The Frontier Forum on Progress in Ocean Science and Technology sees SOCIB advances towards a Digital Twin of the Mediterranean

On September 28-29, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) presented its “Advances towards Regional Digital Twins in the Mediterranean, responding to science and society challenges from events to climate” in the online China-Europe Frontier Forum on Progress in Ocean Science and Technology. This second edition of the Forum, coorganised by European Academy of Sciences (EurASc) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in association with IUEM-UBO, was attended by more than 300 participants.

Led by Paul Tréguer (IUEM-UBO, France, EurASc) and Jing Zhang (ECNU, CAS), this event saw European and Chinese researchers speak on ocean-based climate action, big data management for ocean science and technology, the Global Coastal Ocean, and the Digital Twins of the Ocean (DITTO) component of the Digital Earth Initiatives. In particular, the director of SOCIB, Joaquín Tintoré, presented SOCIB’s components and infrastructures already in place that can lead towards a Regional Digital Twin of the Mediterranean, responding to science and societal challenges from events to climate.

As introduced by Tintoré, and in accordance with the DITTO Community Whitepaper, SOCIB’s system is composed of the five major components and building blocks that will lead to a Regional Digital Twin of the Western Mediterranean and/or Balearic Sea. Those include a multiplatform observing system in the Western Mediterranean with 340 platforms, 555 instruments, and 2.155 sensors contributing to more than ten Essential Ocean Variables. In addition an ocean modeling and predicting system with three well-established numerical models: the Autonomous Wave Forecast System (SAPO), in collaboration with AEMET and Puertos del Estado, the Western Mediterranean Operational Forecasting System (WMPO) for ocean currents, and the Balearic RIssaga Forecasting System (BRIFS) for meteotsunamis in collaboration with Ports de les Illes Balears. Also important is the cyberinfrastructure or data lake/data center that provides open access to the SOCIB Data Repository, which is certified as a trustworthy data repository (by the CoreTrustSeal Standards and Certification Board). In particular, it has significantly advanced in the digital concept architecture for coastal data (as developed under JERICO-RI) and is fully aligned with the new Coastal Ocean Resource Environment (CORE) led by SOCIB and recently endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade under the CoastPredict Programme.

These building blocks are completed with a visualization, interactive, and decision support system to be developed. Simple visualization is already available, and different tools and applications have been implemented and are available for decision support but lack the operational user-friendly capability for all end-users. Finally, the outreach and training block provides extensive experience in ocean literacy-related activities and initial training activity mostly related to the Copernicus Marine InSitu TAC Training to be progressively expanded during 2023-2024.

These endeavors are all pursued in the framework of the UN decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and contribute to showing the wide range of international efforts to push forward Digital Twins of the Ocean, as stated during the Forum.

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