Physics and Climate (OOPC)

The Physics and Climate Panel focuses on physical processes, including interactions with the atmosphere and cryosphere – the frozen part of the earth’s water system – circulation patterns, transport and storage of heat and momentum and influences on ecosystem functions that control the uptake of critically important gases.

It is sponsored by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), GOOS and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

Ocean and climate physical processes happen on spatial scales ranging from centimeters to global, and time scales from seconds to millennia. This a complex space requiring a combination of in situ ocean observations, satellite remote sensing and modelling tools to examine historic and future climates.

“I’m proud of our work to help grow ocean observing into an integrated, sustained and prioritized system providing essential information to enable society to adapt to climate risks.”

Sabrina Speich, Co-Chair, Physics Panel

Challenges include remoteness, physical obstacles such as ice, factors like limited funds and human resources, lack of technology and scientific understanding as well as political priorities.

In this context, the Panel provides science-based recommendations for a fit-for-purpose sustained ocean observing system focusing on physical variables that maximize support for climate monitoring, forecasting and research.

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