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Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas (COSS-TT)


Starting in the mid-2000s, GODAE (Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment) fully embraced the importance of coastal ocean “intermediate users” of ocean forecasting products for coastal applications.  To address this need, the Coastal and Shelf Seas Working Group (CSSWG, 2006-2008) was established with the mission to bridge global and coastal prediction strategies by quantifying elements that demonstrate the value of GODAE results for regional, coastal and shelf seas models, and forecasting systems.  With the evolution of the initial GODAE phase to GODAE OceanView (GOV) in 2008, the CSSWG evolved into the Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas Task Team.  The COSS-TT is now one of the OceanPredict Task Teams.

The main goal and central mission of the COSS-TT is to work within OceanPredict towards the provision of a sound scientific and expert basis for sustainable multidisciplinary downscaling and forecasting activities in the world’s regional and coastal oceans.  The strategic goal of the COSS-TT is to help achieve a truly seamless framework from the global to the coastal/littoral scale.  A major contribution is to address the particular challenges on monitoring and forecasting in coastal areas and regional seas, where the majority of human marine activities take place. As these are also the areas of enhanced exploitation of marine resources, the COSS-TT has a mission well aligned with society’s needs and benefits. The main disciplines considered within the TT are coastal ocean physics and interactions between physical and biogeochemical processes, but the TT has close ties with other OceanPredict Task Teams, and holds some of its meetings together with them.

The COSS-TT is an international team, with members from every continent.   It has through the years consolidated a broader coastal scientific community involved in developing and advancing methodologies supporting Coastal Ocean Forecasting Systems (COFS). The COSS-TT and its community meet approximately every 18 months. Meetings aim to bridge several communities and subcultures by addressing their specific questions together, as reflected by the target attendees

  • Global/regional ocean forecasters, in particular those already present in OceanPredict (e.g. on large-scale model assessment and improvement in coastal regions)
  • Coastal modellers, experts and scientists (our “core” community)
  • Experts in international ocean observing programs with a coastal component (e.g. on synergistic studies with coastal modellers and added value).



The COSS-TT is led by the co-chairs:


The COSS-TT aims to advance science and expertise in coastal regions in support of two categories of ocean forecasting systems.  First of all, obviously and centrally, the TT address Regional/Coastal Ocean Forecasting Systems (R/COFS), at several stages of development (scientific concept, pre-operational, operational).  However the TT also addresses the scientific and expert needs of Large-scale Ocean Forecasting Systems (LOFS), as long as they have stakes in coastal regions and shelf seas and/or as they aim to provide initial/boundary conditions for coastal models as part of downscaling or upscaling services.

Six international coordination meetings (2012-2018) have helped define broad priority topics where science and expertise are needed for those systems:

  • Monitoring of physical and biogeochemical parameters in coastal regions (in particular permanent/long-term), including linking with the active regional/coastal altimetry community and discussing how altimetry can improve the forecast quality and enable new applications in the regional/coastal oceans
  • Development of fine-scale coastal ocean models
  • Model-observations synergy in the coastal ocean:
    • Using observations to guide coastal model development and assessment
    • Using models to connect and interpret sparse coastal observations
    • Using coastal models to synthesize observations (data assimilation, machine learning)
    • Using models to design and optimize coastal observing systems (OSE, OSSE, array design)
  • Downscaling the ocean estimation problem from large-scale to coastal-scale models, data and forcings,
  • Coastal-scale atmosphere-waves-ocean couplings
  • Ecosystem response to the physical drivers
  • Risk assessment in the coastal ocean, including probabilistic and AI approaches, e.g. regarding extreme events.

The Task Team will continue to address these topics at future meetings, through special Activities, and in collaboration with other Task Teams.



Some COSS-TT activities are listed below:

  • Six task team meetings have been organized between 2012-2018 to share science and good practices, promote international networking and advance strategic planning.
  • A Coastal System Information Table has been compiled.
  • Six special sessions have been sponsored by the Task Team at AGU/Ocean Sciences Meetings (2008-2018); these have consolidated the outcomes of the TT workshops and allowed outreach to the broader scientific community. Most recent session: AGU-OSM / Portland, OR, USA / Feb 2018.
  • Two synthetic COSS Community papers from the 2013 Symposium have been published in Journal of Operational Oceanography.
  • We initiated the ARCOM initiative (Altimetry for Regional and Coastal Models) as a common activity between the TT and the CAW (Coastal Altimetry Workshop, , P. Cipollini). ARCOM co-chairs: C. Dufau (CLS) and J. Wilkin (Rutgers U.).
  • COSS-TT members contributed to the 25th Altimetry workshop in Azores (Oct. 2018):
  • COSS-TT co-chairs first-authored or co-authored several OceanObs (Honolulu, Sept. 2019) papers (De Mey-Frémaux et al., 2019; Davidson et al., 2019; Ponte et al., 2019)
  • We initiated an activity with the IV-TT: Class 4-based intercomparison of LOFS and R/COFS.
  • COSS-TT co-chairs are also members of the DA-TT and OSEval-TT.
  • The first COSS Topical Collection of 15 papers has been published in Ocean Dynamics, with presentations from TT meetings. The second COSS Topical Collection is in progress.
  • Co-chair V. Kourafalou is a Member of  JCOMM’s Inter-programme Expert Team on “Integrated Marine Meteorological and Oceanographic Services within WMO and IOC Information Systems” (IPET-MOIS); co-chaired by Eugene Burger (NOAA, USA) and Youlong Liu (NMDIS, China).
  • Both COSS-TT co-chairs are members of the org Steering Committee (an initiative proposed within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science).


