• 12 January 2010 Haiti Earthquake and Tsunami Event : Post-Event Assessment of CARIBE EWS Performance.

      Aliaga, Bernardo; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Mosquera, Diana Patricia; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2010)
      The 26 December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed over 230,000 people, displaced more than 1 million people and left a trail of destruction. Considering that the Caribbean is a region prone to tsunamis, and recognising the need for an early warning system, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) for the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (CARIBE EWS) was established in 2005 as a subsidiary body of the IOC-UNESCO with the purpose of providing assistance to all Member States of the region to establish their own regional early warning system. The main objective of the CARIBE EWS is to identify and mitigate the hazards posed by local and distant tsunamis. The goal is to create a fully integrated end-to-end warning system comprising four key components: hazard monitoring and detection; hazard assessment; warning dissemination; and community preparedness and response. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Hawaii is the interim tsunami warning service provider for the Caribbean. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre (WC/ATWC) is providing tsunami warning service for the USA territories in the Caribbean region. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on the 12 January 2010 was one of the most severe earthquakes that occurred in this country in the last 100 years. It caused a large number of casualties and material destruction.In addition, the earthquake generated a tsunami that caused a runup of 3m at both Jacmel and Petit Paradis, Haiti and 1m in Pedernales, Dominican Republic. Furthermore, it was recorded with an amplitude of 12 cm (peak to trough) at the Santo Domingo sea level station in the Dominican Republic. The arrival time was at 22:40 UTC, namely 47 minutes after the earthquake occurred. This tsunami recalled the need to effectively implement the CARIBE EWS to be prepared for future potentially destructive tsunamis in the region. The event therefore presented an ideal opportunity to evaluate the performance of the CARIBE EWS to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the system, to identify areas that require further attention, and to provide a benchmark of the present status of the system. The UNESCO IOC Secretariat for the CARIBE EWS sent out a post-event survey questionnaire to Member States and territories that have identified their Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFP). Out of 28 questionnaires sent out, 23 responses were returned to the CARIBE EWS Secretariat in Paris. The objectives of the survey were to confirm that the NTWCs received bulletins from the interim advisory service in a timely manner, to determine what actions were taken by the NTWCs, and to find out if the Member States activated their emergency response plans based on the available information. The survey was very useful to get an overview of the current status of the CARIBE EWS. Tsunami bulletins were received timely by most of the countries that answered the survey. On the other hand, it was identified that sea level was scarcely monitored during the event, and that some National Warning Centres (NWC) do not know how to access sea level data over the GTS or over the IOC Sea Level Observation Facility website. Most NWCs did not use any numerical models during the event. It was observed, as well, that countries placed in watch level were able to distribute warnings and even preventively evacuate some areas. It is beyond the scope of this report to conduct a detailed interpretation of the results, and the survey results have been presented so that individual Member States and the ICG can draw conclusions from this exercise and decide on future action. Although progress has been made since 2005, it should be recognized that the CARIBE EWS is not yet fully implemented and much remains to be done to bring the system to full operational status. The ICG will continue to monitor the system to ensure continuous improvement during the development phase.
    • 27 February 2010 Chile Earthquake and Tsunami Event: Post-Event Assessment of PTWS Performance.

