An ocean report has been submitted to the G7 science ministers for their upcoming meeting (15-17 May), in advance of the G7 summit (26-27 May, Ise-Shima, Japan).
The report identifies seven thematic priorities: plastic pollution, deep-sea mining, acidification, de-oxygenation/hypoxia, ocean warming, biodiversity, and ecosystem degradation. Ocean observing is emphasised as a cross-cutting priority for all those areas.
It is explained that the world-leading oceanographic capabilities of the G7 countries (Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA, and EU) contribute to a wide range of socio-economic benefits. To achieve those, “there is need for strengthened effort in the scientific observation of the status of the global ocean and its seas. Such monitoring needs to improve and integrate the worldwide gathering of information on the on-going changes in ocean physics, chemistry and biology – to determine trends and variability, and assess their causes in a multi-stressor context”. The report further mentions the important role of new observing technologies and improved data management. Science-policy collaboration and transdisciplinary approach are required to support those priorities.
The unprecedented potential of ocean observing to help meet societal challenges is also stressed in the new EuroGOOS policy brief to be launched at the European Maritime Day in Turku, Finland, on 18 May. The publication calls for urgent action from both:
- Policy – in recognizing this potential and supporting actions for sustained ocean observing and technology development, and
- Ocean community – in ensuring synergy and collaboration to strengthen the individual states and regional efforts for the common global benefit.
The EuroGOOS Policy Brief, European operational oceanography: Delivering services for Blue Growth and ecosystem-based management, will be launched at the European Maritime Day 2016.
The report, Future of the Ocean and its Seas: a non-governmental scientific perspective on seven marine research issues of G7 interest, was led by the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), with contributions by 14 international experts.