A South African contribution to global Biogeochemical-Argo is coordinated within the Southern Ocean Climate and Carbon Observatory (SOCCO). SOCCO is a South African born science programme, in support of the Global Change Grand Challenge and the Marine and Antarctic Research Strategy. It aims to use the challenging problems in the role of the Southern Ocean in 21st century regional and global climate to attract excellent young South Africans to acquire advanced numerical, technological and problem analysis skills in support of a transformed knowledge based economy. It also aims to build partnerships with local and international leaders to strengthen South Africa’s impact as a global citizen with clear commitment to ocean and climate stewardship.

The SOCCO research strategy focuses on the hypothesis that fine scale ocean dynamics are key to understanding the role of the Southern Ocean in global century-scale trends of atmospheric CO2 and regional climate change. We use this scale sensitivity approach towards:

  • Understanding the contemporary variability and the century-scale evolution of carbon fluxes and ocean productivity

  • Modelling and observating the interaction of seasonal and sub-seasonal time scales with meso and submesoscale dynamics

  • Increasing the reliability of past and future projections of the changing role of the Southern Ocean in global climate

The 5-year strategy 2014 – 2019 has three main Themes

  • 1. Advance understanding of the scale-sensitivity of Carbon – Climate linkages in the Southern Ocean

  • 2. Derive low uncertainty annual CO2 exchange fluxes in the Southern Ocean through sustained observations and empirical modelling and contribute to the assessment of the effectiveness of national and international carbon mitigation goals through SA-ICON

  • 3. Contribute to the optimization and robustness of the South African (CSIR) Variable Resolution Earth Systems Model and its contribution to AR6 in 2019 and the development of Robotics Engineering research in South Africa

The South African contribution to global Biogeochemical-Argo is supported primarily through funding from three national partners:

  • 1. CSIR – Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

  • 2. DST – Department of Science and Technology

  • 3. NRF – National Research Foundation



Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory, CSIR


Council for scientific and Industrial Research


Department of Science and Technology


National Research Foundation
  • Name:Sandy Thomalla
  • Affiliation:Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory (SOCCO), CSIR
  • Country:South Africa
  • Email:sthomalla at
Biogeochemical Argo SOUTH AFRICA

National Report

Pending ...