      Aliaga, Bernardo; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Mosquera, Diana Patricia; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2010)
      A series of severe earthquakes hit Central Chile on Saturday, 27th February 2010. The main shock off Concepcion at 06:34 UTC (3:34 AM local time) had a magnitude of 8.8 Mw. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center PTWC in Hawaii, USA issued a regional warning at 06:46 UTC (12 minutes after the event). This was the first ocean wide test of a system that was put in place nearly 45 years ago by UNESCO’s Member States through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake on 22 May 22 1960 off Chile triggered a wide ocean tsunami that caused 61 fatalities in Hawaii and 142 fatalities in Japan, several hours after the earthquake. As indicated above, 12 minutes after the 27th February 2010 earthquake the Pacific Ocean Tsunami Warning System (PTWS) went into action, with timely and adequate information produced and disseminated across the Pacific Ocean. There were no fatalities reported far from the epicenter, however, near the epicenter off the Chilean coast, official accounts indicate over 156 fatalities due to the tsunami. Preliminary measures of a Rapid Survey Team deployed the week after the event by UNESCO showed run up measurements as high as 30 meters with most common measurements between 6 and 10 meters in the most affected area of the Chilean coast. This earthquake and tsunami event presented an ideal opportunity to assess the performance of the PTWS. To that end the UNESCO/IOC Secretariat for the PTWS sent out a post-event survey questionnaire to the Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFPs) and Tsunami National Contacts (TNCs) from its 32 Member States and territories. This report has been prepared by the Secretariat based on the responses received from 19 TWFPs and TNCs. Factual details of the earthquake event and the tsunami are presented and the results of the survey are listed in tables and displayed as timelines and maps. We underscore that all TWFPs received the first PTWC bulletin. In addition, most of the countries reported PTWC as source of awareness of the earthquake. Fourteen countries issued a tsunami warning and in 9 Member States coastal zones were evacuated. It would be pertinent that each Member State analyze if an evacuation would have been necessary in zones where no evacuation was made. In four countries, some areas were evacuated preventively (self-evacuation). Moreover, it was observed that sea level was monitored by most of the countries. In addition, some countries used results from numerical modelling and calculated earthquake parameters. Based on data and information collected from Member States the PTWS acted promptly and efficiently throughout the Pacific. However, and at the same time, this event demonstrated the need to reinforce the work of PTWS for near field events, particularly with denser sea level real time networks close to active subduction areas. Indeed, as it has been demonstrated by the case of the sea level station located in Talcahuano, Chile, sea level stations close to the epicenter may be partially or totally destroyed by the impact of an earthquake and/or a tsunami. Given the critical role sea level readings have in all tsunami warning systems, the sea level monitoring networks should be densified close to active subduction areas and redundancy of sensors and transmission paths be strongly considered. Most of the issues revealed by the survey can be addressed both by the PTWS and at the national level through increased regional cooperation and training where needed. Post-event assessments assist in this process by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the PTWS at regional, national and local levels and by raising the awareness of how Member States responded, both individually and collectively. The true value of such assessments is that it allows Member States to share information and experiences for the mutual benefit of improving the PTWS performance for all members.
    • The benthos of Northwest Africa

      Ramos, Ana; Ramil, Fran; Mohamed, Sidi; Barry, Amadou O.; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      Despite to play a key role in the marine ecosystems and to be under serious threat, the knowledge on the benthos of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem is currently scarce and comes from the historical expeditions carried out in the region after the end of 19th century. Results of the last Spanish and regional Norwegian surveys show that it does not seem to exist a latitudinal pattern of the biodiversity along the Northwest African coast and that the highest diversity values are located off Western Sahara. Although an important faunistic boundary between tropical and temperate biota seems to be located at Cape Blanc latitude, epibenthic communities maintain a similar structure throughout the region. Decapods are the most representative group in terms of richness, abundance and biomass, being echinoderms, mainly holothuroids, clearly dominant in deep waters. Despite having endured an intense fishing pressure for more than 50 years, suspension-feeder assemblages and vulnerable ecosystems — as the giant cold-water coral reef, the canyon systems, the seamount and the grounds of sponges and gorgonians — already exist in deep waters of the continental slope in Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco.
    • Biodiversity and biogeography of decapods crustaceans in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      García-Isarch, Eva; Muñoz, Isabel; Valdés, Luis; Déniz-González, Itahisa (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      Decapods constitute the dominant benthic group in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). An inventory of the decapod species in this area was made based on the information compiled from surveys and biological collections of the Instituto Español de Oceanografía. A total number of 228 species belonging to 54 families were registered. Brachyura, with 87 different species was the most diversified taxa, followed by Caridea and Anomura with 61 and 33 species, respectively. The high diversity of this group in the CCLME is favoured by the presence of typically temperate species in the North (Morocco-Western Sahara), subtropical-temperate species from Morocco to Mauritania, and typically tropical species in the South (Guinea-Bissau‒Guinea). The diversity in the most temperate and northern zone was higher than in the most tropical and southern zone, with exceptionally high values in Mauritania mainly explained by its special biogeographic and oceanographic conditions. Some decapod species have been exploited by both artisanal and industrial fisheries for decades, providing significant incomes to the coastal states. However, the intense shrimp fishing activities have some negative effects like the overexploitation of certain stocks and the impact on benthic communities by disturbing their physical structures and habitats.
    • Biodiversity of cetaceans in coastal waters of Northwest Africa: new insights through platform-of-opportunity visual surveying in 2011-2013

