1. Marine and Coastal Productivity To provide biomass and primary production estimates for the European MS and CC Seas and the global ocean, at a resolution and in a format compatible with operational use in climate studies and in the sustainable management of marine resources. By combining advanced characteristics of recently launched Earth Observation satellite sensors (ocean colour) and most recent knowledge in bio-optical modelling, the task focuses on the development of a unique European global observing system for ocean and coastal parameters of importance to both, global change studies and management of fisheries. The activities to be performed in 2003 are linked to three main areas of study: ocean colour product generation and analyses, optical modelling, primary production modelling, which are related to determine the major factors controlling the time-varying fluxes of photosynthetic carbon in the marine waters;
2. Environmental forcing and marine ecosystem interactions Objectives: To develop the synergy between complementary satellite and in situ data sets to analyze and quantify the influence of natural variability in the forcing fields on the physical regime of the water masses and shifts in marine ecosystems. Particular emphasis is given to study European Waters and selected sites according to the European Aid and Development programmes and the seas of CC.
In particular, the task aims at:
1) a new generation of satellite sea surface temperature data sets, which include a proper treatment of the thermal skin effect and diurnal variability;
2) developing a diagnostic data set of complementary satellite and in situ data for the European area that can be used to develop advanced remote sensing methods for global ecosystem characterization;
3) creating the basis for an information system and training assistance which combines environmental data (physical, biological, and meteorological) from multiple sources into an analysis of the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems, in line with recent political concern about an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management;
3. Carbon flux in European shelf and slope waters Objectives: To link individual observations and/or advanced satellite products to a more comprehensive understanding of the key processes controlling the carbon cycle in marine, shelf and slope waters. This scaling-up requires the use of an in- house facility, a 3-D diagnostic physical-biogeochemical model, that simulate adequately the hydrodynamics and the ecosystem structure over the domains of interest. These models are run in a coupled mode and allow the geographical survey of key biophysical parameters in the modelling of marine carbon cycle. Using data assimilation techniques, these models are tuned to the large body of observations of both the physical state of the atmosphere and the ocean, and the relevant ecosystem features. The task aims at the permanent assessment of changes in the key components of the carbon balance, the identification of trends and shifts in the marine sinks and sources of carbon dioxide, and a better understanding of environmental factors affecting major oceanic resources (i.e., fisheries).
Anticipated milestones and schedule:
1. Re-analysis 3-years archive of new generation of ocean colour products for European Seas (Dec. 2003) Completed 24-months global marine biomass maps (July 2003); Database of atmospheric descriptors for improved estimates of ocean surface radiation, completed 24-months Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) maps (July 2003) Completed 2-years monthly primary production global maps (Oct. 2003) Contribution to international network for inter-comparisons of productivity models (Feb. 2003, and fall 2003);
2. Completed codes of the processing chain for updated SST products (March 2003) Completed 24-months high resolution SST for European waters and global ocean (June 2003) Demonstration system for a satellite and in situ Diagnostic Data Set used for developing appropriate synergy between complementary data streams (Contribution to the third GODAE GHRSST workshop, JPL, USA July 2003) Preliminary observations of anomalies and trends of small pelagics with environmental variability (Dec. 2003);
3. Revised ecosystem models and assimilation scheme (April 2003) Completed carbon cycle scenarios for the Adriatic test site (July 2003) Adaptation numerical methods to marine areas of European interests (NW Africa/Portugal upwelling system, Alboran Sea) and preliminary carbon budget mapping (Dec. 2003).
1.1 Updated integrated marine and terrestrial operational processing software for satellite optical sensors (in collaboration with ISA Climate Change) 1.2 4-year time series of marine optical products and biomass for the European Seas (MS and CC) 1.3 24-months time-series of high resolution global phytoplankton concentration maps 1.4 Updated archive of monthly global primary production maps (global algorithm) 1.5 Report on marine primary production algorithm development using bio- provinces (international network Marine productivity Models Inter- comparisons) 1.6 Peer-reviewed scientific publications.
2.1 Report and software processing chain for new generation of SST products 2.2 2-years high resolution SST for European Seas and global ocean 2.3 Report on a Pilot study on the merging of complementary SST satellite data sets (June 2003, contribution to the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment GODAE network) 2.4 Report describing new advanced remote sensing methods for global ecosystem characterization 2.5 Marine data inventories for marine productive area of European interests 2.6 XX Peer-reviewed scientific publications.
3.1 Review document on the 3D coupled bio-physical model and operating software 3.2 Report data assimilation scheme and impact on the efficiency of the coupled model 3.3 1-year description of seasonal ecosystem variation in the test site (Adriatic Sea) 3.4 preliminary assessment of regional changes (Adriatic case) in key components of the carbon balance 3.5 peer-reviewed publications.
Summary of the Action:
The overall objective of this Action is to identify and develop satellite products and models to support observational requirements for the study of the oceanic carbon cycle and shifts in marine ecosystems as a result of climate variability and future climate change. This Action supports the Commission Services in the implementation and monitoring of EU environmental Policies and regulations falling under International Agreements, Conventions (6th Environmental Action Plan, European Marine Strategy, UNFCCC) with:
1) the provision of continuous, detailed and accurate information for the European Seas and global ocean on relevant marine biophysical parameters as derived from optical, infrared and microwave satellite sensors;
2) the development of advanced satellite algorithms to generate relevant indicators (ocean productivity, sea surface temperature, biomass) for global diagnostic of the sea state and analyses of changes in marine ecosystems and;
3) the development of data assimilation techniques and 3-D biophysical models specifically addressing carbon cycling on European continental margins.
In particular, the Action aims at providing scientific and technical assistance to EU decision-making processes related to sustainable management of the marine resources in the seas of the Member States (MS), Candidate Countries (CC) and beyond. It contributes as a joint effort with other Actions to develop a research network in support of European services to reduce methodological uncertainties in estimating the current European biospheric carbon sink. The Action offers exclusive access to processing and analytical tools to study the marine environment from satellite at various scales.
The execution of this Action requires collaboration with the actions 'Monitoring and Assessment of the ecological quality of inland and marine waters', 'Advanced remote sensing methods for global ecosystem characterization' and 'Data quality system for greenhouse gas emissions and sinks. Rationale As a consequence of the Kyoto Protocol (1997), there is an immediate socio- political requirement for better understanding of the global carbon cycle, and for developing research to monitor and reduce uncertainties in CO2 emission and sink inventories, including in the marine environment. The 6th Environmental Action Plan (DG ENV) specifically refers to the development of a thematic strategy to protect the marine environment, and to assess the consequences of climate change in the quality status of European Seas. In addition, several Communications from the Commission to the Council and Parliament have recently set the basis of a strategy for enhancing the integration of environmental protection in any Policy concerning the use of marine resources.