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

Bourlès, B., Araujo, M.,McPhaden, M. J., Brandt, P., Foltz, G. R., Lumpkin, R., et al. (2019). PIRATA: A sustained observing system for tropical Atlantic climate research and forecasting. Earth and Space Science, 6, 577–616. https:// doi.org/10.1029/2018EA000428


Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (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, and 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.

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