The Copernicus Marine Service aims to deliver information on the state and dynamics of the ocean to help protect and manage the marine environment and resources more effectively.
The service builds on a series of projects developed within the Framework Programmes 6 and 7 (FP6/FP7), funded by the EC, and on ESA’s GMES Service Element (GSE) projects such as PolarView and MarCoast.
The pre-operational service is currently provided through the FP7 project MyOcean-2 (follow-up of the former MyOcean), which delivers regular and systematic reference information on the state of the open oceans and regional seas.
MyOcean supports four main domains:
- Marine safety, with services such as hydrodynamic forecasts and remote sensing blended products and forecasts for sea ice – supporting applications like marine operations, oil spill combat, ship routing, defence, search & rescue.
- Marine resources, with services such as long time-series ofin situand remote-sensing products, as well as analysis, reanalysis and forecasts of hydrodynamic and ecosystem models – supporting applications such as fish stock management.
- Marine and coastal environment, with services as the above – supporting environmental applications such as monitoring water quality, pollution, coastal activities.
- Seasonal and weather forecasting, with services such as long time-series of in situ and remote-sensing products, as well as reanalysis of physical parameters at various temporal resolutions (monthly, seasonal, yearly) and short-term forecast of ocean properties at global and regional scale – supporting applications like climate monitoring, ice surveys.
MyOcean-2 processes observation data into quality-controlled datasets at various thematic data assembly centres and runs numerical ocean models in near-real time. The data are assimilated to generate analyses and forecasts for different regions, namely, the Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Atlantic European North West Shelf Ocean, Atlantic Iberian Biscay Irish Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and for the global ocean. Reprocessing and reanalysis are also performed.
In addition, several projects are on-going within the FP7 that explore the scope for downstream use in specialised areas, widening the range of the available Copernicus products.
Currently, Copernicus services and projects base their activities on the provision of satellite imagery from contributing missions.
Soon, the Sentinel satellites will start contributing to Copernicus, providing substantial benefits for the marine monitoring applications. In particular Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-1 are the two most relevant missions for the marine service.
Sentinel-1 will provide all-weather day-and-night measurements of sea ice and Sentinel-3 will provide global and regular records of sea-surface temperature, currents, sea level, ocean colour.