The Ship Of Opportunity Programme (SOOP)

The primary goal of the Ship-of-Opportunity Programme (SOOP) is to fulfill upper ocean data requirements which have been established by GOOS and GCOS, and which can be met at present by measurements from ships of opportunity (SOO). SOOPIP is establishing itself as an operational programme and is therefore participating in the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) and particularly in its Ship Observations Team (SOT). Data management is taken care of through the Global Temperature Salinity Profile Programme (GTSPP). The SOOP is directed primarily towards the continued operational maintenance and co-ordination of the XBT ship of opportunity network but other types of measurements are being made (e.g. TSG, XCTD, CTD, ADCP, pCO2, phytoplankton concentration). This network in itself supports many other operational needs (such as for fisheries, shipping, defense, etc.) through the provision of upper ocean data for data assimilation in models and for various other ocean analysis schemes. One of the continuing challenges is to optimally combine upper ocean thermal data collected by XBTs from the SOO with data collected from other sources such as the TAO array, Argo, and satellites (eg. AVHRR, altimeter, etc.). However, it is considered most important to have the SOOP focused on supporting climate prediction in order to ensure the continued operation of the present network

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