PIRATA: A Sustained Observing System for Tropical Atlantic Climate Research and Forecasting

Type Article
Date 2019-04
Language English
Author(s) Bourlès Bernard1, Araujo Moacyr2, McPhaden Michael J.3, Brandt Peter4, 5, Foltz Gregory R.6, Lumpkin Rick6, Giordani Hervé7, Hernandez Fabrice2, 8, Lefèvre Nathalie9, Nobre Paulo10, Campos Edmo11, 12, Saravanan Ramalingam13, Trotte‐duhà Janice14, Dengler Marcus4, Hahn Johannes4, Hummels Rebecca4, Lübbecke Joke F.4, 5, Rouault Mathieu15, Cotrim Leticia16, Sutton Adrienne3, Jochum Markus17, Perez Renellys C6
Affiliation(s) 1 : IRD/Laboratoire d'Études en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales Plouzané ,France
2 : Departmento de Oceanografia da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – DOCEAN/UFPE Recife ,Brazil
3 : NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Seattle Washington ,USA
4 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
5 : Christian‐Albrechts‐Universität zu Kiel Kiel ,Germany
6 : NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Miami Florida ,USA
7 : Météo‐France/Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques Toulouse, France
8 : IRD/Laboratoire d'Études en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales Toulouse, France
9 : IRD/Laboratoire d'océanographie et du climat: expérimentations et approches numériques Paris ,France
10 : INPE/Divisão de Modelagem e Desenvolvimento São José dos Campos ,Brazil
11 : Oceanographic Institute, University of Sao Paulo, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 : Gulf Environments Research InstituteAmerican University of Sharjah ,United Arab Emirates
13 : Texas A&M University College Station Texas ,USA
14 : Desenvolvimento Nuclear e Technológico da Marinha Brazilia ,Brazil
15 : Nansen‐Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, DO/UCT Cape Town ,South Africa
16 : Faculdade de Oceanografia da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, FAOC/UERJ Rio de Janeiro ,Brazil
17 : Niels Bohr Institute Copenhagen, Denmark
Source Earth And Space Science (2333-5084) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2019-04 , Vol. 6 , N. 4 , P. 577-616
DOI 10.1029/2018EA000428
WOS© Times Cited 20

PIRATA is a multinational program initiated in 1997 in the tropical Atlantic to improve our understanding and ability to predict ocean‐atmosphere variability. PIRATA consists of a network of moored buoys providing meteorological and oceanographic data transmitted in real‐time to address fundamental scientific questions as well as societal needs. The network is maintained through dedicated yearly cruises, which allow for extensive complementary shipboard measurements and provide platforms for deployment of other components of the Tropical Atlantic Observing System. This paper describes network enhancements, scientific accomplishments and successes obtained from the last 10 years of observations, as well as additional results enabled by cooperation with other national and international programs. Capacity building activities and the role of PIRATA in a future Tropical Atlantic Observing System that is presently being optimized are also described.

Plain Language Summary

Long data records are essential for improving our understanding of the weather and climate, their variability and predictability, and how the climate may change in the future in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Climate variability in the tropical Atlantic Ocean has strong impacts on the coastal climate in particular and, consequently, the economies of the surrounding regions. Since 1997, the PIRATA program has maintained a network of moored buoys in the tropical Atlantic in order to provide instantaneous high quality data to research scientists and weather forecasters around the world. This paper describes PIRATA successes in terms of scientific discoveries and observing technology enhancements. Perspectives are also provided on PIRATA's role in the future Tropical Atlantic Observing System, currently under design, that will consist of a variety of coordinated measurements from satellites, ships, buoys, and other ocean technologies.

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Bourlès Bernard, Araujo Moacyr, McPhaden Michael J., Brandt Peter, Foltz Gregory R., Lumpkin Rick, Giordani Hervé, Hernandez Fabrice, Lefèvre Nathalie, Nobre Paulo, Campos Edmo, Saravanan Ramalingam, Trotte‐duhà Janice, Dengler Marcus, Hahn Johannes, Hummels Rebecca, Lübbecke Joke F., Rouault Mathieu, Cotrim Leticia, Sutton Adrienne, Jochum Markus, Perez Renellys C (2019). PIRATA: A Sustained Observing System for Tropical Atlantic Climate Research and Forecasting. Earth And Space Science, 6(4), 577-616. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EA000428 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00485/59680/