As EMODnet marks 10 years since its initiation in 2009, experts from EMODnet and across the global ocean observation, monitoring and data communities were in Hawai’i for the decadal Conference OceanObs’19. In its third edition, OceanObs’19 has expanded to 1500 participants, with 2480 authors contributing to 128 Community White Papers, 600 posters and 60 exhibits from academia, industry and management, all at the Hawai’i Convention Center, Honolulu.
EMODnet was represented by the EMODnet Secretariat, experts from EMODnet Bathymetry, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics and Data Ingestion Service, and Sea-basin Checkpoint Coordinators. EMODnet showcased its latest work in a EMODnet Community White Paper led by Bélen Martín Míguez and 30 other co-authors spanning all EMODnet portals and services. EMODnet is made possible by the flow of marine data from countless data providers, including individual researchers to large-scale industries, data managers, GIS and I.T. specialists to make EMODnet a hugely diverse in situ marine data and data product broker. Funded long-term by the European Commission (DG MARE), EMODnet has evolved from a network of research networks into an operational service providing data and data products from 7 diverse disciplines spanning ocean physics to human activities.
In collaboration with other long-term data services in Europe (e.g. Copernicus Marine and Data Collection Framework), EMODnet contributes across all four themes of OceanObs19: Information, Integration, Innovation and Interoperability. Open and FAIR data was a key topic discussed at OceanObs’19, focusing on making all marine data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable to ensure the potential of all marine data is realized to serve societal needs and benefits.
Operationally, EMODnet already provides many standardized, integrated datasets to other initiatives including CMEMS, to ensure in situ data can further validate and support satellite-derived data used for high quality marine modelling, forecasting and reanalysis studies.
The updated August 2019 EMODnet Portfolio catalogues all EMODnet data and data products, from vessel density to marine litter, coastal erosion and integrated seabed habitat maps, which are used by an increasingly diverse and international user community. Partnerships are also increasingly global with EMODnet Physics providing a tailored SOOSmap interface for the Southern Ocean observing community to assemble and integrate their data in one place. EMODnet Biology, through EurOBIS, contributes 20 million data records to the international OBIS. And, EMODnet Bathymetry is a large European contribution to the international Seabed2030 initiative. Such initiatives are presented in more detail through posters by each of aforementioned EMODnet disciplines.
The Conference also called for human activities and social sciences to be further integrated into ocean observing analyses, taking these into account when developing and implementing future Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs). EMODnet Human Activities already offers data and data products on human activities at sea, from sub-sea pipeline routes to locations of aquaculture, wild fisheries catch, ocean energy and composite maps of vessel density offering the most complete and integrated AIS dataset and map product in Europe.
Successful translation of data and science into information and knowledge is essential and requires innovative digital tools and science communication. As a good example, also powers and leads the technical development of the European Atlas of the Seas, a communication tool of the European Commission to provide society with an open web mapping application to visualize marine and wider geospatial data for ocean literacy, educational purposes.
At the event, EMODnet met with Associated Partner Saildrone to discuss their latest missions and data, available on EMODnet Physics and the second most viewed dataset in August 2019. EMODnet is a growing inclusive network welcoming new members all the time and as a result the Associated Partnership family is growing. Following a successful application in August 2019, EMODnet also welcomes Sofar, a company specializing in cost-effective drones for metocean measurements.
On 20 September, OceanObs19 released a Declaration to take stock and look forward to priorities for the next decade of ocean observing. Open data is central to this and EMODnet looks forward to continuing its efforts to provide free, open access to standardized, integrated datasets from across European seas and oceans and beyond, turning data into useable products and in turn, supplying the marine knowledge value chain with relevant information for global society.