Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)
23-28 February 2014
Over 5000 presentations showcased research results and ideas in the world’s largest conference on marine sciences. FixO3 was presented for the first time to the international ocean science community showing European efforts in integrated fixed-point ocean observations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
The 17th biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM), co-sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), The Oceanography Society (TOS), and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu from 23-28 February 2014. The OSM is the largest international assembly of ocean scientists, engineers, students, educators, and policy makers and an important venue for scientific exchange across broad marine science disciplines. Sessions included all aspects of oceanography, especially multidisciplinary topics, as well as presentations that reflect new and emerging research on the global ocean and society, including science education, outreach and public policy.
FixO3 Project Coordinator Richard Lampitt and Project Manager Luisa Cristini attended the conference presenting the project to the international community for the first time since the start in September 2013 on behalf of the FixO3 Consortium. They presented the project in the poster session 071 titled “Frontiers in Oceanographic Data and Methods”. In addition, they attended several sessions, meetings and events on the topics of ocean observations, climate change, deep-sea research and science outreach.
Several workshops and events directed to early-career scientists were organized for Sunday 23rd February. Topics ranged from how to organize and lead an oceanographic cruise to how to submit a successful project proposal. After the workshops, a keynote lecture by National Geographic Explorer Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey followed by the icebreaker party on the Hawaii Convention Centre’s terrace gave the official opening to the conference.
On Monday 24th BBC’s Natural History Unit presented the new TV series on the ocean they are developing. Later in the week, Richard and Luisa had occasion to meet the series Development Producer Orla Doherty who is interested in FixO3 capability to link the physical, chemical and biological communities. Further on the topic of outreach, contributions to the ocean and climate change education and outreach session show that maps and visualisations are very powerful communication tools. The early afternoon session was saved for “Understanding the IPCC AR5”, a 2-hour tutorial on the ocean’s role in the climate system. Speakers include Nathaniel Bindoff and Monika Rhein, coordinating lead authors of Chapter 10 “Detection and Attribution of Climate Change” and Chapter 3 “Ocean observations”, respectively.
Tuesday 25th was busy with an all-day session on CLIVAR (Variability and predictability of the ocean-atmosphere system), one of the four core projects of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Presentations included modelling ocean circulation under different climate scenarios and changes in natural climate variability. In the afternoon session “Illuminating the deep ocean”, co-convened by FixO3 WP10-leader Antje Boetius (AWI), she explored seafloor life response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances while Kirsty Morris from NOC showed autonomous ecological surveying of abyssal deep-sea at FixO3 observatory PAP.
The highlight of Wednesday 26th’s sessions was that covering changes in global carbon cycle, where insights from observations and models were presented. In the evening a Town Hall meeting was organized on North Atlantic Observing Systems to discuss programs and goals of the international observing community. Several European, US and Canadian collaborative projects were showcased and Luisa had the opportunity to announce the start of FixO3.
On Thursday 27th morning a session dedicated to the Fram Strait discussed new insights in physical and biological processes in this important gateway to the Arctic. Results included observations taken at AWI-operated FixO3-observatory FRAM. The afternoon’s poster session saw great attendance to FixO3 poster where Richard, Luisa and Antje engage in discussion with the visitors around in situ observations, methods and challenges. In the evening the European Commission’s delegation in the US organized a Town Hall meeting on the Horizon 2020 framework to highlight EU-US cooperation in ocean research.
Friday 28th closed the conference with the oral session “Frontiers in oceanographic data and methods”, where outlook in observational oceanography, modelling and data analysis were presented.
This year’s Ocean Sciences Meeting showed a great interest by the international community around the need for sustained ocean observations, stresses by several presenters and organizations. The discussion by GOOS on Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) is ongoing and after a meeting last year in Australia/South Africa there were a number of recommendations about which ones should be included.The next conference will be held in 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and FixO3 will most certainly be there to show data and results from the 23 observatories included in the program.