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Services based on Ecosystem data AssiMiLation: Essential Science and Solutions

Project description

Improving marine environment monitoring by introducing new methodologies

Oceans are key players in mitigating climate change. Serving as a major heat and carbon sink, they absorb up to 30 % of human-generated carbon emissions and provides up to 17 % of global animal proteins. Unfortunately, oceans are also vulnerable to impacts brought by climate change, and current technologies are still unable to accurately monitor their changes. The EU-funded SEAMLESS project will introduce a novel data assimilation prototype to improve model simulations of ocean plankton dynamics and associated biogeochemical processes. The project will advance the capability of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service to provide operational indicators of marine health and productivity. Its ultimate aim is to more accurately evaluate climate change impacts on ocean ecosystems and food security.


The ocean provides us with vital climate and food services by absorbing 30% of anthropogenic carbon emissions and supplying 17% of animal proteins to the world’s population. However, we are still far from accurately estimating these services using the state-of-the-art operational models at the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) Monitoring and Forecasting Centres (MFCs).
The main aim of SEAMLESS is to provide CMEMS MFCs with unprecedented capabilities to deliver indicators of climate-change impacts and food security in ocean ecosystems, such as particulate carbon export and plankton phenology.
The central hypothesis of SEAMLESS is that new ensemble data assimilation methods can better estimate crucial ecosystem indicators by integrating the new generation of European Copernicus satellite observations and in-situ ocean data. Specifically, our approach will link coherently biogeochemical and hydrodynamic simulations. The hypothesis is supported by our previous work, in which we improved the MFCs’ model simulations of the plankton stocks at the base of the marine food web by assimilating biogeochemical and physical data from satellites, Biogeochemical-Argo floats and gliders.
SEAMLESS will develop a new assimilation prototype that will expand simulations to plankton dynamics and related biogeochemical processes, e.g. plankton phenology and carbon export. This prototype will be disseminated to CMEMS stakeholders and the wider oceanographic community. To guarantee the integration of SEAMLESS into CMEMS, we have assembled a team with outstanding expertise and track records for all the key project components, which includes CMEMS MFC core developers, and will be supported by policy, blue-growth and academic stakeholders. On project completion, six CMEMS MFCs will be able to add new and improved products on water quality, carbon cycle and trophic webs to their portfolios, ultimately allowing users to exploit more sustainably ocean ecosystem services.

Call for proposal


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Sub call




Net EU contribution
€ 339 307,50
Prospect place west hoe
PL1 3DH Plymouth
United Kingdom

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

South West (England) Devon Plymouth
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (6)