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TPOS 2020 is an international effort to advance our understanding and prediction of tropical Pacific variability and its profound consequences for agriculture, marine ecosystems, human health and disaster preparedness globally.

The El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the Earth’s dominant mode of climate variability on seasonal to interannual time scales, influencing temperature and precipitation across the globe. Measurements collected from the tropical Pacific region form the foundational capability for NOAA’s predictions of ENSO, providing advance warning for changes in weather patterns that influence everything from droughts and water resources in California, fisheries in Peru, to wildfires and air quality in Indonesia.

TPOS 2020, which began in 2014, will deliver a new integrated Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS) design by 2020 that expands the array to cover a broader range of latitudes and oceanic and atmospheric regimes, improving coupled weather and subseasonal forecasting capabilities.

Scientific Objectives of TPOS 2020:

  • To redesign and refine the TPOS to observe ENSO and advance scientific understanding of its causes,
  • To determine the most efficient and effective observational solutions to support prediction systems for ocean, weather and climate services, and
  • To advance understanding of tropical Pacific physical and biogeochemical/ecosystem variability and predictability.

TPOS 2020 is an international project with representatives from twelve countries.

Relevant Links:

GOMO Funded TPOS 2020 Projects
2016 GOMO TPOS 2020 Technology Development Pilot Studies to advance the readiness of in situ observing platforms (e.g. floats, gliders, moorings) and assess their potential to address observational requirements and gaps in the tropical Pacific Ocean region.

  1. Autonomous Surface Vessels as Low-Cost TPOS Platforms for Observing the Planetary Boundary Layer and Surface Biogeochemistry-M Cronin (PMEL),  D Zhang (JISAO), A Sutton (JISAO), C Meinig (PMEL)
  2. Profiling Floats Equipped with Rainfall, Wind Speed, and Biogeochemical Sensors for Use in the Tropical Pacific Observing System-S Riser, J Yang (UW)
  3. Enhanced Ocean Boundary Layer Observations on NDBC TAO Moorings- K Grissom (NWS/NDBC), W Kessler (PMEL)
  4. Development and Testing of Direct Covariance Turbulent Flux Measurements for NDBC TAO Buoys-T Farrar, J Edson (WHOI), M Cronin (PMEL)

2019 National Ocean Partnership Program Autonomous Profiling Floats for Investigating Tropical Pacific Ocean Biogeochemistry (in partnership with the NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program and the CPO Climate Variability and Predictability Program)

  1. Improvements to Profiling Float Technology in Support of Equatorial Pacific Biogeochemical Studies- S Riser (University of Washington), K Johnson (MBARI), B Carter, (JISAO/UW), T Mitchell (Seabird)
  2. Developing an autonomous biogeochemical profiling float to monitor biological productivity, ocean-atmosphere CO2 fluxes, and hypoxia in the Tropical Pacific Ocean- S Purkey, T Martz, L Talley, D Roemmich, M Mazloff, D Rudnick, A Verdy (SIO-UCSD), NBogue (MRV Systems LLC),  K Johnson (MBARI)

TPOS 2020 6th Steering Committee Meeting (TPOS SC-6) 4-8 November 2020, Hangzhou, China.