The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) was a component of the World Climate Research Program, a research program of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and remains the most ambitious oceanographic experiment undertaken to-date.
The aims of the programme were to establish the role of the oceans in the earth's climate and to obtain a baseline dataset against which future change could be assessed. Sophisticated numerical ocean models were also developed to provide a framework for the interpretation of the observations and for the prediction of the future ocean state. About 30 nations participated in the observational programme, using ships to make physical and chemical observations, and employing moored and drifting instrumentation. Global observations were also made from satellites.
The field phase of the project lasted from 1990-1998 and was followed by Analysis, Interpretation, Modelling and Synthesis activities. This, the AIMS phase of WOCE, officially continued to the end of 2002. On the completion of WOCE other large-scale projects which involve the ocean and climate are being actively pursued. Among them are;- CLIVAR, a global study of the earth's climate variability and predictability, GODAE, the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment, ARGO a global array of temperature/salinity profiling floats.
The WOCE NODC Website