Oceans play a crucial role in regulating Earth's climate, provide a wealth of natural resources and are essential for international transport.
GMES Marine Services will deliver information on the state and dynamics of the ocean and coastal zones to help protect and manage the marine environment and resources more effectively. Services also focus on marine safety and the monitoring of pollution such as oil spills.
The MyOcean project, funded by the EU, is responsible for the development of pre-operational GMES marine monitoring services. The products rely on the use of models of the global ocean and European sea basins and parameters that can be measured by satellite and/or in situ instruments. These parameters include: sea level, ocean colour, sea-surface temperature, salinity, sea state and wind, sea ice and ship detection.
Currently, there are five downstream service projects:
- Marine Water Quality Information Services, AquaMar
- Applied Simulations and Integrated Modelling for the Understanding of Toxic Algal Blooms, ASIMUTH
- Coastal Biomass Observatory Services, CoBIOS
- Multisensor Satellite Technologies for Oil Pollution Monitoring and Source Identification, SeaU
- Sea Ice Downstream Services for Arctic and Antarctic Users and Stakeholders, SIDARUS
An additional four projects investigate how the services can evolve:
- Sustainable Irrigation Water Management and River-basin Governance: Implementing User-driven Services, SIRIUS
- Merging Hydrologic Models and EO Data for Reliable Information on Water, MyWater
- Fluxes, Interactions and Environment at the Land-Ocean Boundary, FIELD AC
- Global Water Scarcity Information Service, GLOWASIS
A related project, the Europe Africa Marine Network, EAMNet, for GMES-Africa International Cooperation runs from 2010 to 2013.
Complementing the GMES Marine Services and downstream services, the GMES Service Element ESA-funded Polar View and MarCoast projects contracts have been extended until the end of 2012.
Polar View offers integrated monitoring and forecasting services in the polar regions and mid-latitude areas affected by ice and snow. It also provides monitoring services for lake and river ice, snow cover maps and glaciers. MarCoast provides water quality monitoring and indicators services, and ocean colour data services for marine and coastal applications.