GOOS Report No.41 has been formulated to guide the decisions and actions of its internal organisations and its external participants.
A key application of GOOS is serving the needs for global climate prediction. It was intended from the outset that GOOS should be 'expandable' to any purpose for which internationally co-ordinated marine observations are a prerequisite. There are a number of stages in the process:
The spectrum of conceivable end-use must be matched with types of observation that are technically achievable
The observational systems that would be required to deliver useful data and products for known or definable end purpose can then be designed in general terms
Observations common to different purposes or with special purposes can be grouped and evaluated according to feasibility and cost
Priorities for implementation can be set in terms of feasibility, cost, deliverable outcome and potential benefit Questions of practical implementation are addressed in the context of national and international programmes and enhancements
In the development of GOOS these processes are merged in scientific designs generated by the specialist groups and advisory panels under the review and direction of the GSC, and in the strategic and implementation plans that derive from these designs or which are developed at the regional level by regional GOOS entities like EuroGOOS or the US IOOS. To ensure conformity and complement with other global observing initiatives there is a high level of cross-representation between the membership of the GOOS panels and their counterparts.
A one-day stakeholders' meeting to ascertain the needs of local user communities usually preceded the meetings of the Coastal GOOS and Living Marine Resources Panels. The Coastal Ocean Observations Panel (COOP) is continuing this practice.