Two very thin skins of fluid cover the surface of our planet: a low density layer consisting mainly of gases (our atmosphere), and a higher density layer consisting mainly of water (our oceans). However the two layers are not completely distinct, and exchanges of water, gases, particulate matter, heat and momentum are continually taking place across the interface between them. These exchanges have a profound effect on the development of our weather systems, and in the longer term, the progress of climate variability and change. Explore the sub-topics to learn more about this fascinating interface. (Meteosat image copyright Eumetsat)
The TAO array (renamed the TAO/TRITON array on 1 January 2000) consists of approximately 70 moorings in the Tropical Pacific Ocean, telemetering oceanographic and meteorological data to shore in real-time via the Argos satellite system. The array is a major component of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Observing System, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).Support is provided primarily by the United States (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Japan (Japan Marine Science and Technology Center) with additional contributions from France (Institut de recherche pour le developpement).