Working Groups and Commissions

IAPSO is sponsoring/co-sponsoring Working Groups, Commissions and Services relevant to its prime goal of "promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry."

  •  IAPSO Early Career (EC) Scientists Working Group

As one of the leading international associations in ocean physics and chemistry, IAPSO will provide a significant platform for early career scientists to network and integrate into the scientific community. For this purpose, the IAPSO EC has established a Working Group to take it forward identifying three Chairs after a call for nomination sent to National Correspondents in November 2017.

The website, is active for scientists who are interested in the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Network, managed by the Working Group. For becoming a member of the Early Career Network, people can register at the website The ECS Network is also available on Twitter (@iapso_ecs).

Chair: Alejandra Sanchez-Franks, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice-ChairMalin Ödalen, Department of Meteorology (MISU), Stockholm University, Sweden, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1. To form an IAPSO early career network; one that will be open to anyone that self identifies as an early career scientist in physical or chemical sciences of the oceans. Using the IAPSO website and social media, an IAPSO early career network will allow early career scientists to follow IAPSO developments, while also sharing opportunities and experiences.

2. To provide advice from the early career network to the IAPSO executive committee, and to communicate key agenda points resulting from the IAPSO directive back to the IAPSO early career network.

3. To maximize impact and connectivity of the IAPSO early career network by liaising with other national and international networks (e.g. AGU, EGU, IIOE-2, Challenger Society, etc.).

4. To organize early career events at bi-annual IAPSO assemblies that may include mentoring, outreach activities, and maximizing networking between early career scientists and senior researchers. In turn this will increase visibility of the IAPSO bi-annual assemblies to the early career network and optimize attendance.

5. To promote diversity as actively as possible and to create awareness on the associated gaps/challenges and discrimination that currently exist.

Supporting scientists from as early a career stage as possible plays a large contributing role in ensuring progress and success in their careers, as well as ensuring the future advancement of the field.


  1. ECS Update, Presentation of Malin Odalen to the GBM, Montreal July 2019
  2. Newsletters
  •  IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups

Established in 2019, IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups will address an issue that, when resolved, will assist in the conduct of oceanographic research. Often in carrying out research, a choice must be made between options for measuring data, analysing data, processing software, or modelling a system. The reasons for choosing between competing methods are often not well documented and the relative strengths and weaknesses of these routes not published or well known. We expect to fund one of these per year.

more info 

Call for applications for Best Practice Study Groups in the period 2022-2023, deadline  15 November 2021.

Active BP Study Groups

  •  Joint Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS)

The Joint SCOR/IAPWS/IAPSO Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS) is a permanent group with limited membership whose purpose is to act as an international "point of contact" for seawater questions. It is jointly sponsored by organizations directly concerned with the properties of seawater: the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam, and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean.
JCS acts as a permanent source of expertise to its parent organizations, maintains a repository of knowledge and software for the scientific community (via a web-site,, and is also a conduit for any desired communications between its parents, and out to other international organizations like the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures), the WMO (World Meteorological Organization), and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). In addition, JCS may from time to time summarize progress in seawater-related issues to the community at large, and suggest areas where gaps exist in the available knowledge.


Chair: Rich Pawlowicz, University of British Columbia, Dept. of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences,  Canada

Vice-Chairs: Rainer Feistel, Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Germany; Steffen Seitz, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany


Salinity/Density - Chair: (Pawlowicz), (Seitz), H. Uchida, F. Millero, S. Weinreben, Y. Pang, R. Woosley, Y. Kayukawa

pH - Chair: A. Dickson, M.F. Camoes, D. Stoica, S. Clegg, F. Bastkowski

Moist Air - Chair: O. Hellmuth, J. Lovell-Smith, (Feistel), S. Bell

Expert Subgroups
• Thermodynamics (Feistel)
• Numerical modelling and applications T. McDougall
• Software P. Barker
• Industry B. Laky/Anton Paar, R. Williams/OSIL



TEOS-10 in Wikipedia


  1. TEOS-10 manual 10jun 2010
  2. An historical perspective on the development of the Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater – 2010, Ocean Sci., 8, 161–174, 2012
  3. Report on activities at JCS workshops, Greenwich, UK Sept. 2-3, 2013
  4. JCS Update, Presentation of Trevor McDougall to the GBM, Prague June 2015
  5. Activities Report June 2015-June 2017
  6. Report to SCOR and IAPSO on JCS Workshops Sept 2018 and Recommendations on renewal of Terms of Reference and membership
  7. Activities Report June 2017-June 2019
  8. JCS Update, Presentation of Rich Pawlowicz to the GBM, Montreal July 2019
  • Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT)

The IAPSO Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT) aims to support research into applications of sea level measurements. In addition to sponsoring meetings, the CMSLT is the body that the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level formally reports to.
The CMSLT has always had a policy of considering as members any researchers who express interest in the topics of mean sea level and tides.

