Operational oceanography is the provision of scientifically-based information and forecasts about the state of the sea (including its chemical and biogeochemical components) on a routine basis, and with sufficient speed, such that users can act on the information and make decisions before the relevant conditions have changed significantly, or become unpredictable. (Fleming NC. 2002. Strategic planning for operational oceanography. In: Pinardi N, Woods JW, editor. Ocean forecasting. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; p. 1–18)
In June 2013, following the meetings which took place in Genova (June 2009) and Cesenatico (May 2010), the Institute for Coastal and Marine Environment of the National Research Council of Italy (IAMC-CNR) in Oristano and the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) in Bologna held the Third Meeting of the Italian National Group for Operational Oceanography (Gruppo Nazionale di Oceanografia Operativa – GNOO) in Oristano, Sardinia. Presentations and discussions dedicated to ‘operational oceanography, technologies and innovative applications’ took place over a three-day period, participated in by all the Italian institutes and governmental agencies interested in operational oceanography and innovative marine technology.
The GNOO is coordinated by the INGV and participated in by Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA), Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Agenzia Regionale per l'Ambiente (ARPA), Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMA), Centro euroMediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), the General Head Office of the Italian Coast Guard, the Hydrographic Institute of the Italian Navy, Centro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica (CNMCA), and the General Office of Air Space and Meteorology (USAM).
Since 2003, the GNOO has been working with the framework of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Development, and the European Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring System. The GNOO is also linked with the Mediterranean Operational Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS), which creates a continuous working framework with the European GOOS (EuroGOOS) and GOOS Africa in order to define common roles and activities in the Mediterranean Sea, and foster collaboration with Black Sea GOOS and global ocean GOOS initiatives.
At a national level, the GNOO refers to the thematic strategy of the Italian Ministry for the Environment on Sustainable Development and Protection of the Marine Environment, and therefore plays a major role in the coordination of the operational oceanography activities at national and international levels.
This third meeting focused in particular on innovative marine technologies and numerical applications, starting with an international session on the future of this discipline in Europe. Links between Italian and European activities have been particularly clear during presentations on Italian (la Ricerca ITaliana per il MARE (RITMARE); Tecnologie per la Cognizione dell'Ambiente a Mare (TESSA); Sistema di Supporto alle decisioni per la gestione sostenibile della Pesca nelle regioni del Mezzogiorno d'Italia (SSD-PESCA)) and European projects (MyOcean, Towards a joint European research infrastructure network for coastal observations (JERICO), SeaDataNet) participated in by most of the researchers attending the meeting. Gliders, high-frequency (HF) radars, Argo floats, moorings and other observational platforms, along with data management, have been exhaustively described in several sessions, followed by a description of the operational numerical forecasting systems operating on the Italian waters at different spatial scales and their uses for the management of fishery activities, as well as directing search and rescue (SAR) activities and oil-spill emergencies at sea.
This special issue collects all the contributions on the above items discussed during the Third Meeting of the GNOO.
To access the supplement and papers contained within please click here