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Ocean Observation


Ocean Observation

What is it?

By closely observing and analysing ocean systems, scientists can provide us with the data and information needed to help us understand the ocean, its impact on us, and our impact on it.

Big Ocean Big Data
Why is it important?

We know that change is here. Climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise, flooding and extreme weather are affecting all countries and all communities. Analysing data about the ocean will help us understand, predict, protect and build a sustainable blue economy. Working together, through coordinated efforts, we are helping to create a blueprint for the next generation of ocean observation.

Where are we now?

The current ocean observation systems are fragmented, and system sustainability is a challenge for most. A common vision for an integrated Atlantic ocean observation system has been developed that will allow for a more efficient, sustainable, coordinated and comprehensive ocean observing system that delivers information of relevance to our citizens, policymakers, and scientists. 

An implementation strategy is also currently being developed.

How are we doing it?

The challenge of observing the vast Atlantic is too great for any one nation to tackle alone. Together, we are building an Atlantic community of researchers, policymakers, businesses and citizens, extending across and along the Atlantic Ocean.

Under AORA, Atlantic researchers are now collaborating on ocean observation projects through the EU Horizon 2020 research programme.

  • A large-scale research project called AtlantOS is working to optimise and enhance the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing Systems.
  • An analysis of the capacities and gaps in Atlantic Ocean observation has been conducted.
  • A living’ database of small to medium-sized enterprises manufacturing cutting-edge ocean observing instruments and sensors has been developed and is being managed. The database enhances cooperation between technology developers and highlights the readiness of available technologies. Both of these will ensure that future technology meets the future needs of end users.

 

The Arctic is one of the fastest-warming areas on earth, impacting locals, their lifestyles, and the ecosystems they depend on. Understanding Arctic changes and the processes that govern them, and mapping out what will happen in the future, is important. The Horizon 2020 projects working to understand the impact of a changing Arctic Ocean on weather and climate across the northern hemisphere are listed below.

Projects

NUNATARYUK will determine the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and will develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population.
INTERACT is an infrastructure project under the auspices of SCANNET, a circumarctic network of currently 82 terrestrial field bases in northern Europe, Russia, the US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland as well as stations in northern alpine areas.
INTAROS will develop an efficient integrated Arctic Observation System by extending, improving and unifying existing and evolving systems in the different regions of the Arctic.
iCUPE stands for Integrative and Comprehensive Understanding on Polar Environments. It is a project that answers to ERA-PLANET (European network for observing our changing planet) thematic strand 4 (Polar areas and natural resources).
ICE-ARC (Ice, Climate, Economics – Arctic Research on Change) will look into the current and future changes in Arctic sea ice – both from changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions.
EU-PolarNet is the world’s largest consortium of expertise and infrastructure for polar research. Seventeen countries are represented by 22 of Europe’s internationally-respected multi-disciplinary research institutions.
'Blue-Action: Arctic Impact on Weather and Climate' contributes to the implementation of the Trans-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the EU's Blue Growth Agenda, the Galway and the Belem Statements and the achievement of the SDG 8,9,13.
Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium: A strategy for meeting the needs of marine-based research in the Arctic
APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with a Changing Arctic climaTE), an €8 million project financed by the EU HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

Publications

European contribution to the trilateral activity on a cross-Atlantic knowledge platform updated version of catalogue: 1 May 2018
European contribution to the trilateral activity on a cross-Atlantic knowledge platform. Updated version of catalogue: 9 October
This Report was produced by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-Ordination and Support Action. The Lead Partner responsible for Ocean Observation Work Package in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-Ordination and Support Action is PLOCAN.
This Report was produced by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-Ordination and Support Action. The Lead Partner responsible for the Knowledge Sharing Platform Work Package in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-Ordination and Support Action is the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).