      Djiba, Abdoulaye; Bamy, Idrissa Lamine; Samba Ould Bilal, Abdellahi; Van Waerebeek, Koen; Valdés, Luis; Déniz-González, Itahisa (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      We summarize diversity, group size and habitat of cetaceans documented through ship-based visual survey effort (13,694 km; 1163.5 h) off NW Africa (Conakry to Tangier) in spring and fall of 2011-2013. Study area covered mainly continental shelf with some slope waters. Platform-of-opportunity surveying yielded 270 primary sightings of 14 species. Due to passing mode, 35.7% were identifiable only to family/category: unidentified Delphinidae (25.0%), unidentified rorquals (5.88%) and unidentified whales (4.78%). Delphinus delphis predominated with 28.7% of total sightings (32.7%, including probable) and a massive 71.3% (76.5%) of total number of cetaceans observed (n=15,595). Encounter rate was 81.2 common dolphins 100 km-1; mean group size 124.92. Tursiops truncatus, primarily inshore ecotype (median depth, 44.5 m), accounted for 9.56% (11.4%) of sightings and 1.35% (1.83%) of total cetaceans. Megaptera novaeangliae (6.25%) was regularly seen south of Dakar with a Southern Hemisphere seasonality. Other species showed a relatively low % occurrence: Globicephala spp. (2.57), Orcinus orca (1.10), Grampus griseus (0.73), Stenella frontalis (1.84), S. attenuata (0.37), S. clymene (0.37), S. coeruleoalba (0.37), Balaenoptera brydei (1.10), B. musculus (0.37), beaked whale (0.37), probable-B. borealis (0.37). Baleen plates recovered from a bottom-trawl also evidenced B. borealis presence. Seven new range state records included: G. griseus, S. coeruleoalba (Atlantic Morocco), O. orca, B. musculus (The Gambia), G. macrorhynchus, S. frontalis (Guinea-Bissau), S. attenuata (Guinea).
    • Canary Islands eddies and coastal upwelling filaments off North-west Africa

      Sangrà, Pablo; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      Mesoscale eddies are almost continuously spun off from the Canary Islands constituting a unique eddies source that is not present in other Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems. The main forcing mechanism is the Canary Current perturbation by the islands topography. Wind forcing also contributes to their generation lowering the threshold of the Canary Current intensity for triggering of the eddy shedding process. They rotate initially in solid body rotation losing it when they reach their mature stage. They are also the main source of long lived eddies for the NE subtropical Atlantic building up the Canary Eddy Corridor. This eddy corridor plays an important role as a zonal conduit carrying both physical and biogeochemical properties from the cold nutrient-rich upwelling eastern boundary towards the interior ocean. Coastal upwelling filaments are recurrently observed near Cape Ghir, Cape Jubi, Cape Bojador and Cape Blanc. Although they have common characteristics, such as low temperature and high chlorophyll-a signals, their structure and origin are different. They play a key role in transferring biogeochemical properties from the coastal upwelling eutrophic region towards the interior oligotrophic subtropical gyre, contributing thus to its enrichment and to the setting up of the Coastal Transition Zone.
    • Cephalopods in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      Rocha, Francisco; Cheikh, Inejih; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      This work presents a brief review of cephalopod fauna found in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem waters in terms of biodiversity, ecology and fisheries. This large marine ecosystem presents 139 cephalopod species, including high commercial value groups (Ommastrephids, Loliginids, Octopods and Sepiids), corresponding to a transitional zone between different Atlantic zoogeographic provinces where tropical, temperate and cold water cephalopod species mix. Several assemblages can be identified in the coastal, shelf, slope and deep waters. Coastal assemblages are dominated by sepiids, loliginids and shallow-water octopus, while more oceanic assemblages are largely dominated by ommastrephid and deep-water octopus species. Cephalopod populations in the area can maintain local and international fisheries for these resources. Loliginid and sepiid species constitute substantial resources exploited by coastal fisheries. Ommastrephid squids probably represent the main potential resource for cephalopod pelagic and trawl fisheries in the area. Three species (Todarodes sagittatus, Illex coindetii and Todaropsis eblanae) present great potential for fisheries in the zone.
    • Coastal upwelling off North-West Africa

