Global Ocean Observing System - GOOS Framework
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Framework systems diagram

The GOOS utilizes the Framework for Ocean Observing to guide its implementation of an integrated and sustained ocean observing system. This systems-approach, designed to be flexible and to adapt to evolving scientific, technological and societal needs, helps deliver an ocean observing system with maximized user base and societal impact.

In fact, the Framework guides the path from the science-driven requirements resulting from societal issues, identifying the observations deployment and maintenance needed for the production of impactful and relevant tools to address those issues.

To maintain an ocean observing system that is fit-for-purpose, the outputs (publications, products, ocean services) must properly address the issues that drove the original requirements. This system evaluation creates a constant feedback loop such that requirements are always science-driven and informed by societal needs.

Find out more and download the Framework for Ocean Observing here.

Key Framework Concepts


GOOS Expert Panels identify the system requirements in terms of Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and observing networks, based on their level of scientific and societal relevance as well as on how feasible they are to observe.


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Essential Ocean Variables

The Framework is designed to approach ocean observations with a focus on Essential Ocean Variables, ensuring assessments that cut across platforms and recommend the best, most cost effective plan to provide an optimal global view for each EOV.



Broad-scale observations require a global effort and international collaboration. The GOOS partners have diverse expertise that elaborate standards and best practices on observing systems, conduct monitoring of the observing networks, and align their operations with the GOOS strategic planning.


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Improving Readiness

The Framework encourages increased partnerships and projects to improve the readiness levels of requirements, observations elements and data systems. This readiness approach allows for timely implementation of components that are already mature, while encouraging innovation and research to improve readiness and capacity building.


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System Evaluation

The observing system is under constant evaluation to discern changes in readiness and identify risks to its sustainability. Evaluation is based on a series of metrics, assessing system implementation, performance, data delivery, and impact.


Photo credits: Hangar work ©IFREMER ; Sea ice © Katryn Hansen/NASA, modified ; Seal ©Daniel Costa, modified ; Perpetual Ocean©NASA/Scientific Vizualisation Studio, modified.