Measuring ocean physics and atmospheric conditions at the sea-surface has been taking place for decades in our world’s oceans. Enhancing R&D technologies developed in Federal and academic institutions and laboratories such as WHOI’s Vector Averaging Current Meter (VACM, 1970s) and NOAA – PMEL’s: Autonomous Temperature Line Acquisition System (ATLAS, 1980s) as example, in situ ocean measurements and real-time telemetry for data processing and dissemination from remote areas of oceans and seas are now common place. A transition of this “ocean monitoring” technology has occurred with additional support from individual and group innovative efforts in the field of ocean instrumentation. As a result, long-term monitoring of ocean processes and changes has become more accessible to the research community at large. Here; we discuss a “Hybrid” air-sea interaction deep-sea monitoring system that has been developed in the private sector to mirror ocean-climate community data streams and has been successfully deployed on three basin-scaled programs in the Indian Ocean (RAMA, First Institute of Oceanography, FIO, China), the Andaman Sea (MOMSEI, Monsoon Onset Monitoring, FIO) and the Pacific Ocean (China’s Institute of Oceanology, Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) research in the western tropical Pacific). This application is a base to build upon as new sensors are developed and increased sampling at higher resolutions is required. Surface vehicles measure the surface, with some profiling available. Water column density sampling is still a much-needed measurement within the Ocean Climate Monitoring community. The “Hybrid” is a multidisciplinary tool to integrate new biological and biogeochemical sensors for continued interaction studies of the physical processes of our oceans. This application can also be used at FLUX sites to enhance the Argo Program, telemetry applications and docking stations for autonomous vehicles such as sail-drones, gliders and wave riders for enhancement and contribution to the Global Tropical Moored Buoy Array (GTMBA), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOS).
We present the results of devising new techniques and technical means for utilizing small-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in ecological monitoring of marine water basins in compliance with the MARPOL 73/78 international convention. The development of a hardware-software complex is described for the system of recognizing oil spills using elements of artificial intelligence. The laboratory experiments on identifying oil spills by laser induced fluorescence (LIF) methods are presented, as well as the methods of recording the spectrum of upward solar radiation.
The trade in marine ornamental fishes is valued at over a billion dollars annually and comprises thousands of species. Historically, scientists have pointed out the importance of accurate trade statistics to monitor this trade. Today, there remains no global systems in place to monitor it. Europe is a major importer of coral reef fishes, and uses the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) to monitor trade in live animals for disease prevention. This database is not intended to record strict species-specific information on marine ornamental fishes, rather numbers of traded specimens and information on species to at least family level. Therefore, it is possible to estimate the volume of trade into Europe, which amounted to approximately 4 million marine ornamental fishes per year during 2014 and 2017. Susceptible species were identified using the number of traded specimens, trends in the trade volume, IUCN Red List conservation status, as well as vulnerability according to FishBase. After normalization of this data a score was created to produce a watchlist that establishes susceptibility to overexploitation of the species traded considering all parameters combined. Unfortunately, almost one third of all species is listed as data deficient or not evaluated by the IUCN Red List and could not be included in this calculation. Species on the watchlist should be given priority for further monitoring through the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). This study suggests that TRACES, subject to several modifications, could be used as a tool to monitor trade in marine ornamental fishes.
