Global Ocean Observing Networks

The 13 OCG networks provide long-term, global, high-quality, in-situ ocean observations using various technologies to inform weather, climate, the environment, marine ecosystems, and coastal regions, and directly contribute to skillful forecasts and product development.

These networks track changes in global ocean conditions and variables such as ocean temperature, currents, waves, sea level, salinity, carbon and oxygen that are vital to characterizing changes of the global ocean environment.

Explore the work of the 13 individual global ocean observing networks that contribute to the OCG:

Related links:
  • Status Table (coming soon)


A window into the ocean, a 20-year-old ocean observing network of autonomous/robotic profiling floats that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the ocean.

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Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP)

Coordinates autonomous data buoys to observe atmospheric and oceanographic conditions over ocean areas where few other measurements are taken.

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Ship Observations Team (SOT)

Consists of several very successful and enduring data collection programmes involving voluntary observing ships and ships of opportunity.

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Automated Shipboard Aerological Programme (ASAP)

The primary goal is to collect baseline upper-air data from the oceans that can be used to support many applications, including forecasts and warnings, and global climate studies.

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Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS)

Recruits ships and trains crews to record and transmit weather observations at sea to assist in providing more accurate marine forecasts and warnings, and in support of climate and research activities.

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Ship of Opportunity Programme (SOOP)

Provides a global platform to deploy and operate oceanographic instrumentation from cargo ships and research vessels supporting a range of forecast, climate, and research applications.

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Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS)

A well-designed, high-quality sea level observing network supporting a broad research and operational user base.

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Animal-Borne Ocean Sensors (AniBOS)

A network deploying instruments on seals and other marine animals to provide salinity and temperature profiles and behavioural data.

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Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Programme (GO-SHIP)

Research vessels serving scientists interested in physical oceanography, the carbon cycle, marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems, and other data users and collectors.

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A worldwide system of long-term, deepwater moored reference stations measuring many variables and monitoring the full depth of the ocean.

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The Global High Frequency Radar Network

A vision for a global operational system measuring coastal surface currents to support monitoring of marine and coastal ecosystems.

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Ocean Gliders

Monitors global glider activity, shares the requirements, efforts and scientific knowledge needed for glider data collection and supports sharing glider data.

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Tsunami Buoys

Tsunameters that report sea level information measurements to the Tsunami Warning Centers, where the information is processed to produce a new and more refined estimate of the tsunami source.

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