ICES Report on Ocean Climate (IROC) combines decades of ocean observations across the North Atlantic ICES regions to describe the current status of sea temperature, salinity, and atmospheric conditions, as well as observed trends and recent variability.
Since 2000, IROC has been published as a Cooperative Research Report annually by the Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography (WGOH) but the group decided at their 2023 meeting, that this would now change to a 3-year cycle. Several factors influenced the decision to change the IROC publishing rhythm.
"Limited human resources and the extremely compressed production timeline has meant that despite our efforts to streamline production, we continue to struggle to meet annual production deadlines", says Tycjan Wodzinowski, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland and co-chair of WGOH, "Ideally, we would release the report before ICES Annual Science Conference. However, this requires contributors to submit data and descriptive text during early spring so that the editorial team can assemble and review the report before it can be passed to ICES Publications team. We discussed moving our annual meeting earlier in the year to allow more time to assemble the report, but many contributors are unable to update their time series earlier in the year as they are not yet finished collecting and processing the new observations".
Compounding the compressed schedule, the 4-person editorial team and broader WGOH membership face increasing demands from their home offices, limiting their time available to devote to editorial duties. "Shifting to a 3-year model will allow us to work on the report at a more reasonable pace while also allowing time to make desired improvements to the product", comments Caroline Cusack, Marine Institute Ireland and co-chair of WGOH, "Despite these changes, WGOH is committed to meeting each year to review the latest oceanographic and atmospheric observations for the North Atlantic and Nordic Seas. We will continue to use the online IROC portal to publish annual highlights summarizing conditions and update the observational time series on the IROC portal so that these valuable data are available to the broader ICES community".
IROC provides summary information on climatic conditions in the North Atlantic. Browse the most recent IROC Data Series, Summary Table, Highlights or published Reports as part of our oceanographic database.
A CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth - used to measure the electrical conductivity, temperature, and pressure of seawater) is deployed with pilot whales around.