The measurement of ocean state variables such as temperature, salinity, currents, pressure, and oxygen content allows researchers to assess the state of the oceans and build models to determine marine and coastal health, make long range weather forecasts, and predict climate variations and change.
The IOC together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) are planning, implementing and coordinating an operational Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) – a unified global network to systematically acquire, integrate and distribute oceanic observations, and to generate analyses, forecasts and other useful products.
- Development of an African Ocean Observations network (including maintenance and upgrade of sea level stations) that focuses on "ocean information for human and economic security".
- Participation of experts and institutions from the region in research cruises organized by countries/organizations from the region and outside the region (including the second International Indian Ocean Expedition cruises)
- Ocean modeling and forecasting (including extreme weather events such as storm surges)