Many different blended sea surface temperature (SST) analyses are currently available and exhibit significant differences in the high latitude regions. It is challenging for users to determine which of these products is most accurate and best suited for their applications. Nine different SST analyses and two single sensor satellite products are compared with independent observations from Upper Temperature of the polar Oceans (UpTempO) buoys deployed in the Beaufort Sea in 2012 and 2013 during the Marginal Ice Zone Processes Experiment (MIZOPEX). The relative skill of the different SST products is evaluated using a combination of Taylor diagrams and two different verification scores that weight different statistical measures. Skill thresholds based on satellite accuracy requirements are chosen to map products with similar performance into three discrete skill categories: excellent, good, and poor. Results are presented for three subsets of the buoys corresponding to different regimes: coastal waters, northerly waters, and extreme weather. The presence of strong thermal gradients and cloudiness posed problems for the SST products, while in more homogeneous regions the performance was improved and more similar among products. The impact of variations in the ice mask between the SST products was mostly inconsequential. While the relative performance of the analyses varied with regime, overall, the best performing analyses for this region and period included the NOAA Optimal Interpolation SST (OISST), the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) SST, and the Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) Multi-Product Ensemble (GMPE).
Remote Sensing and GIS
Oceans cover almost two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. They are the primary regulator of the global climate and sustain a huge variety of plant and animal life. Maritime environment needs to be organized and precisely determined, in order to be sustainable. The registration of marine legal boundaries is a necessary condition for the protection of a living organism, which flows, changes, reverses itself, but is not limitless. Research has confirmed that the common pattern of people-land relationship also exists in the marine environment. Moreover, the marine Cadastre concept suggests that the complexity of interests in marine space is similarly encountered in land. The extension of Cadastre functions from land to marine space is considered reasonable. An inventory of interests that exist in the marine environment is important. At the same time, laws that are the basis of these interests need to be identified and their effect qualified and visualized. The administration of the marine space remains partial and complex, mainly deriving from political interests and strategic benefits. This could be overcome by designing a marine administration system, in accordance with the international practices. A conceptual model may be considered as the base of such system. This model should clearly depict the relevant entities of the system and the relationships between them. Modeling and standardizing systems and processes at an international level, requires the harmonization with international standards and specifically with the ISO 19152—Land Administration Domain Model (LADM), which so far remains a challenge. The aim of this paper is to present how rights, restrictions and responsibilities (RRRs) relating to marine space may be organized, in order to develop a marine administration model based on LADM, followed by the database implementation, to support effective and efficient decision making in marine governance.
From nano-plastics to large sunken vessels, marine debris presents a threat to humans and ecosystems worldwide. Fishermen's knowledge of the sources of, and risks posed by medium to large debris derived from fishing, aquaculture, and other marine industries provides important context for debris mitigation. Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) can address these risks by integrating subjective and objective spatial data on human and environmental impacts and risks. We integrated fishermen's perceptions and experiences with marine debris with spatial data using PPGIS. We developed a georeferenced database of fishermen's experiences with marine debris, collected during focus groups and at various other meetings in Southwest New Brunswick. This layer was used to integrate baseline data with subjective perceptions of the ecological, economic, and navigational risks associated with marine debris in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. We also documented the physical, technical, political, and regulatory challenges to marine debris mitigation. These challenges highlight the social and environmental processes that complicate any projects that attempt to develop uncontested spatial representations of marine debris. Finally, we discuss the potential of PPGIS to address these challenges by fostering communication, coordinating various marine activities, helping stakeholders set priorities for clean-up, and implementing collaborative clean-up projects.
