Global Ocean Observing System - Global Ocean Observing System
GOOS banner.

The GOOS is a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary system of observations built around nationally-managed and nationally-funded observing elements (satellites, buoys, scientists, etc.). GOOS provides a platform for national contributions to come together to deliver sustained observations of the global ocean. As a volunteer program, GOOS relies on its expert stakeholders to represent concerns of their home nations. By doing so, these decision makers and researchers influence GOOS's funding priorities and nations are rewarded with added value for their investments when sharing their marine science and ocean observation programs. Conversely, it is expected that GOOS plans and observation goals outlined by the Framework are used by member states to establish priorities during their own national planning efforts.

With its unique status within the UN system, GOOS is able to marshal the resources of the 140 Member States of the UNESCO/ IOC to build a network of sustained observation systems unified by GOOS principles, including GOOS Regional Alliances (GRAs).

Example of International Collaboration: Argo

Map of Argo floats
Click to enlarge map of Argo floats, color-coded by contributing country (April 2015). An interactive version of the latest map can be accessed here.

A component of GOOS, Argo is a collaborative partnership of more than 30 nations from all continents. Argo is an array of thousands of inter-calibrated, profiling floats whose data are openly accessible, allowing any country to explore the ocean environment.

Argo floats measure temperature and salinity in the global ocean, providing key data for detecting changes in ocean heat storage.

Overall coordination is provided through the Argo Information Centre, an office belonging to World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which also coordinates GOOS.