2013 IAPSO Activities

IAPSO has the prime goal of "promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry." IAPSO works mainly through 1) biennial scientific assemblies; 2) working groups; 3) commissions; 4) services and 5) website information. Of special importance to IAPSO is to involve scientists and students from developing countries in the oceanographic activities.
IAPSO maintains formal liaison with other scientific commissions and committees. These include the ICSU's Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). For more information see http://iapso.iugg.org/.

The IAPSO office has been situated at Gothenburg University, Sweden since July 2007, and the day-to-day business has been managed by the Secretary General (SG) Johan Rodhe, Sweden. The Bureau of IAPSO comprises of the President, Eugene Morozov, Russia, the Past President, Lawrence Mysak, Canada, the SG, Johan Rodhe, and the Treasurer, Fred Camfield, USA. The SG has been responsible for the IAPSO website.
In 2013, there were three IAPSO business meetings and meeting of the EC during the Assembly in Gothenburg. The other IAPSO discussions were maintained by means of e-mail communication. It was decided to join IAMAS and IAGA for an assembly in Cape Town 2017.

Three of IUGG’s constituent Associations, IAHS, IAPSO and IASPEI, met for a Joint Scientific Assembly in Gothenburg, Sweden, during the week 22 – 26 July 2013. The title of the Assembly, “Knowledge for the Future”, was chosen in order to highlight the importance of improved knowledge in hydrology, oceanography and seismology in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and the risks of natural disaster events. The Assembly attracted 1321 participants from 66 different countries. About 320 registered as IAPSO scientists. 49 scientists, most of them young and from developing countries, got grants, one or more of registration fee, on site costs and travel.

The Assembly’s opening day was marked by a joint plenary session with a lecture from each Association:

•    James Mori (Japan), the plenary lecturer for IASPEI described the ambitious JFAST expedition, which aimed to study the causes of the major earthquake that caused the 2011 tsunami. The expedition set new records, drilling over 800 metres into the seafloor at a water depth of 8000 metres.

•    Kathryn Kelly (United States), the plenary lecturer for IAPSO, focused on meridional heat transport in the Atlantic Ocean, a key component of the global climate system. She combined different data sources to review the heat budget and anomalies in the heat transport, indicating a southern source for the anomalies.

•    Kuniyoshi Takeuchi (Japan), the plenary lecturer for IAHS, emphasized the key role for geosciences in a proactive approach to disaster risk reduction. He warned that disasters occur when we ignore nature and the lessons of the past, leading to the take-home message “there is no such thing as a natural disaster”.

Each Association offered a broad programme of lectures and posters, with up to 11 parallel sessions at any one time. The lecture programme was organized into 48 Association symposia (11 IAPSO), together with 9 joint symposia focusing on areas such as land-ocean interactions, advanced applied statistics, and tsunamis. 2 of the joint symposia were organized by IAPSO and the rest were co-sponsored by IAPSO.  This programme was complemented by two afternoon poster sessions. Some highlights from the Association’s programmes:

•    IASPEI’s Milne lecture on the history of British seismology was delivered by Roger Musson (UK). This was followed by a documentary film on the life of John Milne, the English scientist who played a leading role in the development of seismology as a scientific discipline. Dr. Robin Adams was awarded the first IASPEI Medal, for sustaining IASPEI goals and activities and for scientific merits.

•    The highlight of the IAPSO programme was the presentation of the Albert I Medal. The medal was presented to Albert L. Gordon (United States), who then delivered the Albert I Memorial Lecture describing his research on the Indonesian Throughflow, the link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

•    Deltas were a significant focus of the IAHS programme, including a plenary lecture by Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (USA) where she described an international initiative to develop and deliver the knowledge base for understanding and protecting these vulnerable coastal systems. Several prizes and medals were awarded during the week.

