A new ocean-observation project aims to improve monitoring of the waters off the European Union.
A lot of the information needed to properly monitor the health of the coastlines off the countries of Europe isn’t linked properly, making it difficult to assess the sea’s present status, as well as predict how best to plan for future developments for a sustainable use of the oceans.
Through the EuroSea Project, an international consortium of 55 partners has now joined forces with the aim to significantly improve ocean observation in Europe and beyond. The European Union is funding the project with a total of 12.6 million Euros (~US$13.9 million) through 2023. Kicking off the project, 80 researchers and guests from government and industry will meet at the opening conference at the Royal Belgium Institute for Natural Science (RBINS) in Brussels.
According to coordinator Dr. Toste Tanhua from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel:
“The aim of the project is to better combine existing capacities in the European marine observing system, to fill existing gaps and to make the resulting data and information available to users more easily.”
The EuroSea consortium partners are scientific institutions, and non-public partners from 13 European countries, Brazil and Canada. In addition, intergovernmental organizations and networks like the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), the European Marine Board and the European component of the Global Ocean Observing System (EuroGOOS) are supporting the project. Furthermore, partners from industry, for example those involved in the development of ocean observing technologies and services beyond the project are contributing.
Besides improving direct (or in-situ) ocean measurements, EuroSea focuses on the quality and usability of collective data, and on systems using the data for operational forecast services.
“To this end, we are working closely with existing marine databases and data infrastructures and the EU Blue-Cloud project to improve capabilities in these areas and facilitate efficient data exchange,” stresses the project coordinator. The ocean data should comply with the FAIR standard (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable). “Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”
The project builds on its predecessor AtlantOS which aims to establish an integrated Atlantic Ocean observing system to improve ocean observations for the entire Atlantic region. EuroSea will continue this project’s work by focusing on the European seas, including the Mediterranean Sea and its neighbors.
For more info, check out the EuroSea webpage at www.eurosea.eu.
(Image credit: Mario Müller/GEOMAR (CC BY 4.0))