GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
Marine GMES: The ocean monitoring and modelling system will not be adequate for several major
applications (e.g. provision of high quality and accurate 3D current field for oil spill and pollution
monitoring, search and rescue applications, boundary conditions for coastal models and their
applications, etc) without a high inclination altimeter to complement Jason 2 beyond 2007.
Coastal Models: Coastal models are far from being developed and operated at the adequate resolution
for applications to pollution monitoring from offshore installations, ships and land sources. Moreover,
the information flow from global and regional scale systems to the local coastal models have not been
unified, quality controlled and nor have communication protocols been identified.
Ecosystem modelling: There is a strong need to develop and advance the maturity of ecosystem
modelling, in particular in the direction of species specific properties, trophic interactions and a tighter
coupling to biogeochemical cycles.
Emergency response services: Oil spill combatment, search and rescue and similar services are
dependent on rapid access to high quality model prognoses and observations that are tuned to the needs
of the response management applications. This requires a prepared and tested operational service chain
to supply the observational and model data needed.
Management, planning and policy issues that need to be addressed
Inter agency co operation: To secure the observational data needed for an ocean forecasting system a
partnership is needed between MERSEA and the diverse agencies already making ocean observations.
A comprehensive and effective forecasting system requires the various different agencies to collaborate
in strategic policy decisions to install observational capacity both on in situ platforms and on Earth
Additional funding: To secure additional essential observations not already acquired by existing
programmes, needs additional funds channelled through a European level agency. This will
complement observing programmes that are already in place, in order to ensure that at least a minimum
set of observations is in place to support a European OFS.
Data Policy: The provision of both observational data and forecasting system outputs as freely
available public goods will stimulate their wider application and the development of a commercial
value added sector for specialist services..
Diversity of observing methodology: A balanced combination of sensor types and platforms is
desirable to ensure that observations are robust to ocean and atmospheric conditions. This includes
different types of satellite orbit and a combination of remote sensing and in situ instruments for
measuring the same ocean parameters. A certain degree of apparent redundancy is important to
guarantee adequate coverage in all conditions.
Space Agency Policy for monitoring missions : The design emphasis for Ocean Watch or Ocean
Sentinel Missions should be to provide follow on sensors which deliver the same capability as their
predecessors but at a much lower cost and with at least equal reliability.
Pre processing of data for input to OFS: Dialogue between satellite data providers and modellers is
needed to determine an appropriate level of pre conditioning of satellite derived ocean variables (e.g.
merging data from different sources) to optimise input to operational ocean models.
The final report and a number of specific deliverables will be available from the following
web site as of 15 October:
(user: mersea.s1, password:
mer03sea). MERSEA is now continuing as an Integrated Project in the 6th Framework
program, coordinated by IFREMER in France. It will build the ocean component of GMES,
and federates the European contribution to GODAE, facilitating intercomparisons between
systems. It builds on a number of global and regional ocean data assimilation models,
capitalizes on the main conclusions and findings of MERSEA Strand 1, and will extend to
Discussion by the OOPC focused on the relationship between satellite and in situ data
as inputs into these systems. Drinkwater pointed out some key in situ variables necessary for
calibration of satellite measurements: tide gauges for altimetry, point SST measurements for
satellite SST, and in situ color data for carbon flux measurements. Improved relationships