Keywords:Global Ocean Observing System, Essential Climate Variables, Essential Ocean Variables, observing network, Framework for Ocean Observing
A global ocean observing system with the first letters capitalized is the name of the international program led by the Intergovernmental Oceanography Committee (IOC) of the UNESCO: the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). GOOS is responsible for coordinating global ocean observations for three critical themes: climate, operational services, and marine ecosystem health. GOOS was launched in 1991 by the IOC in response to calls from the Second World Climate Congress held in 1990. The ocean research community has been intrinsically involved in the subsequent development of GOOS. The two international conferences, OceanObs '99 and OceanObs' 09, were milestones both for GOOS as the international program and for the global ocean observation system as the system consisting of various observing networks. Focusing on the outcomes and significance of these two conferences, the history of GOOS will be briefly described. At the moment, preparation of OceanObs'19 to be held this coming September is going on. The objective of the conference is to "bring people from all over the planet together to communicate the decadal progress of ocean observing networks and to chart innovative solutions to society’s growing needs for ocean information in the coming decade." The relevant and background information of OceanObs'19 will be presented and the role of the research community will be discussed.