Improving the monitoring and forecasting of sea ice, icebergs, and biodiversity in the ocean

The Nansen Center is a partner in two new projects funded by the European Commission's Horizon Europe programme. The projects will enhance existing and develop new products in Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation programme.  


ACCIBERG: Arctic cross-Copernicus forecast products for sea ice and icebergs 

The Arctic Ocean is filled with sea ice and drifting icebergs, both of which pose major risks to safe navigation in these waters. With a shrinking sea-ice cover due to global warming, there will be more activities in the Arctic. To make these waters safer to navigate in, monitoring and forecasting sea ice and icebergs is crucial. The ACCIBERG project will improve the quality of sea-ice and ocean products that are available in the Copernicus Marine and Climate Change Services, and will develop a completely new iceberg forecast service. The aim is to provide free sea-ice and iceberg forecasts based on widely available Copernicus data, benefitting anyone navigating in the Arctic, from fisheries over shipping companies to cruise tourism. The ACCIBERG project will start in 2023 and run for four years. It is led by Laurent Bertino at the Nansen Center and has six national and international partner institutions. ACCIBERG also will make it possible to participate in citizen science data collection: Anyone who is in the Arctic and spots an iceberg will be able to use the IceWatchApp (by MET Norway and the Polar Citizen Science Collective) and report the iceberg's exact position. Having people reporting icebergs in real time will both involve the people who will benefit from iceberg forecasts in the future and support the testing phase of the forecasting model. 

Iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Espen Storheim/Nansen CenterIceberg in the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Espen Storheim/Nansen Center  

NECCTON: New Copernicus capability for trophic ocean networks 

The Copernicus Marine Service spans a broad range of marine variables, such as for example sea ice in the ACCIBERG project. Other important variables describe is the marine life, addressed in the NECCTON project. The ocean’s biodiversity supports the livelihood of almost half the world’s population. But climate change and human influence endanger the ocean’s biodiversity, which is why it must be continuously monitored. The Copernicus Marine Service is providing marine monitoring, but the current models and methods have room for improvement. The NECCTON project will combine new data and innovative ecosystem models. The aim is to give Copernicus tools to provide products that are even more relevant for marine biodiversity conservation and marine food resource management both on a global level and with a special focus on regional European seas. The NECCTON project will start this winter and run for four years. The project application was coordinated by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in Great Britain. The Nansen Center is one of 23 international partners, and Annette Samuelsen will be the Principal Investigator at the Nansen Center, while Julien Brajard will lead the work package on data assimilation and machine learning.  

Plankton bloom in turquoise off the coast of Norway, seen from space. © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO ( bloom in turquoise off the coast of Norway, seen from space. © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO (

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