The Copernicus Ocean State Report 2016 - 1. edition

The first Ocean State Report (OSR) is a step forward into the development of regular annual reporting on the state and health of the European regional seas and global ocean based on European Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service products. This OSR report was recently published in Journals of Operational Oceanography, written by 80 scientific experts from more than 25 European institutions, including three scientists from the Nansen Center. The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Ocean State Report for 2015 provides a comprehensive and state-of-the art assessment of the state of the global ocean and European regional seas for the ocean scientific community as well as for policy and decision makers. It will contribute to the assessments and reproting of European environmental agencies (e.g. EEA and national agencies) and international organizations (e.g. IPCC, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14). In addition, the report aims at increasing general public awareness about the status of, and changes in, the marine environment.

Changes in 2015: Anomalous changes are reported for the year 2015 relative to the reference period 1993-2014, using parameters such as ocean temperature and salinity, sea level, ocean heat, sea ice extent, chlorophyll and oxygen.Changes in 2015: Anomalous changes are reported for the year 2015 relative to the reference period 1993-2014, using parameters such as ocean temperature and salinity, sea level, ocean heat, sea ice extent, chlorophyll and oxygen.A total of 26 different Copernicus Marine Service products from ocean reanalysis, direct observations (in situ) and remote sensing data during the period 1993-2015 have been analyzed and are presented in the report. Principal findings of the first Ocean State Report focus on the fundamental role of the oceans in the Earth’s climate system; as an energetic and biogeochemical buffer affecting the ocean’s physics and chemistry; and as regulator through its ability to absorb and transport large quantities of heat, moisture, and biogeochemical gases around the planet. The first issue reports on a number of trends, including decreasing Arctic and increasing Antarctic sea ice extent, global and regional sea level rise, sea surface temperature rise and the warming of the global and European regional seas. The full OSR report and a popular summary report is available, including key changes in 2015 summarized in the map figure.

Nansen Center scientists Annette Samuelsen, Roshin P. Raj and Einar Örn Ólason were involved in several topics of the report including lead authors in sections on Sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic; Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; Global meso-scale activity; and North Atlantic – Arctic exchanges.

Sea ice in the Arctic

(Left) Arctic seasonal cycle of the sea ice extent; long-term mean (blue line) and standard deviation (blue shading), 2012 (green line) and 2015 (red line). (Right) Time series for Arctic sea ice extent anomaly (with respect to the mean seasonal cycle). Both figures are based on the CMEMS reprocessed regional product (ARC-MFC provided by NERSC).(Left) Arctic seasonal cycle of the sea ice extent; long-term mean (blue line) and standard deviation (blue shading), 2012 (green line) and 2015 (red line). (Right) Time series for Arctic sea ice extent anomaly (with respect to the mean seasonal cycle). Both figures are based on the CMEMS reprocessed regional product (ARC-MFC provided by NERSC).

Sea ice acts as a physical barrier controlling the exchange of heat, light and wind power between the ocean and atmosphere in Polar Regions. Sea ice affects the climate in the Polar regions and is one of the most visible indicators of our changing climate. Record low Arctic summer sea ice extents over the past 20 years were reported in September 2012 and almost again a new minimum in 2016. A decline in the Arctic summer sea ice extents of up to 16% of was found since 1993, while there is significant increase in Antarctic sea ice extent in the same period (see figure 2).

North Atlantic – Arctic exchanges

The Atlantic water flow plays an integral part in defining the physical and biological borders between the boreal and Arctic realm through their transport of heat and biogeochemical properties such as nutrients and zooplankton. Changes of these exchange flows are expected to have consequences on the regional ocean climate and their ecosystems. Variability of the Atlantic Water flow to the Barents Sea has been found to move the position of the ice edge as well as the habitats of the various species in the Barents Sea ecosystem, which can have fundamental societal consequences. The Ocean State Report follows these exchanges, and highlights the anomalous low northward flow in 2015.

 

Ocean and sea ice data products delivered by the Copernicus Arctic Marine Foecasting Center coordinated by the Nansen Center is available online.

 

Download the Ocean State Report 2016 from the Journal of Oceanography site.

 

Full citation: Karina von Schuckmann, Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Enrique Alvarez-Fanjul, Lars Axell, Magdalena Balmaseda, Lars-Anders Breivik, Robert J. W. Brewin, Clement Bricaud, Marie Drevillon, Yann Drillet, Clotilde Dubois, Owen Embury, Hélène Etienne, Marcos García Sotillo, Gilles Garric, Florent Gasparin, Elodie Gutknecht, Stéphanie Guinehut, Fabrice Hernandez, Melanie Juza, Bengt Karlson, Gerasimos Korres, Jean-François Legeais, Bruno Levier, Vidar S. Lien, Rosemary Morrow, Giulio Notarstefano, Laurent Parent, Álvaro Pascual, Begoña Pérez- Gómez, Coralie Perruche, Nadia Pinardi, Andrea Pisano, Pierre-Marie Poulain, Isabelle M. Pujol, Roshin P. Raj, Urmas Raudsepp, Hervé Roquet, Annette Samuelsen, Shubha Sathyendranath, Jun She, Simona Simoncelli, Cosimo Solidoro, Jonathan Tinker, Joaquín Tintoré, Lena Viktorsson, Michael Ablain, Elin Almroth-Rosell, Antonio Bonaduce, Emanuela Clementi, Gianpiero Cossarini, Quentin Dagneaux, Charles Desportes, Stephen Dye, Claudia Fratianni, Simon Good, Eric Greiner, Jerome Gourrion, Mathieu Hamon, Jason Holt, Pat Hyder, John Kennedy, Fernando Manzano- Muñoz, Angélique Melet, Benoit Meyssignac, Sandrine Mulet, Bruno Buongiorno Nardelli, Enda O´Dea, Einar Olason, Aurélien Paulmier, Irene Pérez-González, Rebecca Reid, Marie-Fanny Racault, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Antonio Ramos, Peter Sykes, Tanguy Szekely & Nathalie Verbrugge (2016) The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Ocean State Report, Journal of Operational Oceanography, 9:sup2, s235-s320, DOI: 10.1080/1755876X.2016.1273446

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