Report of the Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography (WGOH) [11-14 APRIL 2005, Narragansett, USA]
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Original versionThis report is not to be quoted without prior consultation with the General Secretary.
• In almost all areas of both the eastern and western North Atlantic during 2004, temperature and salinity in the upper layers remained higher than the long-term average, with new records set in numerous regions. There was isolated cooling off the eastern North American coast. • Recognising that climate change is of international concern, the WGOH strongly recommends that the Oceanography Committee and ACME should encourage the measurements of standard physical oceanography parameters in the Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP) of the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. The WGOH make a number of related recommendations in this report. WGOH suggests that OCC could help better coordinate ongoing national monitoring activities within OSPAR to optimize the cost/benefit. • The WGOH supports ICES in moving towards integrated assessments (Ecosys-tem Approach), but note increasing gaps between the requests for certain physical oceanography data sets/oceanographic knowledge and data available from moni-toring activities. The constant need for oceanographic data as part of the overall description of the marine ecosystem should be more reflected in OSPAR`s CEMP • The WGOH noted ongoing activities within OSPAR and its Working Group on Concentrations, Trends and Effects of Substances in the Marine Environment (SIME) as part of a review of the role of physical oceanography in the framework of the revised CEMP. It is suggested that OCC contact ACE/ACME and the Se-cretariat to explore OSPAR`s interest to cooperate closer with ICES/OHWG re-garding the monitoring of supporting environmental factors in the ICES region. The OCC is asked to express their interest to better coordinate the ongoing na-tional monitoring activities to optimize the cost/benefit. • The WGOH agree that for ecosystem assessment, a regional approach is neces-sary, but it is still necessary to understand regional climate in the context of the wider North Atlantic. In this context. WGOH requests that ICES continue its ef-forts to ensure that the IAOCSS is widely distributed. • The WGOH found that responding to ToR F related to the Regional Ecosystem Study Group for the North Sea (REGNS) assessment process required commit-ment of considerable time and resources. The WGOH acknowledges that this is a pilot project but would request that REGNS consider the sustainability of this ap-proach and look at ways to provide additional support, including national funding routes that could be employed to make the work more practicable in future. • The WGOH keenly felt that active participation in the WG by France should be encouraged. In particular, France is active in the study of eastern boundary condi-tions and the salinity distribution in the North Atlantic, and the IAOCSS would benefit from input in these areas. • The WGOH noted that acoustic Doppler current profilers on commercial vessels in regular traffic offer exceptional opportunities for monitoring variability of up-per ocean currents over a wide range of time scales and encourages the promotion of such systems in existing vessels and in new construction wherever practicable. • The WGOH requests that ICES consider supporting the publication of an issue of CLIVAR Exchanges dedicated to WGOH-related activities.
Contributors: Randi Ingvaldsen, Harald Loeng, Kjell Arne Mork, Einar Svendsen, Didrik S. Danielssen
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