President: Gary T. Mitchum, University of South Florida, USA

Contact: to get in touch with the CMSLT write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual Report 2011

Report 2019

Summary report on meeting of July 13, 2019, Montreal

  • Tsunami Commission (Joint with IASPEI and IAVCEI)

The IUGG Tsunami Commission (IUGG/TC) is an Inter-Association Commission responsible for international coordination of tsunami related meetings, research, and publications. It is jointly sponsored by IASPEI, IAPSO and IAVCEI and was established at the 12th General Assembly of IUGG in Helsinki, Finland in 1960 to promote the exchange of scientific and technical information about tsunamis.

The IUGG/TC membership comprises an international group of scientists concerned with various aspects of tsunamis, including an improved understanding of the dynamics of generation, propagation and coastal run-up and the consequences to society of the tsunami hazard.

IUGG Tsunami Commission website contains the current information about the Commission activities and upcoming meetings.

Chair: Yuichiro Tanioka, Japan

Vice-Chairs: Maria Ana Baptista, Portugal; Diana Greenslade, Australia; Alexander Rabinovich, Russia

Secretary: Mohammad Heidarzadeh, Iran/UK

IAPSO representative: Efim Pelinovsky, Institute of Applied Physics, Dep. of Extreme Wave Phenomena, Russia 

Contact: to get in touch with the Tsunami Commission write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  1. Activities Report 1995-1997
  2. Activities Report 1999
  3. Activities Report 2009-2011
  4. Tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea 2000 B.C.-2000 A.D., Springer, 2000
  5. Activities Report 2011-2015
  6. Activities Report 2015-2017
  7. Activities Report 2017-2019
  • Joint Commission on Ice-Ocean Interactions (JCIOI, joint with IACS)

Ocean-driven ice melt is the largest driver of dynamic ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and is projected to increase in both Antarctica and Greenland under sustained climate warming. In addition to contributing to global sea level rise, the injection of polar meltwater into the ocean will have broad-scale impacts on ocean circulation and heat content, air-sea exchanges, and ecosystems. However, a paucity of long-term ocean and ice state observations constrains characterisation of the processes of ice-ocean exchange. This in turn limits our capacity to accurately represent ocean-driven ice melting in numerical ocean and ice sheet models that are used to project scenarios of climate and Earth systems change.

JCIOI aims to address these knowledge gaps, by globally coordinating and engaging in research and development related to understanding, observing and modeling ice-ocean interactions. This will include research under ice shelves, at the ice-ocean front in tidewater glaciers, and at the sea surface in the marginal ice zone. JCIOI will develop ties with international working groups to exchange knowledge and engage with the wider ice-ocean research community. Key activities will include development of a framework to reconcile numerical model estimates of ocean-driven ice mass loss with observations, to engage with groups developing broad-scale observational networks in Antarctica and Greenland, and to facilitate improvement of the representation of ice-ocean interactions in numerical models.

Chairs: Felicity McCormack (IAPSO) and Isabel Nias (IACS).

Contacts: For more information on how to contribute, please contact Dr McCormack (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Dr Nias (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

 Previously Funded

  • Commission on Groundwater Seawater Interactions (Discontinued in 2005)

  1. Members
  2. Members by country
  3. Activities reports 2002
  4. Activities reports 2003
  5. Activities reports 2004
  • Commission on Sea Ice (Discontinued in 2003)

  1. Activities Report 1991-1995
  2. Activities Report 1995-1999
  • IAG/ IAPSO Joint Working Group on Geodetic Effects of Nontidal Oceanic Processes (1999-2003)

Final report

  •  Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) is the internationally recognised global sea level data bank for long term sea level change information from tide gauges and also provides a wider Service to the sea level community.
The PSMSL was established in 1933 by Joseph Proudman who became its first Secretary. Since then, the PSMSL continues to be responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data. It is hosted by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Liverpool with funding provided by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. PSMSL operates under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Director: Elizabeth Bradshaw, National Oceanography Centre, British Oceanographic Data Centre, UK

previous Director: Lesley J. Rickards, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK

IAPSO Liaison: Philip L. Woodworth, National Oceanography Centre, UK




  1. Activities Report 1991 - 1995
  2. Activities Report 1999-2003
  3. 2004 Annual Report
  4. 2006 Annual Report
  5. Activities Report 2003-2007
  6. Activities Report 2007-2011
  7. Activities Report 2011-2015
  8. Activities Report 2015-2017
  9. Activities Report 2017-2019
  10. PSMSL Update, Presentation of Andy Matthew to the GBM, Montreal July 2019
  • IAPSO Standard Seawater Service

The IAPSO Standard Sea-Water Service is the only internationally recognized standard for the calibration of salinity measurement devices. Its widespread use over 100 years of IAPSO history has been of great importance to the quality and comparability of salinity data worldwide. IAPSO continues to oversee the preparation of standard sea water and to encourage its use by all laboratories involved in salinity measurement. Demand for this service continues to grow.
Initially, the standard sea-water was prepared under the guidance of the International Council for Exploration of the Seas, Copenhagen. In the early 1970's the operation was transferred to the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS) in England. In 1989, with IAPSO's concurrence, a private company (Ocean Scientific International Limited) was set up with space and facilities provided by IOS. As a result, ampoules of standard sea-water continue to be available to the oceanographic community thorough this IAPSO service.

Director: Richard Williams

Contact: IAPSO Standard Seawater Service, OSIL
Havant, United Kingdom
E-mail: osil(at)



  1. Activities Report 1991-1995 
  2. Activities Report 2009-2013
  3. Activities Report 2013-2017
  4. Activities Report 2017-2019



IUGG Commissions (2019-2023) 

  • Climatic and Environmental Changes (CCEC)

Chair: Jiangping Li (China)

Secretary: Tonie van Dam (Luxembourg)

IAPSO representative: Harry Bryden (UK)



  • Mathematical Geophysics (CMG)

Chair: Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany/Russia)

Secretary: Ilya Zaliapin (USA)

IAPSO representative: William Dewar (USA)


  • Geophysical Risk and Sustainability (GRC)

Chair: John LaBrecque (USA)

Secretary: Katia Kontar (USA)

IAPSO representatives: Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade (USA and Puerto Rico)



  •  Data and Information (UCDI)

Chair/IAPSO representative: Sateesh Shenoi (India, IAPSO)

Secretary: Anatoly Soloviev (Russia)





SCOR is an organization that promotes science that comes from the "bottom up" from the ocean science community and working groups are an important vehicle to bring attention to the important ocean science issues identified by the global community of ocean scientists.

SCOR approves new working groups each year at its annual meeting. The number of proposals funded each year depends on both the results of the proposal review process and the availability of funding. In recent years, 1-3 proposals have been funded in any given year.

The timing of the proposal process depends on the timing of the annual meeting, so it is best to check the SCOR Web site and announcements from the SCOR Secretariat about the schedule in any given year.

The call for working group proposals in usually made in late January or early February each year. The call is distributed through the SCOR email list and the SCOR Newsletter. Anyone in the global ocean science community is eligible to submit a proposal and there is no limitation to individuals from nations that pay dues to SCOR.

Read more on Submitting a Proposal for a SCOR Working Group.

IAPSO co-sponsored several SCOR Working Groups in the past:

  • ad hoc IUGG/IAPSO/SCOR working group of experts on Future of the Ocean and its Seas (2015-2016)

Established in November 2015 by IUGG, IAPSO and SCOR to prepare a response to the marine science issues raised by the G7 Science Ministers in the communiqué arising from their meeting in October 2015.

Co-Chairs: Phillip Williamson (UK), Denise Smythe-Wright (UK), and Peter Burkill (UK)


  • SCOR/WCRP/IAPSO Working Group 136 Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System (2009-2012)

Co-chairs: Lisa Beal (USA) and Arne Biastoch (Germany)



  1. WG Proposal
  2. 2010-2011 Annual Report
  • SCOR/IAPSO Working Group 133 OceanScope (2008-2011)

Co-Chairs: Tom Rossby (USA) and Kuh Kim (Korea)



  1. WG Proposal
  2. Final Report
  • SCOR/IAPSO Working Group 129 on Deep Ocean Exchange with the Shelf (DOES) (2006-2008)

Chair:John Johnson (UK)
Vice-Chair: Piers Chapman (USA)



  1. Report on Workshop in Cape Town 5 - 9 October 2008
  2. WG 129 report 2011
  3. Preface WG 129 Special Issue in Ocean Science
  • SCOR/IAPSO Working Group 127 on Thermodynamics and Equation of State of Seawater (2005-2009)

Chair: Trevor McDougall (Australia)


Project Website:


  1. 2004 Conference Summary Report
  2. WG127 report 2011
  3. Information about TEOS 10
  4. TEOS 10 manual
  • SCOR/LOICZ/IAPSO Working Group 122 on Mechanisms of Sediment retention in Estuaries (2003-2005)

Co-Chairs: Gerardo Perillo (Argentina) and James Syvitski (USA)


  • IAPSO/SCOR Joint Working Group 121 on Ocean Mixing (2002-2004)

Chair: Robin D. Muench (USA)