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Copernicus Marine Service releases 3rd Ocean State Report
15th October 2019

After the success of the 2nd Ocean State Report, Mercator Ocean announces the publication of the 3rd edition of the Copernicus Marine Service Ocean State Report (OSR3). This is an annual publication of the Copernicus Marine Service that provides a comprehensive and state-of-the-art assessment of the current state, natural variations, and changes in the global ocean and European regional seas. It is meant to act as a reference document for the ocean scientific and business communities, as well as decision-makers and the general public. Today marks the publication of the report summary, allowing decision-makers and the general public to have immediate information on the state of the ocean in a concise, illustrated, and easily shareable format.

HIGHLIGHTS

Blue Ocean

  • Over the past quarter of a century, the global ocean and the European seas are warming and the sea level is rising, and a number of record-breaking extreme events occurred in Europe and across the world.
  • Sea level rise in the European seas increased at a rate of 1.9 up to 4.3 millimetres per year.
  • Sea level rise in the Pacific Islands region increased at a rate of 2.8 to 4.8 millimetres per year.
  • Just like on land, the ocean suffers from heatwaves and these can have devastating impacts on local marine ecosystems and economies. There were Marine Heat Waves (MHWs) in multiple areas in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer months of June, July and August, 2017.

White Ocean

  • Since 1993, there has been a sea ice extent loss of nearly 770,000 square kilometres ( –5.89%) per decade. That is like losing sea ice extent equivalent to well over 2 times the area of Germany every ten years.
  • Since the late 1970s until 2017, there has been a reduction of about 2 million square kilometres of sea ice extent in the Arctic; this is like losing nearly 4 times the area of Spain over about 40 years.
  • Since the beginning of the Copernicus Marine record in 1993, the Antarctic sea ice extent was actually growing; however, there was a sharp decline starting in 2014.
  • From late 2014 to 2017 there was a large and rapid loss of some 2 million square kilometres of sea ice extent in the Antarctic. This is equivalent to a loss of nearly 4 times the area of Spain in 3 years. As a comparison, in the Arctic, it took almost 40 years (as opposed to only 3 years in the Antarctic) to lose the same amount of sea ice.

Green Ocean

  • OSR3 explores how Copernicus Marine data and resources can contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture sites.
  • Operational oceanographic data (such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, etc.) is of great value for the monitoring and management of marine living resources. However, it has historically not been used enough in the day-to-day management of fisheries.