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Article
The Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Observing System: A Decade of Progress
Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans
  • Michael J. McPhaden, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
  • Antonio J. Busalacchi, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Robert Cheney, National Ocean Service
  • Jean-Rene Donguy, Iinstitut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Developpement en Cooperation
  • Kenneth S. Gage, Aeronomy Laboratory
  • David Halpern, California lnstitute of Technology
  • Ming Ji, National Centers for Environmental Prediction
  • Paul Julian
  • Gary Meyers, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
  • Gary T. Mitchum, University of South Florida
  • Joel Picaut, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Richard W. Reynolds, National Centers for Environmental Prediction
  • Neville Smith, Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre
  • Kensuke Takeuchi, Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre
  • Pearn P. Piller, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
6-29-1998
Keywords
  • climate studies,
  • Southern Oscillation,
  • marine science,
  • El Niño,
  • oceanography
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
dx.doi.org/10.1029/97JC02906
Disciplines
Abstract
A major accomplishment of the recently completed Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Program was the development of an ocean observing system to support seasonal-to-interannual climate studies. This paper reviews the scientific motivations for the development of that observing system, the technological advances that made it possible, and the scientific advances that resulted from. the availability of a significantly expanded observational database. A primary phenomenological focus of TOGA was interannual variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system associated with El Nino and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Prior to the start of TOGA, our understanding of the physical processes responsible for the ENSO cycle was limited, our ability to monitor variability in the tropical oceans was primitive, and the capability to predict ENSO was nonexistent. TOGA therefore initiated and/or supported efforts to provide real-time measurements of the following key oceanographic variables: surface winds, sea surface temperature, subsurface temperature, sea level and ocean velocity. Specific in situ observational; programs developed to provide these data sets included the Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean (TAO) array of moored buoys, in the Pacific, a surface drifting buoy program, an island and coastal tide gauge network, and a volunteer observing ship network of expendable bathythermograph measurements. Complementing these in situ efforts were satellite missions which provided near-global coverage of surface winds, sea surface temperature, and sea level. These new TOGA data sets led to fundamental progress in our understanding of the physical processes responsible for ENSO and to the development of coupled ocean-atmosphere models for ENSO prediction.
Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, v. 103, no. C7, p. 14169-14240.

Citation Information
Michael J. McPhaden, Antonio J. Busalacchi, Robert Cheney, Jean-Rene Donguy, et al.. "The Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Observing System: A Decade of Progress" Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans Vol. 103 Iss. C7 (1998) p. 14169 - 14240
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gary_mitchum/4/