The International Workshop of Ocean and Climate Changes Observed from Space (OCCOS) was held Dec. 8 to 11 at Xiamen University’s Zeng Cheng Kui Building. This workshop was organized by XMU’s State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL) and the Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management (Joint-CRM), and was co-chaired by XMU professor Jianyu Hu and University of Delaware professor Xiao-Hai Yan. Recent ocean remote sensing missions and techniques have produced remarkable data sets of highly accurate measurements of sea surface height, surface wind, surface roughness, temperature, pigment concentration, etc. One can now study, on a truly global basis, the fluid ocean and its variability at all periods between years and days, on all spatial scales down to about 5 meters. The accuracy and precision of the measurements are so good that, with the help of newly developed remote sensing data processing techniques, a huge variety of phenomena related to global climate change can now be addressed.
Six well-known physical oceanographers and remote sensing scientists — University of Colorado professor William J. Emery, NASA scientist W. Timothy Liu, UD professor Victor V. Klemas, Dalhousie University professor Marlon Lewis, Central University of Taiwan professor Benjamin Fong Chao, and UD professor Xiao-Hai Yan — were invited to give a series of lectures and keynote speeches. They introduced and summarized state-of-the-art methods and new research results. The group also described some of the recent attempts to combine satellite altimetry and scatterometry with other observations and techniques to study time varying ocean circulation, air-sea interactions, global and regional oceanographic processes, and climate change.
The workshop also included a meeting between Nancy Targett, dean of UD’s College of Marine and Earth Studies, and Minhan Dai, director of MEL, via video conference connection. Their last meeting was in Xiamen in June, when they signed an agreement to co-direct the Joint-CRM. With the help of ITV connection, the Joint-CRM’s goal of sharing conferences internationally was realized. About 60 scientists and students from Xiamen University, Nanjing University, Taiwan Ocean University, Ocean University of China, Xi’an Jiaotong University, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, the First Institute of Oceanology, and the Third Institute of Oceanology attended the workshop in XMU’s Zeng Cheng Kui Building, while a few students participated at the other side of the globe, in UD’s Robinson Hall.Thanks to efforts from XMU and UD, this joint workshop was a success. The Joint-CRM is on its way to building a world-class global collaborative research initiative that will take an international perspective in establishing global coastal research, policy, and science education partnerships and building upon common needs and goals for a healthier global coastal environment.