"The oceans regulate our weather and climate from global to regional scales. They absorb over 90% of accumulated heat in the climate system (IPCC 2013 IPCC. 2013. Climate change 2013: The physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change [Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM, editors]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1535. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.[Crossref], [Google Scholar]) and over a quarter of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (Le Quéré et al. 2016 Le Quéré C , Andrew RM , Canadell JG , Sitch S , Korsbakken JI , Peters GP , Manning AC , Boden TA , Tans PP , Houghton RA , et al. 2016. Global carbon budget 2016. Earth Syst Sci Data. 8(2):605–649. doi: 10.5194/essd-8-605-2016 [Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). They provide nearly half of the world’s oxygen. Most of our rain and drinking water is ultimately regulated by the sea. The oceans provide food and energy and are an important source of the planet's biodiversity and ecosystem services. They are vital conduits for trade and transportation and many economic activities depend on them (OECD 2016 OECD . 2016. The ocean economy in 2030. Paris : OECD Publishing. doi:10.1787/9789264251724-en.[Crossref], [Google Scholar]). Our oceans are, however, under threat due to climate change and other human induced activities and it is vital to develop much better, sustainable and science-based reporting and management approaches (UN 2017 UN . 2017. Report of the United Nations conference to support the implementation of sustainable development goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (Advance unedited version). https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/15662FINAL_15_June_2017_RepoRe_Goal_14.pdf . [Google Scholar]). Better management of our oceans requires long-term, continuous and state-of-the art monitoring of the oceans from physics to ecosystems and global to local scales.
The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) has been set up to address these challenges at European level. Mercator Ocean was tasked in 2014 by the European Union under a delegation agreement to implement the operational phase of the service from 2015 to 2021 (CMEMS 2014 CMEMS . 2014. Technical annex to the delegation agreement with Mercator Ocean for the implementation of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS). www.copernicus.eu/sites/default/files/library/CMEM_TechnicalAnnex_PUBLIC.docx.pdf . [Google Scholar]). The CMEMS now provides regular and systematic reference information on the physical state, variability and dynamics of the ocean, ice and marine ecosystems for the global ocean and the European regional seas (Figure 0.1; CMEMS 2016 CMEMS . 2016. High level service evolution strategy, a document prepared by Mercator Ocean with the support of the CMEMS STAC. [Google Scholar]). This capacity encompasses the description of the current situation (analysis), the prediction of the situation 10 days ahead (forecast), and the provision of consistent retrospective data records for recent years (reprocessing and reanalysis). CMEMS provides a sustainable response to European user needs in four areas of benefits: (i) maritime safety, (ii) marine resources, (iii) coastal and marine environment and (iv) weather, seasonal forecast and climate. " (Introduction)
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