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Surface Drifters for Addressing Big Questions and Applications in Interdisciplinary Ocean Science (co-organized)
Convener: Inga Monika Koszalka  | Co-Conveners: Joe LaCasce , Annalisa Griffa 
 / Wed, 26 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 17:30–19:00

The global drifter data comprises nearly 1400 surface buoys around the world, many with temperature and salinity sensors, and over 20 years of high-quality data at sub-daily resolution. This session will address the collection, analysis and application of the surface drifter observations and drifter-inspired Lagrangian models in a range of disciplines:

- studies of oceanic variability (dispersion, variability on different time scales)
- diagnosis of eddies and related processes
- marine ecosystem applications (plankton dispersion, genetic connectivity)
- usage in weather forecast services and reanalyses
- comparison of drifter-borne SST and SSS measurements with remotely-sensed observations
- ocean model evaluation and Lagrangian data assimilation
- dispersion of plastic and oil spills studies
- drifter array design and drifter platforms and sensors

The session aims at a productive exchange between the different ocean science disciplines. We encourage contributors to consider broader aspects and applications, as well as future prospects through questions like:

- what are the needs for drifter development (biogeochemical sensors, turbulence sensors) and are they being addressed?
- what are the goals for the current array strategy and can they be improved e.g., to resolve specific temporal or regional current variability?
- is the drifter-derived diffusivity applicable to ocean models as a surface mixing rate, and over which temporal and length scales?
- what advances are required for plastics and oil spill pollution prediction?
- is the variability seen in SST/SSS measurements from drifters and other platforms consistent, and on which temporal and spatial scales? What does it mean for deployment strategy and reanalysis products?
- how can drifter assimilation into the reanalysis products and models be further improved?

Such questions will be addressed during short formal and long informal discussions, with the aim of fostering future interdisciplinary collaboration.