Executive Summary

On 3-5 March 2003, the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), directed by Dr. James J. O'Brien, hosted the "Workshop on High-resolution Marine Meteorology" in Tallahassee, Florida. The workshop was sponsored by the NOAA Office of Global Programs to identify those scientific objectives that require high-resolution, high-accuracy marine meteorological observations and to discuss a sustained U.S. effort to obtain and disseminate these data in a manner consistent with the identified scientific goals. The workshop focused on in-situ marine meteorological observations from ships and buoys. Central discussions included data accuracy, calibration and inter-calibration, improved access to quality-assured, high-resolution (sampling interval ² 1 hr.) observations for the scientific community, and a sustained observing system to meet short- and long-term science objectives.

Co-chairs Dr. R. Michael Reynolds (Brookhaven National Laboratory) and Mr. Shawn R. Smith (COAPS) organized a workshop panel with representatives from both the scientific and operational marine observation communities. Participants included personnel from four NOAA laboratories, the Naval Research Laboratory, the U. S. Coast Guard, and the U. S. CLIVAR Office. The university community was represented by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Miami, Oregon State University, and the Florida State University. International attendees included representatives from CSIRO (Australia) and the Southampton Oceanography Centre.

The workshop was organized around four main topics: (1) science objectives; (2) status of U.S. high-resolution observing programs; (3) accuracy, calibration, and inter-calibration; and (4) a sustained data collection, distribution, and archival system. Invited speakers began each session with talks to stimulate topic-oriented discussions. Round-table discussions provided a free exchange of ideas for improving both the quantity and quality of marine observations. Several discussions focused on the need to improve instrument calibration and to provide for routine inter-calibration between instrument systems and platforms (e.g., ships versus buoys). Currently, only a few ships and buoys are capable of determining air-sea interaction variables to a sufficient degree of accuracy for climate studies. Participants noted that while research vessels are able to provide the highest quality data, often in under-sampled regions of the ocean, this resource is not being effectively utilized and data essential to climate studies are being lost. Discussions included the need to improve instrument siting on ships and to standardize measurement of meteorological and ship motion parameters and metadata formats. In addition, attendees addressed improving data quality and access for the user community. The discussions resulted in thirteen recommendations that the attendees agreed to disseminate widely through the scientific and operational marine communities and at the program level.

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