JPI Oceans' S4GES meeting in Athens highlights advances in ocean observing systems with SOCIB

The Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) took part in the JPI Oceans' Joint Action "Science for Good Environmental Status" (S4GES) meeting held in Athens on June 26-27, 2024. Joaquín Tintoré, the director of SOCIB, was an invited speaker at the event, presenting on the topic "A Review of Available Infrastructures for S4GES: Integrated Multi-platform Ocean Observing and FAIR Data for Regional Digital Twins of the Ocean."

Tintoré's presentation highlighted the dynamic and complex nature of coastal oceans and regional seas, emphasizing the importance of addressing ocean scales and interactions to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES). He discussed the use of a multi-platform observing and modelling system to connect various data points, forming an essential framework for characterizing the state and variability necessary for GES. Tintoré stressed the significance of data beyond mere collection, advocating for open data and the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) to support the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Moreover, he underscored the transformative potential of integrating digital twins of the ocean, presenting significant opportunities for advancements in ocean science and policy through these innovations.

The Knowledge Hub "Science for Good Environmental Status" is an initiative of JPI Oceans that aims to enhance the understanding and achievement of GES in support of the MSFD. The initiative seeks to explore new approaches to determine GES and provide effective observational strategies for EU Member States. The S4GES approach focuses on real-time observations and events, aiming to increase the efficiency of observation strategies through targeted sampling.

The Athens meeting aimed to mobilize the scientific community and key policy stakeholders to adopt the S4GES methodology. The event fostered dialogue on the scientific and financial efforts needed to address the challenge of GES, providing further "proofs of concept" to propose a fit-for-purpose revision of national observation strategies for the MSFD.

Tintoré's presentation showcased the critical role of research infrastructures in advancing ocean science and policy. By leveraging new technologies and fostering integration, SOCIB aims to bridge the gap between science and society, driving forward the objectives of the UN Ocean Decade and supporting the EU's Blue Growth initiatives. Furthermore, SOCIB's commitment to open data and collaborative research aligns with the goals of S4GES, positioning it as a leader in the development of integrated multi-platform ocean observing systems. This approach not only enhances scientific understanding but also provides actionable insights such as developing tools and applications for decision support in response to the needs of policymaking and societal benefit.