A workshop is schedule for 2006 in Ghana to address issues relating to regional capacity building on Argo data access and applications to monitor, predict and mitigate the adverse impacts of variations in ocean temperatures, salinity and currents on the Atlantic countries of Africa (Morocco to South Africa). Ocean variability in the eastern tropical and South Atlantic has been shown to directly impact on both the rainfall variability of western Africa and regional fisheries. This impact is directly felt on the water and agricultural resources of these regions of Africa, their food security, land use, ecosystems and biodiversity. The Argo program will provide new and valuable data to address these issues. Thus, the rationale for this meeting is provided by regional needs and the new ocean observing system, Argo.
The workshop will:
fully utilize the ocean observing system,
encourage and implement data collection, collation and provision of data products (SST, SSS, T and S profile data) through interactions with the South Atlantic Argo Regional Data Assembly (SA-ARC). The SA-ARC is a consortium of regional South Atlantic countries (both South Africa and American) directed, in part , to increasing use of Argo data for societal benefits,
train participants in data management, quality control and reporting to international Argo standards,
review the availability of temperature and salinity profile data for Argo calibration and QC purposes,
demonstrate tools for the integration of SST, SSS, T and S profile and surface current from Argo data and other in situ (e.g., .XBT, CTD) and satellite (e.g., altimetry, SST, ocean color) data collected in the region to generate operational data products,
enhance both human and infrastructure capacity of local scientists in operational oceanography,
provide inputs to policy makers with respect to coastal and shelf sea management in the region; and
make recommendations to regional operational centres in Africa (meteorology and oceanography) about applications of Argo data combined with other oceanographic observations to climate variability and change, climate prediction and oceanic analyses in the Eastern Atlantic.
To achieve these aims, the workshop seeks to use a team of several international experts who will present a set of core lectures on Argo float technology, implementation and application in conjunction with a set of workshop exercises that will address the specific issues listed above. Focus will be placed on the eastern Atlantic from Morocco south to Cape Agulhas, and thus include all the coastal upwelling areas along the western African coast with their rich marine biodiversity and coastal fisheries as well as areas prone to harmful algal blooms, low oxygen events and other extreme events that have a substantial impact on marine life and the economies of the neighboring coastal communities.
The invited lecturers will be drawn from experts in Argo, AOML and operational centers. Specifically, AOML will provide speakers on data management of Argo measurements, integration of Argo data with other observations and generation of product for operational uses. AOML will contact U.S operational centers to seek speakers or presentations on using ocean products for climate and eco-system prediction purposes.
It is envisaged that of order 20 participants from operational meteorological and oceanographic agencies in the Atlantic rim countries of Africa (i.e.. Morocco south to South Africa) as well as participants from appropriate research institutions will attend the workshop. However, the exact numbers of participants will depend to some extent on the number of invited lecturers so that an efficient and appropriate staff/student ratio is maintained.
Around 15-20 participants from African operational agencies and research institutions will be invited to attend, to improve their capabilities in applications of Argo floats to the eastern Atlantic Ocean, ocean and climate variability diagnostics, ocean and climate prediction, and assessing the predictability of various important components of the regional climate system. These participants are expected to take the knowledge and skills acquired at the workshop and implement it in their home centers. Follow-up activities and contacts will be maintained to help ensure that the capacity building emanating from the workshop is ongoing.
The workshop will facilitate contacts, and research and operational science developments between about twenty African countries and between these countries and international experts from the U.S. and Europe.