In September Vice President Denise Smythe-Wright and SG Johan Rodhe participated in the IUGG EC meeting and the SPC meeting (JR only) in Prague, Czech Republic. Most important were the planning of the IUGG General Assembly 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Denise Smythe-Wright also participated in the SCOR EC Meeting 25-28 November, in New Zealand. The SCOR meetings review the progress of current SCOR Working Groups, evaluate proposed new WGs, and decide which to fund. A number of international SCOR-related scientific programmes were also discussed. Details can be found at the SCOR website (www.scor-int.org). Two new SCOR WGs, out of 11 proposals, were approved: (i) WG 143 Dissolved N2O and CH4 measurements: Working towards a global network of ocean time series measurements of N2O and CH4 and (ii) WG 144 Microbial Community Responses to Ocean Deoxygenation.  These two new WGs got an “intellectual support” from IAPSO.

Working groups

Information about SCOR activity and WGs is at the IAPSO webpage.

The following SCOR/IAPSO working groups (WGs), which have received funding from IAPSO, have been active during the last years and have published important books and/or special journal issues:

  • SCOR/IAPSO WG 127 “The Thermodynamics and Equation of State of Seawater” (Chaired by T.J. McDougall) was reorganized into a special IACS-IAPSO Commission on Seawater.
  • SCOR/WCRP/IAPSO WG 136 (Co-chaired by L. Beal and A. Biastock): “The Climatic Implications of the Greater Agulhas System” continued their activity.

IAPSO Commissions and Services

  • A Joint Committee on the Properties of Seawater, JCS (with SCOR and IAPWS) was formed during 2013. This was a result of the work within WG 127. Chair: Prof. Rich Pawlowicz, Vice Chair: Prof. Trevor McDougall and Vice Chair:  Dr. Rainer Feistel.
  • Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT), President: Gary T. Mitchum. Website: www.psmsl.org/
  • Tsunami Commission (Joint with IASPEI and IVACEI). Chair: Dr. Vasily V. Titov. Website: www.iaspei.org/commissions/JCT.html
  • GeoRisk Commission (Joint with IAMAS, IAHS, IASPEI and IAVCEI). Website: www.iugg-georisk.org/
  • Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, hosted by Proudman Oceanographic Labora-tory, UK. Contact: Dr. Lesley Richard. Website: www. www.psmsl.org/
  • IAPSO Standard Seawater Service, hosted by OSIL, Havant, Hampshire, UK. Director: Paul, Ridout; Website Website www.osil.co.uk

The working groups commissions and services report to IAPSO. These reports are posted on the IAPSO website http://iapso.iugg.org/working-groups

Prince Albert I Medal
IAPSO and Monaco Royal Family established the Prince Albert I Medal for excellence in physical and/or chemical oceanography. The winner is selected every two years and the ceremony is held during the Assemblies. Professor Arnold L. Gordon from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA was selected in 2013 as the winner of the Prize for “his outstanding work on ocean dynamics". During the Assembly in Gothenburg he was awarded with the medal and presented a memorial lecture on the currents in the Indonesian straits (Indonesia throughflow). The Lecture can be downloaded from the IAPSO website.

Eugene LaFond Medal
This Medal, created in honour of Eugene LaFond who was a former SG of IAPSO, is awarded to a scientist from a developing country for an oral or poster presented at an IAPSO Assembly. IAPSO forms a special commission to select the winner. In 2013, the medal was awarded to Issufo Halo, a student of the Cape Town University, originally from Mozambique,  for his talk titled “Eddy Properties in the Mozambique Channel: a comparison between Satellite altimetry observations and two numerical Ocean circulation models”.

Members of IAPSO Executive Committee (EC) for 2011-2015
President: Dr. Eugene Morozov (Russia) Secretary General: Prof. Johan Rodhe (Sweden) Past President: Prof. Lawrence Mysak (Canada) Treasurer: Dr. Fred Camfield (USA) Vice President: Dr. Isabelle Ansorge (South Africa) Dr. Denise Smythe-Wright (UK) EC Members: M.Sc. Silvia Blanc (Argentina) Prof. Toshiyuki Hibiya (Japan) Dr. Chris Meinen (USA) M.App.Sc. Ken Ridgway (Australia) Dr. Satheesh Shenoi (India) Dr. Stefania Sparnocchia (Italy)

Future Activities
The main future activities are the IUGG General Assembly 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic and the Association Assembly in 2017. 

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