PROGRAM TITLE:	World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE)
ACTIVITY STREAM:	Process, Observe, Model, Data
SCIENCE ELEMENT:	Climate and Hydrologic Systems

 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

SCIENTIFIC MERIT:  The principal goals of WOCE are to understand the 
global ocean circulation well enough to  model its present state and predict its 
evolution and relate them to long-term climate change, and to provide a 
scientifically sound strategy for continued monitoring of the ocean following 
its conclusion.  Knowledge of ocean circulation is critical to climate, as well as 
to other oceanographic programs, since it controls the transports of heat and 
other biological and chemical constituents. WOCE consists of three core 
programs: 1. Global Description; 2. Southern Ocean; and 3. Gyre Dynamics and 
Process Studies.  WOCE field programs began formally in 1990, and will 
continue through 1997.  Under Core 1, a 30-year time series station is being 
continued in the Atlantic, and a second one in the Pacific has been initiated, 
both in collaboration with JGOFS.  A one-time hydrographic description of 
the world ocean is underway, with the Pacific scheduled for completion in 
1994.  An intensive study of the Indian Ocean in 1994-96 will involve WOCE, 
JGOFS, and an Arabian Sea Cooling experiment (ONR), with major 
contributions from five countries.  A planning meeting, scheduled for 
October, 1993, will solidify plans for the North Atlantic.  A major modeling 
study of the Atlantic circulation was successfully completed, and studies of 
model physics and second phase GCM calculations continue.  Under Core-3, 
studies of upper and intermediate ocean processes in the North Atlantic, with 
joint support from ONR, and with German, Canadian and UK participation, 
are providing new insight on the role of mixing in the overall transport of 
heat.  In the South Atlantic, WOCE investigators have discovered a 
convergence of the deep flow which will certainly shed light on the age and 
residence time of water in the deep basin.  Under Core-2, modest efforts to 
monitor the circulation of the circumpolar current have been initiated and 
some experiments in the Weddell Gyre have been supported by OPP.  
However, primary WOCE Core-2 plans remain uncommitted.

STAKEHOLDERS:  In the U.S., NSF has the lead for overall coordination and 
funding of WOCE. NOAA has responsibility for a portion of the hydrographic 
program with specific emphasis on chemical tracers and contributed to 
studies of Indonesian through-flow. ONR is making significant contributions 
to process studies. DOE supports CO-2 measurements in the ocean and NASA 
has responsibility for satellite observations and some large-scale modeling.  
Internationally, WOCE is a key element of the WCRP, with support from IOC, 
SCOR, WMO, and ICSU, with science oversight provided by the CCCO (now 
merged with JSC), and JSC, through an international Science Steering Group 
(SSG). The first international scientific conference on WOCE was held in Paris 
in 1988 at which over 40 countries expressed their support for the program.  
Under IOC and WMO, an Intergovernmental WOCE Panel (IWP) was 
established to garner governmental commitments for WOCE. An 
international WOCE Program Office (IPO) was established at IOS in Wormley, 
UK to support planning and implementation of international aspects of the 
program. Many countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, France, 
Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Australia and the Former Soviet Union 
are contributing to the various science elements of WOCE.

POLICY RELEVANCE: Short and Long-term payoffs include improved 
working relations with maritime nations, especially the Indian Ocean 
countries. Also, a better assessment and understanding of the ocean effects on 
climate predictability should be available within 2-3 years. This acquired 
knowledge is needed to design and build an effective GOOS. The long-term 
policy payoff is a better understanding of the deep ocean's role in the response 
of climate systems to natural and anthropogenic changes, on decadal to 
centennial time scales, by running various scenarios in general circulation 
models. This information can then be fed into ecological models

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Richard B. Lambert, Physical Oceanography Program 
Director