CHALLENGE 7: Expand the Global Ocean Observing System:

Ensure a sustainable ocean observing system across all ocean basins that delivers accessible, timely, and actionable data and information to all users.

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  • Marine Geohazards: Safeguarding society and the Blue Economy from a hidden threat

    Kopp, Heidrun; Chiocci, Francesco Latino; Berndt, Christian; Çağatay, Namık; Ferreira, Teresa; Fortes, Juana; Gràcia, Eulàlia; González Vega, Alba; Kopf, Achim; Sørensen, Mathilde B.; et al. (European Marine Board, 2021)
    Marine geohazards pose a significant threat to the European coastal population and to the development of the Blue Economy. This Position Paper discusses the type, distribution and impact of marine geohazards on the European coastal regions and the Blue Economy, as well as what and how novel scientific approaches may broaden our understanding of their trigger mechanisms and drive a risk-mitigating European policy.
  • Blue Carbon: Challenges and opportunities to mitigate the climate and biodiversity crises

    Gattuso, Jean-Pierre; Hicks, Natalie; Neukermans, Griet; Landschützer, Peter; Pörtner, Hans-Otto; Heymans, Sheila JJ; Heymans, Sheila JJ; Rodriguez Perez, Ana; Alexander, Britt; Muñiz Piniella, Ángel; et al. (European Marine Board, 2023)
    Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of humanity’s greatest challenges. Blue carbon, i.e. the carbon captured and stored by marine living organisms and ecosystems, has the potential to help mitigate both challenges, because marine ecosystems that are important for sequestering carbon often also harbour rich biodiversity. Expanding and protecting Blue Carbon ecosystems has therefore been proposed as a Nature-based Solution to complement climate change mitigation efforts on land and to protect and restore marine biodiversity. In addition, securing and rebuilding Blue Carbon ecosystems can stabilise livelihoods, protect coasts, and support other societal needs such as food provision from the Ocean. However, the effectiveness of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a Nature-based Solution depends on the available space and ecosystem productivity, which can be impacted by climate change. Moreover, the overall carbon sequestration potential of Blue Carbon ecosystems is low and their contribution to climate stabilisation will only be significant once greenhouse gas emissions are strongly limited. Therefore, a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is essential to maintain the health and long-term functionality of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a Nature-based Solution. This document describes examples and benefits of Blue Carbon ecosystems, and discusses uncertainties and challenges for the conservation and restoration of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a climate change solution. It also highlights the wider role of the Ocean in mitigating climate change through the carbon cycle, and closes with key research and management recommendations.
  • Developing an ocean best practice: A case study of marine sampling practices from Australia

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Barrett, Neville; Carroll, Andrew; Foster, Scott; Gibbons, Brooke; Jordan, Alan; Monk, Jacquomo; Langlois, Tim; Lara-Lopez, Ana; Pearlman, Jay; et al. (2023)
    Frontiers in Marine Science
    Since 2012, there has been a surge in the numbers of marine science publications that use the term ‘best practice’, yet the term is not often defined, nor is the process behind the best practice development described. Importantly a ‘best practice’ is more than a documented practice that an individual or institution uses and considers good. This article describes a rigorous process to develop an ocean best practice using examples from a case study from Australia in which a suite of nine standard operating procedures were released in 2018 and have since become national best practices. The process to develop a best practice includes three phases 1) scope and recruit, 2) develop and release, 3) revise and ratify. Each phase includes 2-3 steps and associated actions that are supported by the Ocean Best Practices System (www.oceanbestpractices.org). The Australian case study differs from many other practices, which only use the second phase (develop and release). In this article, we emphasize the value of the other phases to ensure a practice is truly a ‘best practice’. These phases also have other benefits, including higher uptake of a practice stemming from a sense of shared ownership (from scope and recruit phase) and currency and accuracy (from revise and ratify phase). Although the process described in this paper may be challenging and time-consuming, it optimizes the chance to develop a true best practice that is a) fit-for-purpose with clearly defined scope; b) representative and inclusive of potential users; c) accurate and effective, reflecting emerging technologies and programs; and d) supported and adopted by users.
  • Half-Century of Scientific Advancements Since the Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions (CSK) Programme - Need for a new Kuroshio Research

    Ando, Kentaro; Lin, Xiaopei; Villanoy, Cesar; Danchenkov, Mikhail; Lee, Jae-Hak; He, Hui-Jun; Liu, Qian; Liu, Yang; Lobanov, Vyacheslav; Ma, Xiao-Lin; et al. (2021)
    Progress in Oceanography
    Through the Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions (CSK) program during 1965–1979, the capacities of current member states (MSs) of the Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) were enhanced with regard to regional ocean science and data management. Following the termination of the CSK in 1979, each MS continued the work to advance ocean science. The results of scientific studies of the Kuroshio and its adjacent regions have been published by various experts including many from the MSs of the WESTPAC; however, to-date, there has been no systematic approach to the research of the Kuroshio and its adjacent regions. This review considered the Kuroshio from the regional perspective of experts of the MSs, that is, from the perspectives of MSs, science, and the future prospects. Experts from each MS reviewed past activities and con tributions and reviewed the knowledge gaps in the fields of physical, biological, and biogeochemical science. Many scientific questions remain regarding the path of the Kuroshio from south to north, as well as associated phenomena, including mesoscale eddies and fronts, the important roles of ocean variations in adjacent regions, and the different roles and mechanisms of air–sea interactions in low- and mid-latitude areas. Despite consid erable effort by many biologists, substantial gaps remain in our biological knowledge of the region. The Kuroshio and its adjacent regions comprise one of the areas of the world with high biodiversity; however, there has been insufficient research into what is the cause of this high biodiversity. From a biogeochemical aspect, high resolution spatiotemporal observations will be required to understand interactions with physical processes both in the Kuroshio region and in the marginal seas. It has been highlighted that long-term fixed-location observations will be needed to understand the key mechanisms of biogeochemical processes, particularly in relation to climate change.