      Pelegrí, Josep L.; Benazzouz, Aïssa; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      North of Cape Blanc, the north-easterly winds cause offshore flow of surface waters that are replaced by subsurface inflow of relatively cold and nutrient-rich waters, driving the vertical cell of coastal upwelling. This vertical circulation, together with surface heating and horizontal mixing, causes the coastal upwelling front (typically about 200 m deep) that separates cold onshore from warm offshore waters. A southward baroclinic coastal jet is associated to this front, which causes vertical shear and mixing that contribute to the intensity of the vertical cell. Very importantly, this jet feeds from upstream waters, resulting in an along-slope coherent flow, or the horizontal cell of coastal upwelling – this is the Canary Upwelling Current (CUC) that connects all surface coastal African waters north of Cape Blanc. Further south, because of the northward offshore flow and the seasonality of the winds, the connection remains only during winter and spring, very close to shelf break and in the top 100 m. North of Cape Blanc, a Poleward Undercurrent (PUC) flows in the relatively homogenous upwelled waters that found over the continental slope. South of Cape Blanc the PUC appears as a nearshore expression of the Mauritania Current. Both the southward CUC and the northward PUC constitute the true skeleton of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.
    • Current conditions and compatibility of maritime uses in the Western Mediterranean: technical report.

      Halim, Firdaous; Iglesias-Campos, Alejandro; Núñez, Cristina Cervera; Colombier, Marie; Marsit, Firas; Khalil, Aya; Pastor Reyes, Ingrid; Pinarbasi, Kemal; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2021)
      The project “Supporting internationally accepted maritime spatial planning guidance” – MSPglobal for short – is an initiative by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to support their Joint Roadmap to Accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide (MSProadmap) (#OceanAction15346). Launched in November 2018 for a period of three years, MSPglobal aims to support international maritime/marine spatial planning (MSP) for the sustainable development of the blue economy, by enhancing cross-border and transboundary cooperation where it already exists and promoting MSP processes in areas where it is yet to be put in place. By providing the context for active and effective participation of policy-makers, scientists, businesses, citizens and other stakeholders, MSPglobal aims to improve governance at multiple levels and achieve an ecosystem-based approach in support of the blue economy. Doing so will require transparent data and information, sharing of best practices and new knowledge to inform, guide and support MSP at global scale. Two pilot projects, one in the Western Mediterranean and another in the Southeast Pacific, will facilitate concrete transboundary and cross-border activities, respectively, at different geographical levels as well as support the participating countries in successfully implementing MSP initiatives.
    • Demersal fish in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      Fernández-Peralta, Lourdes; Sidibé, Aboubacar; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      Demersal ichthyofauna is both the most diverse and the most abundant component in terms of biomass, of the marine shelf and slope ecosystems. Within the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), Northwestern African waters hold a fish fauna even more diverse than that of Northeast Atlantic. The convergence of ichthyofaunal components of both temperate and tropical affinities results in a very biodiverse central zone, mainly in Mauritanian waters, where the transition from one faunal type to another is observed. The CCLME supports substantial demersal fish resources whose total catches decline constantly. The FAO assessments show that many important stocks are here overexploited. Species richness is minimum in waters shallower than 400 m, probably due to the heavy fishing pressure exerted over the shelf and upper slope in past decades. Conversely, deep waters are the most biodiverse, particularly between 1000 m and 1700 m depth. Northwestern African waters need to be managed both to avoid overexploitation and to ensure the protection of highly vulnerable species living on very sensitive marine ecosystems of the middle and deep continental slopes, still unexploited. A great effort of cooperation within the various actors involved in the regional fishing policies is required to ensure a sustainable management of the marine resources.
    • Directory of Atmospheric, Hydrographic and Biological datasets for the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      Déniz-González, Itahisa; Pascual-Alayón, Pedro J.; Chioua, Jamal; García-Santamaría, M. Teresa; Valdés, Luis (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2014)
      The Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a major upwelling region off the coast of northwest Africa. A total of 425 datasets, 27 databases and 21 time-series sites have been identified in the area. A substantial part of them were rescued from archives supported in paper copy. The current directory refers to 85 datasets, databases and time-series sites. This catalogue and the recovered data offer an exceptional opportunity for the researchers in the CCLME to study the dynamics and trends of a multiplicity of variables, and will enable them to explore different data sources and create their own baselines and climatologies under a spatial and temporal perspective.
    • Directory of Atmospheric, Hydrographic and Biological datasets for the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem. 2nd Edition: Revised and Expanded

