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Objectives and benefits

SynObs seeks to extract the maximum benefit or synergy from various combinations of different in-situ and remote sensing ocean observation platforms for the ocean (including sea-ice and BGC properties) monitoring and prediction systems.

SynObs has two main objectives:

  1. to design and to adopt an optimal combination of different ocean observation platforms with limited cost from which ocean prediction systems can draw effective information on the synergy among those platforms.
  2. to optimize assimilation methods that can draw on the synergy between the combination of different platforms.

SynObs typically targets combinations of in situ and satellite observations, but also explores the synergy among different observing platforms in the coastal and open ocean since the coastal region is characterized by an enhanced focus on observing the high frequencies and small scales.


Benefit 1

Guideline for constructing and sustaining optimal and efficient ocean observing networks in which various observation platforms are distributed effectively to improve the accuracy of ocean predictions. SynObs will provide justifications for sustaining in situ observing systems and satellite missions, recommendations for the future evolution of the observing networks, and the means to diagnose the status of the observing systems at near real time, which facilitates a quick reaction against a critical loss of a particular observing system. These outcomes will contribute to activities of Ocean Observing Co-Design, especially to the authorized report on ocean observation requirements planned in this Decade Programme.

Benefit 2

Advance of data assimilation capacity, including effective assimilation methods of in situ and satellite observation data allowing synergistic improvement, methods for assimilating satellite observation data more directly, coupled ocean-atmosphere data assimilation techniques, effective ways to assimilate coastal and open ocean observations simultaneously, and methods to represent the oceanic biogeochemical state through assimilation of both physical and biogeochemical parameters. These advances will contribute to ForeSea and CoastPredict by improving open ocean, coastal sea, and coupled atmosphere-ocean monitoring and predictions of various lead times for various areas.

Benefit 3

Development of a systematic mechanism to provide feedback from ocean prediction centers to observational communities and to ingest the knowledge about the observation impacts in the evolution of the ocean observing network. This includes a framework for evaluating ocean observing systems routinely, and is based on the collaboration among various operational centers.

Benefit 4

Intellectual capacity building to train an emerging generation of scientists from developing and developed nations to continue observing system monitoring and design into the
future beyond the UN Decade time horizon.



The planned common Observing System Experiments are described in the following report: