GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment

Project Description
The purpose of the GATE experiment was to understand the
tropical atmosphere and its role in the global circulation of
the atmosphere. It was the first major experiment of the Global
Atmospheric Research program, whose goal was to understand the
predictability of the atmosphere and extend the time range of
daily weather forecasts to over two weeks.

The experiment took place in the summer of 1974 in an
experimental area that covered the tropical Atlantic Ocean from
Africa to South America. The work was truly international in
scope, and involved 40 research ships, 12 research aircraft,
numerous buoys from 20 countries all equipped to obtain the
observations specified in the scientific plan. The operations
were directed by the International Project Office located in
Senegal. The Project Office staff was seconded by the nations
involved. The Scientific Director was from the United States and
the Deputy Scientific Director was from the Soviet Union.

An operational plan was developed each day based on the
meteorological situation and each ship and aircraft carried out
the plan. The data collected were processed by nations
participating in accordance with an overall plan and made
available without restrictions to all scientists in the
world. Research using these data still goes on today, nearly 25
years later, and it is estimated that over a thousand papers
have been published based on the data collected during this
short period in 1974.

The experiment involved the world's best scientists, all types
of engineers, technicians, pilots, ship captains, logistics
specialists, computer specialists, as well as senior policy
makers from science agencies and foreign ministries in a large
number of countries. A high percentage of the individuals
involved are still active and could contribute their views.

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