WHAT IS OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY?
Operational Oceanography is like weather monitoring and forecasting for the ocean. It can provide estimates of essential ocean variables (e.g. sea level, temperature and currents) for the present and the future, as well as for the past.
Operational Oceanography can be used to improve safety of life at sea, help create wealth, and assist in the security and protection of the marine environment.
Outputs can be used to generate data products, applications and services through national authorities, as well as in some cases through other organisations such as metocean service providers and environmental consultants.
OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY APPLICATIONS
Operational oceanography has applications such as:
Warnings about coastal floods, storm impacts,
harmful algal blooms and contaminants.
Electronic charts, sea state conditions, optimum routes for ships.
Prediction of primary productivity, ocean currents, ocean climate variability.
Modelling of, and in response to, oil spills and dredging.
OBSERVATIONS & MODELS
Operational Oceanography depends on availability of ocean observations and super-computer facilities, and uses computer models and mathematical techniques that have been developed over several decades.
It is designed to deliver stakeholder defined outputs and products on a routine basis, using robust and fully supported production and dissemination techniques.
Ocean observations are required in real-time and near-real-time (within a few days or minutes of collection) and sourced from various national and international programs.
Others are maintained through research funding, for example Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System.
THE FORUM AND OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY
The Forum has identified priority areas of research, development, and collaboration, to support these products and services in Australia.
The following Working Groups have been established to support the Forum's work in the areas of surface waves, surface currents, and data sharing.