The World Ocean Database: Project Proposal
All countries have a concern about climate change because of the global impact of climate variability whether this variability is of natural or anthropogenic origin. In 1996, the United Nations Intergovernmental Programme on Climate Change (IPCC, 1966) concluded that “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of climate.” If international agreements are to be implemented due to concern about climate change, the science on which these agreements are based must be international in scope. All data on which such research studies are based must therefore be available to the international scientific community without restriction and in an electronically, easily accessible form, with all the necessary metadata. The international oceanographic community has had a long and successful history of exchanging oceanographic data that begins with the founding of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), in 1902, and publication of oceanographic profile data in the ICES Bulletin Hydrographique and the publication of plankton data in its Bulletin Planktonique, beginning around 1907-1908. The success of the Global Oceanographic Data Archeology and Rescue Project (GODAR) sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) indicates the willingness of scientists and institutions of Member States of the IOC to contribute data to the development of integrated, global oceanographic databases through the IODE system and the ICSU WDC system.