EU Horizon 2020 project

A large scale EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation project contributing to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance and GEO.

62 Partners, 18 Countries

International integration of Atlantic ocean observing activities – further supporters / members are welcome.


  Work package leader: CNRS  Work package co-leader: GEOMAR
Contact:  Sabrina Speich Johannes Karstensen
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Integrated regional observing systems

Short description:

This work package is led by: Sabrina Speich, CNRS (lead) and Johannes Karstensen GEOMAR (co-lead). WP5 objectives will be addressed on a regional scale to take advantage of existing independent ongoing observing programmes. We will focus on two particular regions of the Atlantic Ocean, one on each hemisphere – the subpolar North Atlantic and the subtropical South Atlantic Ocean, where multiple observational efforts are operational initiated by national, European, and international partnerships. The WP will be organized to focus on two overarching research and monitoring topics: climate change and ecosystems evolution. Ecosystem research is active in many European and international countries embedded in sustained national fishery observing strategies and associated with well-designed observing capabilities and international bodies such as FAO (and subgroups), NAFO, ICES, and OSPAR which monitor and advise these efforts. Not only for fisheries but other socioeconomic relevant topics (e.g. acidification, hydrological cycle, carbon sequestration) climate observing programmes are operational since decades and advanced through the WCRP core project CLIVAR. However, the integration of activities beyond the local scale and beyond the scientific core questions is in general missing. Therefore, this requires an enhancement of integration and further consolidation that entails a basin/large-scale networking of systems, the need for an opportunistic development of the observing systems (e.g. guest sensor, sampling, accuracy), the improvement of data utilization and the data availability. This WP is designed to fulfil these objectives around three main axes: (1) a baseline study on ocean observing, (2) the applications of climate and ecosystem related observing analysis techniques to the two selected Atlantic Ocean subregions in order to prepare for basin scale and later global scale assessments, and (3) the optimization of ocean observing by means of OSSEs and process models.


  • To innovatively optimize the regional observing systems by making use of a number of recently launched international observing initiatives in the regions, in combination with the enhancement of observing networks in WP2/WP3 and including new ocean observation technologies (WP6)
  • To integrate, on a regional basis, the fragmented observations and build-on an international partnership on both sides and both hemispheres of the Atlantic Ocean
  • To build on an international network and its potential evolution, and basin scale consolidation
  • To identify key ocean observations addressing regional societal needs and determine their optimal observation
  • To integrate observational data (in-situ and satellite) for exploratory product generation on a regional scale and related to climate and ecosystems
  • To narrow existing in-situ observing system gaps and provide a more efficient observing strategy based on the specific characteristics of the regional ocean dynamics and ecosystems
  • To use the regional systems as a “showcase” for implementing a pioneering framework of ocean observation, more cost effective and user driven in order to prepare for basin scale and later global scale assessments