Southern Ocean Carbon & Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Project News – Fall 2015

Roberta Hotinski for PEI ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

Research Highlights

The SOCCOM Project was officially launched in September of 2014.  One year into the project, we have 23 floats deployed and reporting, the start of the world’s first large-scale network of autonomous biogeochemical floats. In total, this float array is providing a view of biogeochemical processes in some 25% of the Southern Ocean.



Raw and adjusted biogeochemical data for all floats are made publicly available in real time at SOCCOMViz, a data portal developed and hosted by MBARI and embedded in the SOCCOM website. The float data are providing an unparalleled view of Southern Ocean biogeochemistry, including variability of pH and carbonate saturation in the system, net community production, carbon export, air-sea fluxes of biogeochemical parameters and bloom dynamics.

Development of a high-resolution biogeochemical Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) is progressing (Year 1 results available at and our modeling effort is helping to quantify errors in float data and to inform float deployments.

Outreach efforts

SOCCOM has partnered with Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism and research group, to develop outreach tools including videos, news stories, a blog, and interactive Google Hangouts, all posted to the SOCCOM website.

Major Calendar Events

  • Launch of first pre-SOCCOM float, P16S cruise (Hobart, Tasmania to Papeete, Tahiti), March 26, 2014
  • SOCCOM award start date, Sept 1, 2014
  • SOCCOM Kickoff Meeting and Project Launch, Sept 8-9, 2014
  • SOCCOM webinar series initiated, Oct. 10, 2014
  • SOCCOM Google Hangout on Air, “Understanding the Southern Ocean: A Discussion with SOCCOM Scientists,” hosted by outreach partner Climate Central, December 4, 2014
  • Launch of first SOCCOM-funded float, PS89 Cruise (Cape Town, South Africa), December 5, 2014
  • SOCCOM Town Hall, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 14, 2014
  • SOCCOM Google Hangout on Air, “The Decoder: A Key to Unlocking the Mysteries of the Southern Ocean,” hosted by outreach partner Climate Central, March 18, 2015
  • SOCCOM Annual Meeting & Annual Review, Princeton Center For Theoretical Sciences, Jadwin Hall, May 12-14, 2015
  • SOCCOM annual report submitted to National Science Foundation, June 3, 2015
  • NSF releases SOCCOM Year 2 funding, July 10, 2015