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The EMSO-ERIC Pan-European Consortium: Data Benefits and Lessons Learned as the Legal Entity Forms

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Abstract

The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) provides power, communications, sensors, and data infrastructure for continuous, high-resolution, (near-)real-time, interactive ocean observations across a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary range of research areas including biology, geology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science, from polar to subtropical environments, through the water column down to the abyss. Eleven deep-sea and four shallow nodes span from the Arctic through the Atlantic and Mediterranean, to the Black Sea. Coordination among the consortium nodes is being strengthened through the EMSOdev project (H2020), which will produce the EMSO Generic Instrument Module (EGIM). Early installations are now being upgraded, for example, at the Ligurian, Ionian, Azores, and Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) nodes. Significant findings have been flowing in over the years; for example, high-frequency surface and subsurface water-column measurements of the PAP node show an increase in seawater pCO2 (from 339 μatm in 2003 to 353 μatm in 2011) with little variability in the mean air-sea CO2 flux. In the Central Eastern Atlantic, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands open-ocean canary node (aka ESTOC station) has a long-standing time series on water column physical, biogeochemical, and acidification processes that have contributed to the assessment efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). EMSO not only brings together countries and disciplines but also allows the pooling of resources and coordination to assemble harmonized data into a comprehensive regional ocean picture, which will then be made available to researchers and stakeholders worldwide on an open and interoperable access basis.
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Keywords: Europe; Ocean Observatory Consortium; climate change; ecosystems; geohazards

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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