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The International and US CLIVAR Programs

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The WOCE one-time survey cruise tracks. (

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The CLIVAR repeat hydrography lines. (

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The U.S. Repeat hydrogrpahy lines. The completed cruises are in gray,  pending cruises are in red, and funded cruises are in black. (

CLIVAR is one part of the  World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) project. The name stands for Climate Variability and Predictability. It is a large international program  that seeks to understand the processes that determine how climate varies and how it can be predicted. It focuses on the roles of the ocean, atmosphere and land surface, and the interaction among the three in climate and climate change.

The CLIVAR program does this through:
1.    The collection and analysis of observations and the development of models
2.    The extension the climate record using both measured and derived data
3.    The development of an understanding of how the climate responds to increases in radiatively active gases and aerosols, and how well we can predict such responses, along with a comparison of such predictions to the climate record to detect the anthropogenic change.

Variations in climate occur on many scales:  that is our climate can change from season to season, from year to year, from decade to decade and century to century, as well as on shorter time-scales and longer time-scales. CLIVAR is interested in all in these changes.

CLIVAR includes a US CLIVAR component and one part of US CLIVAR is the repeat hydrography program. This program is driven by the need to monitor the changing patterns of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean and provide the necessary data to support continuing model development that will lead to improved forecasting skill for oceans and global climate. During the 1990's, two programs, WOCE (World Ocean Circulation Experiment) and JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) sought to provide a 'snapshot' of the global ocean circulation and properties through observations performed along zonal (east-west) and meridional (north-south) lines. The CLIVAR hydrography program is observing the physical and chemical properties of the ocean along a subset of the WOCE zonal and meridional lines, and is doing so repeatedly in an effort to monitor changes.

The maps at the left illustrate the coverage of the WOCE/JGOFS one-time survey and the CLIVAR repeat surveys.

Last updated: November 12, 2009

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