The incidence of marine traffic has risen in recent decades and is expected to continue rising as maritime traffic, vessel speed, and engine power all continue to increase. Although long considered anecdotal, ship strikes are now recognized as a major threat to cetaceans. However, estimation of ship strike rates is still challenging notably because such events occurred generally far offshore and collision between large ships and whales go often unnoticed by ship crew. The monitoring of marine mammal strandings remain one the most efficient ways to evaluate the problem. In France, a national coordinated network collected data and samples on stranded marine mammals since 1972 along the Mediterranean and Atlantic French coasts. We examined stranding data, including photography and necropsy reports, collected between 1972 and 2017 with the aim to provide a comprehensive review of confirmed collision records of large whales in France. During this period, a total of 51 ship strike incidents were identified which represents the 1st identified causes of mortality for large whale in France. It has increased since 1972 with seven records during the 1st decade to reach 22 stranded animals observed between 2005 and 2017. This issue appears particularly critical in the Mediterranean Sea where one in five stranded whales showed evidence of ship strike. This review of collision records highlights the risk of a negative impact of this anthropogenic pressure on the dynamic of whale populations in Europe, suggesting that ship strike rates could not allow achieving the Good Environmental Status of marine mammal populations required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves being strongly coupled to the upper ocean circulation and the overlying atmosphere, efforts to improve ocean, atmospheric, and wave observations and models have evolved somewhat independently. From an observational point of view, community efforts to bridge this gap have led to proposals for satellite Doppler oceanography mission concepts, which could provide unprecedented measurements of absolute surface velocity and directional wave spectrum at global scales. This paper reviews the present state of observations of surface winds, currents, and waves, and it outlines observational gaps that limit our current understanding of coupled processes that happen at the air-sea-ice interface. A significant challenge for the coming decade of wind, current, and wave observations will come in combining and interpreting measurements from (a) wave-buoys and high-frequency radars in coastal regions, (b) surface drifters and wave-enabled drifters in the open-ocean, marginal ice zones, and wave-current interaction “hot-spots,” and (c) simultaneous measurements of absolute surface currents, ocean surface wind vector, and directional wave spectrum from Doppler satellite sensors.
Integration of observations of the coastal ocean continuum, from regional oceans to shelf seas and estuaries/deltas with models, can substantially increase the value of observations and enable a wealth of applications. In particular, models can play a critical role at connecting sparse observations, synthesizing them, and assisting the design of observational networks; in turn, whenever available, observations can guide coastal model development. Coastal observations should sample the two-way interactions between nearshore, estuarine and shelf processes and open ocean processes, while accounting for the different pace of circulation drivers, such as the fast atmospheric, hydrological and tidal processes and the slower general ocean circulation and climate scales. Because of these challenges, high-resolution models can serve as connectors and integrators of coastal continuum observations. Data assimilation approaches can provide quantitative, validated estimates of Essential Ocean Variables in the coastal continuum, adding scientific and socioeconomic value to observations through applications (e.g., sea-level rise monitoring, coastal management under a sustainable ecosystem approach, aquaculture, dredging, transport and fate of pollutants, maritime safety, hazards under natural variability or climate change). We strongly recommend an internationally coordinated approach in support of the proper integration of global and coastal continuum scales, as well as for critical tasks such as community-agreed bathymetry and coastline products.
Coastal zones are highly dynamical systems affected by a variety of natural and anthropogenic forcing factors that include sea level rise, extreme events, local oceanic and atmospheric processes, ground subsidence, etc. However, so far, they remain poorly monitored on a global scale. To better understand changes affecting world coastal zones and to provide crucial information to decision-makers involved in adaptation to and mitigation of environmental risks, coastal observations of various types need to be collected and analyzed. In this white paper, we first discuss the main forcing agents acting on coastal regions (e.g., sea level, winds, waves and currents, river runoff, sediment supply and transport, vertical land motions, land use) and the induced coastal response (e.g., shoreline position, estuaries morphology, land topography at the land–sea interface and coastal bathymetry). We identify a number of space-based observational needs that have to be addressed in the near future to understand coastal zone evolution. Among these, improved monitoring of coastal sea level by satellite altimetry techniques is recognized as high priority. Classical altimeter data in the coastal zone are adversely affected by land contamination with degraded range and geophysical corrections. However, recent progress in coastal altimetry data processing and multi-sensor data synergy, offers new perspective to measure sea level change very close to the coast. This issue is discussed in much detail in this paper, including the development of a global coastal sea-level and sea state climate record with mission consistent coastal processing and products dedicated to coastal regimes. Finally, we present a new promising technology based on the use of Signals of Opportunity (SoOp), i.e., communication satellite transmissions that are reutilized as illumination sources in a bistatic radar configuration, for measuring coastal sea level. Since SoOp technology requires only receiver technology to be placed in orbit, small satellite platforms could be used, enabling a constellation to achieve high spatio-temporal resolutions of sea level in coastal zones.
