The ocean covers 71% of the planet's surface, beyond any national jurisdiction. It is a global commons whose stewardship is the common responsibility of all people. Humankind has had significant direct impacts on ocean health. However, atmospheric change has profoundly affected the ocean, as well. GOOS helps us to understand climate through measuring ocean heat content and sea level.
Human population growth and the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration have growth exponentially with industrialization. This has led to a changing climate and an ocean that is getting hotter.
The recent increase in ocean heat has resulted in a recent steady rise in global sea level. Sea level rise has two primary components: the expansion in volume of seawater with increased temperature and the addition of water in ocean basins from the melting of land-locked ice, including Antarctica and Greenland.
The GOOS Physics and Climate Panel leads in delivering to Climate through the Global Climate Observing System, which reports to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Observation requirements for Climate are developed in consultation with the World Climate Research Programme.
We are witnessing a time when the human impact on the earth system is growing exponentially, spawning the proposed naming of a new geological era, where the earth system is under the influence of the human race: the Anthropocene, of "the Age of Man" (and Woman).