Sea-level Measurements and Interpretation, Volume V: Radar Gauges [includes Supplement: Practical Experiences].

      Woodworth, Philip (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2016)
      Therefore, Part 1 of this Volume 5 discusses topics such as how radar gauges can be mounted over the water to measure sea level. It considers how gauges can be calibrated, either in the laboratory before installation or in the field during routine maintenance visits. It describes how radar performs in comparison to other technologies and discusses how the measured radar levels can be biased in the presence of waves and, consequently, what other technologies must be used in parallel. Part 2 of this Volume returns to some topics that have been presented in the previous Volumes 1-4 of the Manual. These are particularly important aspects of tide gauge measurements, and so have been repeated each time, although in different ways. Volume 1 introduced the essential procedures to be followed for maintenance of the datum of the sea level measurements (i.e. the stability of the measurements with respect to benchmarks on the nearby land). Volume 2 described how levelling should be undertaken between a local network of benchmarks and introduced the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers for monitoring vertical land movements. GPS at tide gauges was further discussed in Volumes 3 and 4. These sections were based partly on the insight that had been obtained into the use of GPS in the workshops that led to the two ‘Carter Reports’ (1989 and 1994) and in an important subsequent workshop at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1998).2 By this time, GPS at tide gauges was being undertaken using continuous (rather than episodic or campaign) and dual- (rather than single-) frequency receivers, and further research into their use had begun within the TIde GAuge (TIGA) project of the International GNSS Service. The present Volume 5 contains a similar section on the survey methods and benchmark requirements at tide gauges, including the use of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) equipment, and brings up-to-date the recommendations on the use of GNSS at tide gauge sites. 3 Part 2 of the Volume also has updated sections on how tide gauge operators can ensure that their data find their way to centres where they can be used to the maximum extent possible for practical and scientific purposes. For example, it is now inconceivable that gauges installed in the GLOSS network would be without a real-time reporting capability for storm surge and tsunami warning. On the other hand, the data must be of sufficient quality that ‘delayed-mode’ centres can process them into mean sea level values for use in studies of long-term sea level change. These real-time and delayed mode objectives need not be in competition if care is taken to understand the data that are recorded, essential metadata are compiled, and data are transmitted rapidly to the relevant national and international centres. We suggest that new readers of the volumes would benefit from looking at Volumes 1-4 before reading the present Volume 5. Although the earlier volumes date from many years ago, and technology has evolved considerably in the meantime, much of the previous discussion is educational with regard to how the historical sea level data set has been obtained. There are often dangers in exchanging one measuring system for another, in that different systematic methods can be introduced into a long-term time series, so an appreciation of how methods have changed is essential. It is clear that the same kind of mistakes in changing technologies could be occurring now, as radar systems replace others, so we must make attempts to understand them all as well as we can
    • Ocean Data Standards Volume 4, SeaDataNet Controlled Vocabularies for describing Marine and Oceanographic Datasets – A joint Proposal by SeaDataNet and ODIP projects.

      Leadbetter, Adam; Lowry, Roy; Clements, Olly (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2019)
      The NERC Vocabulary Server provides access to groupings of standardised terms that cover a broad spectrum of disciplines of relevance to the oceanographic and wider environmental sciences communities. Using standardised sets of terms (otherwise known as "controlled vocabularies") in metadata and to label data solves the problem of ambiguities associated with data markup and also enables records to be interpreted by computers. This opens up data sets to a whole world of possibilities for computer aided manipulation, distribution and long term reuse. An example of how computers may benefit from the use of controlled vocabularies is in the summing of values taken from different data sets. For instance, one data set may have a column labelled "Temperature of the water column" and another might have "water temperature" or even "temperature". To the human eye, the similarity is obvious but a computer would not be able to interpret these as the same thing unless all the possible options were hard coded into its software. If data are marked up with the same term, this problem is resolved. In the real world, it is not always possible or agreeable for data providers to use the same terms. In such cases, controlled vocabularies can be used as a medium through which data centres can map their equivalent terms. The controlled vocabularies delivered by the NERC Vocabulary Server contain the following information for each term:
    • Procedures for proposing and evaluating IODE projects and activities.

      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2018)
      At its 24thsession the IODE Committee approved the Report of the Inter-sessional Working Group to Propose a Re-structuring of IODEwhich recommended revising the current structure, projects and activities of IODE and decided that the relation between projects (e.g. data flow) should be better communicated within the IODE community but also to the user communities. The Committee agreed that both existing and new IODE projects and activities will benefit from a more effective tracking and oversight process to help ensure that they meet IODE strategic goals and objectives. The Committee adoptedDecision IODE-XXIV.3 IODE (Project and Activity Performance Evaluation). These procedures apply to both existing and new projects and activities.