From: NOAA
Published June 27, 2017 08:18 AM

NOAA and international partners plan upgrade of global weather and ocean observing system

NOAA met with ocean observations experts from six nations and 13 global organizations in May 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to plan for the redesign of the Tropical Pacific Observing System by the year 2020 (TPOS 2020).

TPOS is an ocean-based monitoring network comprised of a variety of observing technologies, operated by NOAA and other foreign partners.  This network provides the essential ocean data needed to understand important environmental phenomenon and develop weather and climate forecasts for the US and countries around the world.

Seasonal forecasts and prediction of El Niño and La Niña events, driven by El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), depend upon the ocean and weather conditions monitored by TPOS.  El Niño occurs when the sea surface waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean warm significantly above average and La Niña events occur when these waters cool to temperatures below average.

These changes can drive shifts in United States weather patterns across the nation as well as  global patterns of rain and resulting floods, drought and accompanying wildfires, and can lead to shifts of fisheries stocks, among many other effects. Accurate ENSO predictions can protect lives and property, boost economic prosperity, and provide vital information for global decision-makers, private industries, and others to plan for the future.

 

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Photo via NOAA.

 

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