      Déniz-González, Itahisa; Pascual-Alayón, Pedro J.; Chioua, Jamal; García-Santamaría, M. Teresa; Valdés, Luis (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2016)
      The Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a major upwelling region off the coast of northwest Africa. A total of 429 datasets, 30 databases and 21 time-series sites have been identified in the area. A substantial part of them were rescued from archives supported in paper copy. The current directory refers to 107 datasets, databases and time-series sites. This catalogue and the recovered data offer an exceptional opportunity for the researchers in the CCLME to study the dynamics and trends of a multiplicity of variables, and will enable them to explore different data sources and create their own baselines and climatologies under a spatial and temporal perspective.
    • Eastern boundary currents off North-West Africa

      Pelegrí, Josep L.; Peña-Izquierdo, Jesús; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      The Cape Verde Front (CVF) separates the North Atlantic subtropical gyre (NASG) from the north-eastern North Atlantic tropical gyre (NATG). Within the NASG, the Canary Current (CC) and the Canary Upwelling Current (CUC) comprise a relatively shallow (down to about 200-300 m) flow of North Atlantic Central Waters (NACW): the CC is found far offshore as a wide and poorly defined current while the CUC is a near-slope intense baroclinic jet linked to the coastal upwelling front. Within the top 300 m of the NATG, the along-slope Mauritania Current and the Cape Verde Current (CVC, a north-eastern extension of the North Equatorial Counter Current that broadly rotates around the Guinea Dome) carry South Atlantic Central Waters northwards. As a result, the frontal system is the site of intense along-slope flow convergence and offshore transport in the top 300 m of the water column. Further deep, down to some 500 m, the interior flow is very weak in both gyres, likely dominated by mesoscale features, except along the continental slope, where the northward Poleward Undercurrent (PUC) feeds through localized inputs from the interior ocean; in particular, within the NATG the CVC appears as responsible for southward transfer of NACW, across the CVF, which eventually reaches the PUC.
    • The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Research and Management. Anton Bruum Memorial Lecture, presented 27 June 2005, UNESCO, Paris

      Anderson, Donald M (UNESCOParis, France, 2007)
      Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called “red tides”). This diverse array of phenomena includes blooms of toxic, microscopic algae that lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life. There are also non-toxic HABs that cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term “HAB” also applies to non-toxic macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters. The frequency, spatial extent, and economic impact of HABs have all expanded in recent decades, in parallel with, and sometimes a result of, the world’s increasing exploitation on the coastal zone for shelter, food, recreation, and commerce. HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena that require multidisciplinary study ranging from molecular and cell biology to large-scale field surveys, numerical modelling, and remote sensing from space. Multi-lateral international programmes and bilateral initiatives are bringing scientists together from different countries and disciplines in a concerted attack on this complex and multi-faceted issue. Our understanding of these phenomena is increasing dramatically, and with this understanding come technologies and management tools that can reduce HAB incidence and impact. More effective HAB management is sure to be one major outcome of the growing investment in the Global Ocean Observing System. HABs will always be with us, and in the next few decades at least, are likely to continue to expand in geographic extent and frequency. Nevertheless, scientifically based management should permit full exploitation of fisheries, recreational, and commercial resources, despite the recurrent and diverse threat that HABs pose. This series of lectures is dedicated to the memory of the noted Danish oceanographer and first chairman of the Commission, Dr Anton Frederick Bruun. The "Anton Bruun Memorial Lectures" were established in accordance with Resolution 19 of the Sixth Session of the IOC Assembly, in which the Commission proposed that important inter-session developments be summarized by speakers in the fields of solid earth studies, physical and chemical oceanography and meteorology, and marine biology.
    • Exercise NEAMWAVE 12: A Tsunami Warning and Communication Exercise for the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Connected Seas Region. Volume 1. Exercise Manual.

      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCOParis, France, 2012)
      In every ocean, regional and national tsunami warning systems must maintain a high level of readiness so as to be able to efficiently and effectively act to provide for the public’s safety during fast-onset and rapidly-evolving natural disasters involving marine inundation of coastal areas. Because of the relative infrequency of tsunamis, but knowing that tsunamis can have widespread impact across oceans and seas, the UNESCO/IOC and its Member States have been advocating through their Intergovernmental Coordination Groups (ICGs) for the regular conduct of tsunami exercises. To maintain a high state of operational readiness, National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWCs) and Civil Protection agencies (CPA) must regularly practice their emergency response procedures to ensure that vital communication links work seamlessly, and that agencies and response personnel know the roles that they will need to play during a real event.
    • Global Sea-level Observing System (GLOSS) Implementation plan – 2012.