A major challenge for managing impacts and implementing effective mitigation measures and adaptation strategies for coastal zones affected by future sea level (SL) rise is our limited capacity to predict SL change at the coast on relevant spatial and temporal scales. Predicting coastal SL requires the ability to monitor and simulate a multitude of physical processes affecting SL, from local effects of wind waves and river runoff to remote influences of the large-scale ocean circulation on the coast. Here we assess our current understanding of the causes of coastal SL variability on monthly to multi-decadal timescales, including geodetic, oceanographic and atmospheric aspects of the problem, and review available observing systems informing on coastal SL. We also review the ability of existing models and data assimilation systems to estimate coastal SL variations and of atmosphere-ocean global coupled models and related regional downscaling efforts to project future SL changes. We discuss (1) observational gaps and uncertainties, and priorities for the development of an optimal and integrated coastal SL observing system, (2) strategies for advancing model capabilities in forecasting short-term processes and projecting long-term changes affecting coastal SL, and (3) possible future developments of sea level services enabling better connection of scientists and user communities and facilitating assessment and decision making for adaptation to future coastal SL change.
The Indian Ocean is warming faster than any of the global oceans and its climate is uniquely driven by the presence of a landmass at low latitudes, which causes monsoonal winds and reversing currents. The food, water, and energy security in the Indian Ocean rim countries and islands are intrinsically tied to its climate, with marine environmental goods and services, as well as trade within the basin, underpinning their economies. Hence, there are a range of societal needs for Indian Ocean observation arising from the influence of regional phenomena and climate change on, for instance, marine ecosystems, monsoon rains, and sea-level. The Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS), is a sustained observing system that monitors basin-scale ocean-atmosphere conditions, while providing flexibility in terms of emerging technologies and scientificand societal needs, and a framework for more regional and coastal monitoring. This paper reviews the societal and scientific motivations, current status, and future directions of IndOOS, while also discussing the need for enhanced coastal, shelf, and regional observations. The challenges of sustainability and implementation are also addressed, including capacity building, best practices, and integration of resources. The utility of IndOOS ultimately depends on the identification of, and engagement with, end-users and decision-makers and on the practical accessibility and transparency of data for a range of products and for decision-making processes. Therefore we highlight current progress, issues and challenges related to end user engagement with IndOOS, as well as the needs of the data assimilation and modeling communities. Knowledge of the status of the Indian Ocean climate and ecosystems and predictability of its future, depends on a wide range of socio-economic and environmental data, a significant part of which is provided by IndOOS.
Maritime economy, ecosystem-based management and climate change adaptation and mitigation raise emerging needs on coastal ocean and biological observations. Integrated ocean observing aims at optimizing sampling strategies and cost-efficiency, sharing data and best practices, and maximizing the value of the observations for multiple purposes. Recently developed cost-effective, near real time technology such as gliders, radars, ferrybox, and shallow water Argo floats, should be used operationally to generate operational coastal sea observations and analysis. Furthermore, value of disparate coastal ocean observations can be unlocked with multi-dimensional integration on fitness-for-the-purpose, parameter and instrumental. Integration of operational monitoring with offline monitoring programs, such as those for research, ecosystem-based management and commercial purposes, is necessary to fill the gaps. Such integration should lead to a system of networks which can deliver data for all kinds of purposes. Detailed integration activities are identified which should enhance the coastal ocean and biological observing capacity. Ultimately a program is required which integrates physical, biogeochemical and biological observation of the ocean, from coastal to deep-sea environments, bringing together global, regional, and local observation efforts.