Last updated – 10 October 2020











No First name Last name Affiliation Country Status Substitute
1 Alexander Barth University of Liège / GHER Belgium Member
2 Lucy Bricheno National Oceanographic Centre UK Member
3 Yi Chao RSS and UCLA USA Member
4 Guillaume Charria Ifremer/ LOPS France Member
5 Byoung-Ju Choi Chonnam National University Korea Member
6 Mauro Cirano REMO, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Member
7 Pierre De Mey-Frémaux CNRS / LEGOS France Co-chair
8 Claire Dufau CLS France Member
9 Chris Edwards UC Santa Cruz USA Member
10 Ivan Federico CMCC Italy Member
11 Marcos Garcia Sotillo Puertos del Estado Spain Member
12 Ruoying He NCSU USA Member
13 Mike Herzfeld CSIRO, Hobart Australia Member
14 Naoki Hirose Kyushu University, Fukuoka Japan Member
15 Lars Hole Norway Member
16 Jennifer Jackson-Veitch  SAEON South Africa Member
17 Gan Jianping Hong Kong University of S&T China Member
18 Villy Kourafalou University of Miami USA Co-chair
19 Alexander Korapov NOAA USA Member
20 Bruno Levier Mercator Ocean France Member
21 Guimei Liu NMEFC China Member Wang, Dakui (NMEFC)
22 Youyu Lu DFO Canada Member
23 Thuy Ba Nguyen NHMS Vietnam Member
24 Enda O’Dea Met Office UK Member
25 Paolo Oddo CMRE Int Member
26 Ananda Pascual IMEDEA Spain Member
27 Nadia Pinardi University of Bologna Italy Member
28 Julie Pullen Stevens Institute of Technology USA Member
29 Yeqiang Shu South China Institute of  Oceanography China Member
30 Emil Stanev HZG Germany Member
31 Joanna Staneva HZG Germany Member
32 Peter Zavialov P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russia New member

Patron champions:

Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Ifremer/Mercator Ocean, France
John Siddorn, Met Office



Last updated – 04 February 2021


One major aspect of the COSS-TT is the provision of a communication and collaboration space for the COSS community in the form of workshops and meetings. This has been proven to be very successful and has seen a consistent increase in participation. Since 2012, the COSS-TT held six workshops:


Meeting 2022 (Montréal) (planned for 2020, but delayed to 2022 due to Covid)


Meeting history:

Meeting 2018 (Madrid)

Meeting 2017 (Cape Town)

Workshop 2015 (Lisbon)

Workshop 2014 (Puerto Rico)

Workshop 2013 (Lecce, Italy)

Workshop 2012 (Miami, USA)


The COSS-TT co-chairs are strongly involved in CoastPredict, a UN Decade programme proposed by the international coastal community as a contribution to ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.



Last updated – 10 October 2020


Meeting reports:


Last updated – 10 October 2020

TT quad-charts

The task team quad-chart provides a quick glance at the TT’s activities, achievements and future plans.


Coastal- and Shelf Seas Task Team (COSS-TT) – October 2019
Short description and objectives of the activities started or planned for this year:
Accomplishments of the TT this year:
Main activities:

FA1: Continue general TT work on targeted science to enable/support the development of COFS (Coastal Ocean Forecasting Systems) and applications and meet priority challenges

FA2: Work towards better integration between COFS and LOFS (Large-scale Ocean Forecasting Systems) via downscaling, illustrate added value via consistent metrics

FA3: Link with the active regional/coastal altimetry community and accompany the jumps in resolution and in “information forcing” towards extending prediction capabilities of COFS

Main achievements:

• A very successful COSS-TT International Coordination Meeing (ICM-6) took place in Madrid, Spain, with a joint session with MEAP-TT.

• ICM-7 is in preparation; it will occur in April, 2020 in Montréal, Canada (see below left)

• We participated in the Scientific Committee of the OceanPredict’19 Symposium, and in the Symposium itself, via co-chairmanship and presentations.

• Collaboration with DA-TT and OSEval-TT is strong, as COSS-TT co-chairs are members; collaboration with MEAP-TT and IV-TT at COSS meetings.

• A new COSS Topical Collection in Ocean Dynamics is in progress.

Future plans to continue/ improve current activities:
Issues/ problems:
Main future plans:

• ICM-7 is scheduled for 27-30 April 2020, in Montréal (Canada). Local host is ECCC on behalf of CONCEPTS.

• ICM-7 sessions will follow FA1-3 general topics; in particular, a session on coastal/large-scale integration (FA2) is planned, and an ARCOM contribution (FA3) is being prepared.

Main issues:

None identified this period