Global Surface Currents


To provide quarterly reports on the state of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) for near-surface currents. Surface currents carry massive amounts of heat from the tropics to subpolar latitudes, and reflect the upper limbs of the global meridional overturning circulation.

Click on the image to view diagram of surface currents derived from drifter observations.

Data and Products

NOAA/AOML houses the AOML component of the Global Drifter Program (GDP). One of the main GDP objectives is to maintain a global 5x5 degree array of ~1300 satellite-tracked drifting buoys to meet the need for an accurate and globally dense set of in-situ observations of mixed layer currents, sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, winds and salinity. These data are avaialbe in various formats at GDP Drifter Data.

At several fixed mooring sites, current meters also measure near surface currents; theses data are provided by the TAO Project Office at NOAA/PMEL.

Quarterly Reports

View latest report [JPG] [PDF]

State of the ocean quarterly estimates showing how successfully the GOOS has measured near-surface currents starting on Q2, 2005 (April-June). Estimate the global bias in currents calculated from altimetry, based on the current GOOS coverage and historical correlations between satellite-derived surface currents and currents from surface drifting buoys and moored current meters. Go