PROGRAM TITLE:	Tropical Ocean & Global Atmosphere (TOGA)
ACTIVITY STREAM:	Process, Data, Model, Observe, Assess
SCIENCE ELEMENT:	Climate and Hydrologic Systems


SCIENTIFIC MERIT:  TOGA's objective is to investigate seasonal-to-
interannual variability of the coupled tropical ocea-global atmosphere system 
in order to determine and understand its predictavility and to apply this 
knowledge to operational climate prediction.  The TOGA emphasis has been 
in the Pacific where primary interannual signal, ENSO (El Nino Souther 
Oscillation), is the strongest.  The best known ENSO phenomenon is the 
stron warming of coastal waters off the west coast of South America, which 
has significant and frequently devastating effects on local fisheries and which 
may affect both local and global weather and climate patterns, particularly 
precipitation and storm patterns.  The TOGA Program ddresses its objectives 
with process tudies to investigate specific mechanisms of air-sea interaction, 
research on coupled ocean-atmosphere models, and an observational system 
that now routinely monitors the equatorial Pacific.  For example, the ability to 
watch the development of the 1986-87 event was impressive and 
unprecedented.  This real-time monitoring system is expected to continue as 
part of the Global Ocean Observing System.  TOGA COARE (Coupled Ocean-
Atmosphere Response Experiment) recently completed a highly successful 
international (18 countries) field project.  TOGA COARE examined ocean-
atmosphere exchanges over the wester Pacific warm pool where ENSO events 
originate.  TOGA advances also include the demonstration of a modest but 
useful predictive capability for ENSO and the establishment of the 
rudimentary elements of an operational data assimilation and prediction 
As the ten year (1985-1994) TOGA program comes to an end, national and 
international plans call for follow-programs to build on its successes.  
Internationally, CLIVAR (A Study of CLImate VARiability and Predictability) 
is a new WCRP Program designed to extend the research emphasis on climate 
variability and predictability to the global domain over short (seasonal-to-
interannual) and long (decadal-to-century) time scales.  Nationally, GOALS 
(Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System) is proposed as the US contribution 
to the seasonal-to-interannual focus of CLIVAR.  Oversight and evaluation of 
the US component of the program is provided through the TOGA Panel and 
the Climate Research Committee of the National Academy of Sciences.
STAKEHOLDERS:  In the U.S., the principal players are NOAA and NSF, 
with NASA contributing to studies of surface fluxes and coupled 
ocean-atmosphere models and ONR contributing to process studies. 
Internationally, TOGA is a major element of the World Climate Research 
Program (WCRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the 
International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). It is also supported by 
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and ICSU's 
Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR).  Fifteen countries are now 
on record as primary contributors to TOGA. Representatives of the 
international community met in Geneva in May, 1986, to discuss potential 
commitments for resources to be applied to WCRP programs, including 
TOGA. An Intergovernmental TOGA Board (ITB) was subsequently approved 
by both WMO and IOC, with responsibility for implementing these 
commitments. The primary beneficiaries are the Natural Resources 
(agriculture and fisheries) managers of all the countries located within the 
POLICY RELEVANCE:  Direct benefits have been demonstrated for U.S. and 
international policymaking related to the climate's natural variability and its 
impacts on societal structures.  For example, short-term (6 months to a year) 
ENSO predictions are now used by several countries to reduce crop failures 
and livestock death due to sever droughts. Measurements of sea level 
changes have proven to be a useful predictor of fishery abundance around the 
Hawaiian Islands. Improved predictions of the frequency of tropical storms in 
relation to El Nino should be of interest to coastal states.
Eric Itsweire, Physical Oceanography Associate Program Director
Donna Blake, Climate Dynamics Associate Program Director