      Merrifield, Mark; Holgate, Simon; Mitchum, Gary; Pérez, Begoña; Rickards, Lesley; Schöne, Tilo; Woodworth, Philip; Wöppelmann, Guy; Aarup, Thorkild; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2012)
      The Global Sea-level Observing System (GLOSS) was established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1985 to provide oversight and coordination for global and regional sea-level networks in support of scien- tific research. The first GLOSS Implementation Plan (GIP) in 1990 established the GLOSS Core Network (GCN) of ~300 tide gauges distributed around the world, technical standards for GLOSS tide gauge stations, as well as the basic terms and obligations for Member States participating in GLOSS. The second GIP in 1997 expanded the GLOSS programme to include sub-networks focused on long historical records suitable for the detection of long-term sea- level trends and accelerations (GLOSS-LTT), a cali- bration network for satellite altimetry (GLOSS-ALT), and a network suitable for monitoring aspects of the global ocean circulation (GLOSS-OC). In addition, a strategy for integrating Global Positioning System (GPS) into monitoring of land levels at GLOSS tide gauges was developed. The focus of the GIP 2012 remains the GCN and the datasets that result from this network. The new plan calls for two significant upgrades to the GCN moti- vated by scientific and operational requirements: 1) all GCN stations are required to report data in near-real time, which will be tracked at a Sea-level Station Monitoring Facility. This will involve upgrades in power, data acquisition plat- forms, and communication packages; however, these upgrades are cost-effective in terms of the benefits that a real-time system will provide for ocean monitoring and improved station perfor- mance due to early detection of station malfunc- tions; 2) continuous measurements of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), in particular the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), the Russian GLONASS, or the newly established European GALILEO, or equivalent systems, in the vicinity of the tide gauge benchmark (TGBM) are required for all GCN stations. This upgrade will support satellite altimetry calibration and research efforts aimed at determining geocentric global sea-level rise rates as well as regional changes in sea level. Most relevant, vertical land movements can signifi- cantly alter the rates of sea-level rise expected from the sole climatic contributions of ocean ther- mal expansion and land-based ice melting, possi- bly magnifying the impacts of sea-level rise on the coast. In many cases, this requirement can be met by taking advantage of existing GNSS receivers maintained by other groups, as long as a precise geodetic tie to the GCN tide gauge can be made using, e.g. conventional levelling. The organization of the plan is as follows. An over- view of the GLOSS programme (chapter 1) and a brief summary of the uses of tide gauge data (chapter 2) are presented. The current status of the GLOSS programme is considered (chapter 3), followed by a discussion of the sea-level monitoring requirements raised by advisory groups and panels (chapter 4), as well as a self-assessment based on specific research and operational applications (chapter 5). These requirements are used to develop implementation goals for the GLOSS networks and data centres (chapter 6). Minor modifications are proposed for the administrative structure of GLOSS aimed at providing improved oversight of the imple- mentation plan (chapter 7). The success of the plan depends critically on the participation of Member States, whose obligations are summarized (chapter 8). The successful Training, Education and Mutual Assistance programmes that have been a corner stone of GLOSS will be continued to help meet implementation requirements (chapter 9). Additional technical and programmatic details are included in a set of appendices.
    • Harmful algal bloom events in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      Pitcher, Grant C.; Fraga, Santiago; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      We provide a review of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) within the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). As yet all documented HABs within the region have been associated with the production of one or another toxin. The diversity of harmful algae recorded within the region is similar to that found in other eastern boundary upwelling systems, and includes those species responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, amnesic shellfish poisoning and azaspiracid poisoning. Also present off Northwest Africa, but generally absent from the other major upwelling systems, are those species responsible for ciguatera fish poisoning and microcystin-producing cyanobacterial blooms. Their presence is afforded by the subtropical habitat provided by the island archipelagos found within the CCLME. It is intended that this brief review will provide the foundation and stimulus for further studies of the ecology and dynamics of HABs, of their toxins, and of the public health and socioeconomic impacts of HABs within this region.
    • Inorganic carbon, pH and alkalinity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      González-Dávila, Melchor; Santana-Casiano, J. Magdalena; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      The vertical distribution of the carbon dioxide (CO2) variables in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) along the last fifteen years have clearly indicated significant changes over, at least, the first 1000 m affecting the inorganic carbon content and the acidity of the seawater. In the surface, the normalized total dissolved inorganic carbon increased at a rate of 0.9 mol kg-1, the pH in total scale decreased each year on average 0.0019 units, while the normalized total alkalinity keeps constant at a value of 2292 mol kg-1. This increase in total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) is controlling the total column inventory of anthropogenic CO2 that has reached a value of 66 ± 3 mol m-2 for the reference year 2000. It has been shown that upwelled waters in the Mauritanian upwelling area provide high contents of inorganic carbon that lead to low calcium carbonate saturation states. The uptake of carbon by phytoplankton acts by decreasing CT and consequently increasing saturation states. The Eastern North Atlantic Ocean at the CCLME is increasing its storage capacity for excess CO2 by 0.85 mol m-2 yr-1. Model results indicate the importance of physical and environmental conditions in shaping the sensitivity of CCLME to potential climate change induced upwelling-favorable wind intensification.
    • Inorganic nutrients and dissolved oxygen in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

