NOAA Logo National Centers for Environmental Information

formerly the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)...  more on NCEI

NOAA Satellite and Information Service

You are here:HomeGTSPP › About GTSPP

About GTSPP Requirements

The scientific community, in general, and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), in particular, require high quality, timely, and complete global ocean temperature and salinity data sets. Comprehensive and accurate observations of the worlds oceans and their circulation are fundamental to the study of climate change. The distribution of ocean temperature and salinity are of particular importance in providing the necessary four dimensional description and prediction of circulation and heat flux and its variability. Temperature and salinity data are also used in a wide range of research and non-research areas, including recreational and commercial activities such as fisheries. In conjunction with the scientific requirement mentioned above, the need for a timely, high quality ocean temperature and salinity database is clear.

It is the intention of GTSPP to provide these data sets. One of the requirements for GTSPP was to respond to the needs of the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Experiment in mid-1980 and the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) from 1990 - 2002 for temperature and salinity data in a timely manner; while the other substantial requirement was to develop and implement an end-to-end data management system for temperature and salinity data and other associated types of profiles, which could serve as a model for future oceanographic data management systems.

To meet users needs, the data in the GTSPP databases must be documented to agreed scientifically justifiable standards. The scientific community must therefore be fully involved in the project, particularly in the quality assurance aspects. The GTSPP systems thus will be capable of identifying and providing data selected by level of accuracy and reliability to meet scientific, engineering, and operational requirements.

In addition to the above scientific requirements, the OceanObs’09 Conference, which was held from 21 - 25 September 2009 in Venice, Italy, recognized the GTSPP achievements and recommended that GTSPP continue to concentrate efforts on temperature and salinity data and manage these in a prudent way, being sure that no data and information are lost to the existing programs such as Argo, CLIVAR (climate variability and predictability), CCHDO (CLIVAR and Carbon Hydrographic Data Office) , SOOP (Ship Of Opportunity Program), and WOD (World Ocean Database). GTSPP shall work with new science and operational oceanography programs and treat these new programs as clients. The new programs may have requirements different from existing clients. This may mean adjustments in the kinds of tools needed, and perhaps some extensions to the data handled.

GTSPP shall continue as a discernible joint IODE-JCOMM programme whose function is to provide the infrastructure of moving data from observers to users, as quickly as possible and at the highest possible quality. As an ongoing programme, it shall continue to hold discussions among participants and with other programs to resolve problems and discuss changes required. This encourages national data management agencies and improves data management internationally.