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Lei Yang, Dongxiao Wang, Jian Huang, Xin Wang, Lili Zeng, Rui Shi, Yunkai He, Qiang Xie, Shengan Wang, Rongyu Chen, Jinnan Yuan, Qiang Wang, Ju Chen, Tingting Zu, Jian Li, Dandan Sui, and Shiqiu Peng


Air–sea interaction in the South China Sea (SCS) has direct impacts on the weather and climate of its surrounding areas at various spatiotemporal scales. In situ observation plays a vital role in exploring the dynamic characteristics of the regional circulation and air–sea interaction. Remote sensing and regional modeling are expected to provide high-resolution data for studies of air–sea coupling; however, careful validation and calibration using in situ observations is necessary to ensure the quality of these data. Through a decade of effort, a marine observation network in the SCS has begun to be established, yielding a regional observatory for the air–sea synoptic system.

Earlier observations in the SCS were scarce and narrowly focused. Since 2004, an annual series of scientific open cruises during late summer in the SCS has been organized by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO), carefully designed based on the dynamic characteristics of the oceanic circulation and air–sea interaction in the SCS region. Since 2006, the cruise carried a radiometer and radiosondes on board, marking a new era of marine meteorological observation in the SCS. Fixed stations have been established for long-term and sustained records. Observations obtained through the network have been used to study regional ocean circulation and processes in the marine atmospheric boundary layer. In the future, a great number of multi-institutional, collaborative scientific cruises and observations at fixed stations will be carried out to establish a mesoscale hydrological and marine meteorological observation network in the SCS.

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Xin Li, Guodong Cheng, Shaomin Liu, Qing Xiao, Mingguo Ma, Rui Jin, Tao Che, Qinhuo Liu, Weizhen Wang, Yuan Qi, Jianguang Wen, Hongyi Li, Gaofeng Zhu, Jianwen Guo, Youhua Ran, Shuoguo Wang, Zhongli Zhu, Jian Zhou, Xiaoli Hu, and Ziwei Xu

A major research plan entitled “Integrated research on the ecohydrological process of the Heihe River Basin” was launched by the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2010. One of the key aims of this research plan is to establish a research platform that integrates observation, data management, and model simulation to foster twenty-first-century watershed science in China. Based on the diverse needs of interdisciplinary studies within this research plan, a program called the Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (HiWATER) was implemented. The overall objective of HiWATER is to improve the observability of hydrological and ecological processes, to build a world-class watershed observing system, and to enhance the applicability of remote sensing in integrated ecohydrological studies and water resource management at the basin scale. This paper introduces the background, scientific objectives, and experimental design of HiWATER. The instrumental setting and airborne mission plans are also outlined. The highlights are the use of a flux observing matrix and an eco-hydrological wireless sensor network to capture multiscale heterogeneities and to address complex problems, such as heterogeneity, scaling, uncertainty, and closing water cycle at the watershed scale. HiWATER was formally initialized in May 2012 and will last four years until 2015. Data will be made available to the scientific community via the Environmental and Ecological Science Data Center for West China. International scientists are welcome to participate in the field campaign and use the data in their analyses.

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Ibrahim Hoteit, Yasser Abualnaja, Shehzad Afzal, Boujemaa Ait-El-Fquih, Triantaphyllos Akylas, Charls Antony, Clint Dawson, Khaled Asfahani, Robert J. Brewin, Luigi Cavaleri, Ivana Cerovecki, Bruce Cornuelle, Srinivas Desamsetti, Raju Attada, Hari Dasari, Jose Sanchez-Garrido, Lily Genevier, Mohamad El Gharamti, John A. Gittings, Elamurugu Gokul, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Daquan Guo, Bilel Hadri, Markus Hadwiger, Mohammed Abed Hammoud, Myrl Hendershott, Mohamad Hittawe, Ashok Karumuri, Omar Knio, Armin Köhl, Samuel Kortas, George Krokos, Ravi Kunchala, Leila Issa, Issam Lakkis, Sabique Langodan, Pierre Lermusiaux, Thang Luong, Jingyi Ma, Olivier Le Maitre, Matthew Mazloff, Samah El Mohtar, Vassilis P. Papadopoulos, Trevor Platt, Larry Pratt, Naila Raboudi, Marie-Fanny Racault, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Shanas Razak, Sivareddy Sanikommu, Shubha Sathyendranath, Sarantis Sofianos, Aneesh Subramanian, Rui Sun, Edriss Titi, Habib Toye, George Triantafyllou, Kostas Tsiaras, Panagiotis Vasou, Yesubabu Viswanadhapalli, Yixin Wang, Fengchao Yao, Peng Zhan, and George Zodiatis


The Red Sea, home to the second-longest coral reef system in the world, is a vital resource for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Red Sea provides 90% of the Kingdom’s potable water by desalinization, supporting tourism, shipping, aquaculture, and fishing industries, which together contribute about 10%–20% of the country’s GDP. All these activities, and those elsewhere in the Red Sea region, critically depend on oceanic and atmospheric conditions. At a time of mega-development projects along the Red Sea coast, and global warming, authorities are working on optimizing the harnessing of environmental resources, including renewable energy and rainwater harvesting. All these require high-resolution weather and climate information. Toward this end, we have undertaken a multipronged research and development activity in which we are developing an integrated data-driven regional coupled modeling system. The telescopically nested components include 5-km- to 600-m-resolution atmospheric models to address weather and climate challenges, 4-km- to 50-m-resolution ocean models with regional and coastal configurations to simulate and predict the general and mesoscale circulation, 4-km- to 100-m-resolution ecosystem models to simulate the biogeochemistry, and 1-km- to 50-m-resolution wave models. In addition, a complementary probabilistic transport modeling system predicts dispersion of contaminant plumes, oil spill, and marine ecosystem connectivity. Advanced ensemble data assimilation capabilities have also been implemented for accurate forecasting. Resulting achievements include significant advancement in our understanding of the regional circulation and its connection to the global climate, development, and validation of long-term Red Sea regional atmospheric–oceanic–wave reanalyses and forecasting capacities. These products are being extensively used by academia, government, and industry in various weather and marine studies and operations, environmental policies, renewable energy applications, impact assessment, flood forecasting, and more.

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