      Pelegrí, Josep L.; Peña-Izquierdo, Jesús; Valdés, L.; Déniz-González, I. (IOC-UNESCOParis, France, 2015)
      Inorganic nutrients increase with depth as a result of the enhanced remineralization of organic matter with aging waters (the time since they were last near the sea surface), and the opposite happens with dissolved oxygen (except within the saturated surface mixed layer). In the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem there is also a marked latitudinal gradient, with the Cape Verde Front separating relatively nutrient-poor and oxygen-rich subtropical waters from the nutrient-rich and oxygen-poor tropical waters. Along a latitudinal band off North-West Africa, coastal upwelling brings the subsurface waters towards the sea surface, locally raising the inorganic nutrient levels. This becomes an important lateral source to both gyres, especially to the nutrient-poor subtropical one, taking place through lateral mixing (mainly as a result of the instability of the coastal-upwelling baroclinic jet) and localized coastal filaments (in those regions, typically capes, where the coastal flow converges and offshore advection takes place). In the southernmost portion of our domain, within tropical waters, there is also high (wind-induced) offshore primary production. This, together with the slow ventilation of the subsurface waters, leads to much enhanced remineralization, producing a region with very low oxygen and high inorganic nutrient levels, the oxygen minimum zone of the North Atlantic Ocean.
    • Integrated ocean carbon research: a summary of ocean carbon research, and vision of coordinated ocean carbon research and observations for the next decade.

      Wanninkhof, Rik; Sabine, Christopher; Arico, Salvatore; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2021)
      The Integrated Ocean Carbon Research (IOC-R) programme is a formal working group of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) that was formed in 2018 in response to the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), “the Decade.” The IOC-R will contribute to the science elements of the overarching Implementation Plan for the Decade1. The Implementation Plan is a high-level framework to guide actions by which ocean science can more effectively deliver its contribution and co-development with other entities to achieve the societal outcomes outlined in the Decade plan and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN. Knowledge of the ocean carbon cycle is critical in light of its role in sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere and for meeting goals and targets such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the associated UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Increasing levels of CO2 in the ocean, predominantly due to human greenhouse gas emissions, and the partitioning of CO2 into organic and inorganic species have fundamental impacts on ocean carbon cycling and ecosystem health. The Integrated Ocean Carbon Research (IOC-R) effort aims to address key issues in ocean carbon research through investigative and observational goals. It takes advantage of the appreciable knowledge gained from studies over the last four decades of the ocean carbon cycle and its perturbations. IOC-R addresses the clear and urgent need to better understand and quantify the ocean carbon cycle in an integrative fashion in light of the rapid changes that are currently occurring and will occur in the near future. IOC-R can make significant breakthroughs, capitalizing on advances in modeling, data assimilation, remote sensing, and new in situ observing technologies, including novel biological observing techniques, artificial intelligence, and the use of bioinformatics. This IOC-R vision reflects an increasing appreciation for the significant role the ocean carbon cycle has on global well-being now and in the future, and for the critical need to study and monitor it in a holistic fashion.