Sebastiaan Swart is currently co-chair of SOOS and co-chair of SOFLUX


The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) is an international initiative with the mission to facilitate the collection and delivery of essential observations on dynamics and change of Southern Ocean systems to all international stakeholders, through design, advocacy and implementation of cost-effective observing and data delivery systems.



SOOS Objectives are structured to follow a logical sequence of implementation: Design of the System, Capabilities, Observations, Regional Implementation, Data Deliver, Support Activities

  1. Facilitate the design and implementation of a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary observing system for the Southern Ocean
  2. Unify and enhance current observation efforts and leverage further resources across disciplines, and between nations and programs
  3. Facilitate linking of sustained long-term observations to provide a system of enhanced data discovery and delivery, utilising existing data centres and programmatic efforts combined with, as needed, purpose-built data management and storage systems
  4. Provide services to communicate, coordinate, advocate and facilitate SOOS objectives and activities



SOFLUX is a Capability Working Group of SOOS on air-sea fluxes in the Southern Ocean.

The core aim of SOFLUX is to reduce uncertainties in air-sea and air-sea-ice exchanges. SOFLUX will design and facilitate the implementation of an observing system of essential ocean variables (EOVs) to support investigations on dynamics and change in Southern Ocean air-sea fluxes, including the formal definition of EOVs for fluxes, the development of priority measurements, standardized methodologies for collecting and archiving data, the optimal design of field programs, and strategies for implementing field observations, including supporting regional working groups and networking with existing and emerging programs. The working group may also need to address fundamental errors in bulk formulae used to parameterize fluxes, since these formulae are not tuned for the time-varying waves and winds typically found in the Southern Ocean. The presence of sea ice is a further complication that must be addressed.

SOFLUX will make important contributions to all of the 6 SOOS Science Themes.

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