The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine new committee on the Gulf’s Loop Current will begin work in 2017. The committee will make recommendations to the Gulf Research Program on activities — including research, observations, and analyses — needed to characterize the Gulf of Mexico’s Loop Current System dynamics and improve the effectiveness of modeling and forecasting efforts.

gulfcurrentsmapThe committee will summarize the existing scientific understanding of the physical forces that shape and energize the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current system as well as determine the critical information needed to improve models and forecasts of the system. It will also assess the capacity of current technologies to meet the overarching goal of characterizing Loop Current dynamics, suggest opportunities for new approaches, improved technologies, or transfer of technologies from other realms. Finally, the committee will design a field campaign to collect the information needed to improve modeling and forecasting efforts, including estimated costs, advice on organizational framework, a rough implementation timeline, and identification of opportunities for collaboration and joint sponsorship.