Active- and passive-acoustic methods are widely used tools for observing, monitoring, and understanding marine ecosystems. From 25 to 28 May 2015, 214 scientists from 31 nations gathered for an ICES symposium on Marine Ecosystem Acoustics (SoME Acoustics) to discuss three major themes related to acoustic observations of marine ecosystems: (i) recent developments in acoustic and platform technologies; (ii) acoustic characterisation of aquatic organisms, ecosystem structure, and ecosystem processes; and (iii) contribution of acoustics to integrated ecosystem assessments and management. The development of, and access to new instruments, such as broad bandwidth systems, enables insightful ecological studies and innovative management approaches. Unresolved ecological questions and the increasing move towards ecosystem based management pose further challenges to scientists and instrument developers. Considering the SoME Acoustics presentations in the context of three previous ICES symposia on fisheries acoustics, topics increasingly emphasize ecosystem studies and management. The continued expansion of work and progress in marine ecosystem acoustics is due to the cross-disciplinary work of fisheries acousticians, engineers, ecologists, modellers, and others. An analysis of the symposium co-authorship network reveals a highly connected acoustic science community collaborating around the globe.
The south coast of Java has warmed at a much lower rate than adjacent ocean locations over the last three decades (1982–2015). This behavior can be observed during the upwelling season (July-October) and it is especially patent in August and September when upwelling attains the highest values. Although different warming rates (ocean-coast) had been previously observed in other areas around the world, this behavior was always linked to situations where upwelling increased or remained unchanged. South Java warming is observed at ocean locations and cooling near shore but under a scenario of decreasing upwelling (~30% in some cases). The origin of coastal cooling is due to changes in the vertical structure of the water column. A vein of subsurface water, which has cooled at a rate higher than 0.3°C per decade, is observed to enter from the northwestern part of the study area following the South Java Current. This water only manifests at surface near coast, where it is pumped up by coastal upwelling.
Analysis and understanding of coastline variability and coastal erosion-accretion trends are important for scientists and local decision-makers for orienting regulation and decisions concerning coastal planning. This study focuses on the detection and analysis of historical changes in shoreline position of the Bay of Jijel (East -Algeria) occurred between 1960 and 2014. Shoreline changes along the Bay of Jijel were studied from multi-dated aerial photographs (1960, 1973 and 1988) and Quick-bird satellite image (2014). The correction of aerial photographs and satellite image was carried out using the remote sensing tools and Geographic Information System “GIS”. To attain our objective, the study area was divided into three sectors for analysis: (1) the beaches of Jijel, Tassoust in the western sector, (2) the central area encompasses beaches of El Kanar, El Mzair and SidiAbdelaziz, (3) the eastern sector contains the beaches of El Djnah and Beni Belaid. Net rates changes of shoreline position in time were calculated from several statistical methods End Point Rates (EPR), Linear Regression Rates (LRR) and Weighted Linear Regression (WLR). These net rates of coastline changes have been calculated, also, on three intervals of times (1960–1973, 1973–1988 and 1988–2014) and on a period (mid-centennial) of 54 years (1960–2014). The result shows that the study area is almost stable between 1960 and 1973 with a rate of change equal to −0.072 m/year. This rate of change, has negatively increased during episodes time 1973–1988 and 1988–2014, with average values of −0.125 m/year and −0.85 m/year, respectively. Over a mid-secular period, the coast has experienced an average net rate global of changes equal to −0.459 m/year. This recession of the coastline is due to the combined action of the cumulative effects of stormy climate of the coast and various human actions on the Jijelian coastal strip.
Ocean surface winds are an essential factor in understanding the physical interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean. Surface winds measured by satellite scatterometers and buoys cover most of the global ocean; however, there are still spatial and temporal gaps and finer-scale variations of wind that may be overlooked, particularly in coastal areas. Here, we show that flight paths of soaring seabirds can be used to estimate fine-scale (every 5 min, ∼5 km) ocean surface winds. Fine-scale global positioning system (GPS) positional data revealed that soaring seabirds flew tortuously and ground speed fluctuated presumably due to tail winds and head winds. Taking advantage of the ground speed difference in relation to flight direction, we reliably estimated wind speed and direction experienced by the birds. These bird-based wind velocities were significantly correlated with wind velocities estimated by satellite-borne scatterometers. Furthermore, extensive travel distances and flight duration of the seabirds enabled a wide range of high-resolution wind observations, especially in coastal areas. Our study suggests that seabirds provide a platform from which to measure ocean surface winds, potentially complementing conventional wind measurements by covering spatial and temporal measurement gaps.
Marine protected area (MPA) research continues to be dominated by biophysical interests. However, understanding social data, including people's values and preferences, is critical to both effective planning and management and long-term MPA success. Having these social data in a spatial form is essential, given that MPA planning and management increasingly uses marine spatial planning (MSP) approaches to carefully locate and mediate among potentially competing uses in both space and time. An online Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) survey was used to collect spatially explicit information on stakeholder values and management preferences for Australia's remote Kimberley region. The Kimberley coast and marine environment is characterised by a multiplicity of values and preferences. Key values included biological conservation, aesthetics, recreational fishing, Aboriginal culture and heritage, and nature based tourism. Management preferences were dominated by the desire to increase conservation/protection, exclude oil/gas development and commercial fishing, and to increase Aboriginal management. The diversity of values and preferences present suggests potential for conflict over management and permitted uses. Significant associations between value and preference distribution and the Kimberley's five marine protected areas were analysed. Accessibility and respondent familiarity appear linked to value attribution. More accessible MPAs were significantly associated with recreation values while more remote MPAs were characterised by a conservation ethos and general aversion to development. Our research demonstrates that PPGIS enables documentation of spatially explicit social data across large scales, highlighting potential synergies and conflicts in values and permitted uses, in a manner that can readily integrate with ecologically based marine spatial planning processes.
Cetacean monitoring is essential in determining the status of a population. Different monitoring methods should reflect the real trends in abundance and patterns in distribution, and results should therefore ideally be independent of the selected method. Here, we compare two independent methods of describing harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) relative distribution pattern in the western Baltic Sea. Satellite locations from 13 tagged harbour porpoises were used to build a Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) model of suitable habitats. The data set was subsampled to one location every second day, which were sufficient to make reliable models over the summer (Jun-Aug) and autumn (Sep-Nov) seasons. The modelled results were compared to harbour porpoise acoustic activity obtained from 36 static acoustic monitoring stations (C-PODs) covering the same area. The C-POD data was expressed as the percentage of porpoise positive days/hours (the number of days/hours per day with porpoise detections) by season. The MaxEnt model and C-POD data showed a significant linear relationship with a strong decline in porpoise occurrence from west to east. This study shows that two very different methods provide comparable information on relative distribution patterns of harbour porpoises even in a low density area.
The governments of the six Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have expressed their commitment to protecting marine ecosystems and improving management systems. Achieving the above commitment requires detailed baseline information on the spatial distribution and extent of the marine resources, such as seagrass meadows, coral reef, mangrove forests and seaweed beds, as well as the ability to successfully interpret and understand these data. This study examined a combination of Landsat image enhancement technique and pixel-based regional growing tools to create a map of marine and human habitats with five classes-of-interest: seagrass, land, coral and coral rubble, subsurface sand/mud, land, and human habitats for twelve islands of eastern Sabah of East Malaysia (extending from 4° 42′ N, 118° 31ʹ E to 4° 12ʹ N, 118° 50ʹ E), located in the south-eastern boundary of Palawan/North Borneo Ecoregion (extending from 14° 31ʹ N, 116° 52ʹ E to 0° 0.04ʹ N, 122° 12ʹ E) of the CTI implementation area. Using this method, an overall accuracy of >75% was achieved for mapping of those class-of-interest types. The estimated seagrass areal coverage is 274 ha, of which 158 ha (58% of the total area) occurred in relatively shallow water areas. Using Google Earth data, seaweed culture sites with a total area of 7114 ha were observed around 7 of the 12 islands. The mapping approach and the results of the study will be of immense benefit to natural resource management of the study area through enabling conservation agencies to prioritize seagrass, coral, seaweed or marine conservation sites and to document local threats to those habitats.