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Specific Support Action
DRAGON in support of harmonizing European and Chinese marine
monitoring for Environment and Security System
Making an inventory of Chinese and European capacities of marine monitoring
for environment and security including routine use of Earth observation data.
D5.2: 2nd Report on The major gaps for marine monitoring
capacity building between China and Europe
Project No. 030902
Sixth Framework Programme
Priority GMES: Aeronautics and Space
Start date of project: 01.09.07
Duration: 36 months
Liqin Shao, Yan Bai, Ming-Xia HE, Zhishen Liu, Ge Chen,
Chaofang Zhao, Lei Guan, Yunfei Wang, Delu Pan, Roland Doerffer
The report reviews Chinese and European marine monitoring systems such as in-situ
observing systems, space-borne observing systems, data integration and information
management, ocean and coastal information products and services, based on the 1st
annual report of WP1-4. Then the report focuses to identify the major gaps between
two sides by the way of total assessment. EU member countries and China have
established marine monitoring system independently and effectively. But European
side has more advanced technology on the monitoring arrangement, accuracy, data
products both in quantity and quality. Nevertheless, China and Europe marine
observations have obvious respective geographical characteristics. For example,
besides with their own coastal area, Europe side pays more attention to Arctic Ocean
region, Atlantic ocean and global ocean, and China has more interests to watch
north-west Pacific, the Equator area, South China Sea and India Ocean, because Asia
Monsoon, west pacific ocean warm pool, the Tibet plateau are important factors to
China’s and world climate. So two observing systems are multi-compensate. Further
cooperation between Europe and China marine monitoring will be very useful which
will greatly contribute to GMES and GEOSS.
1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 4
2. Background ................................................................................................................ 5
2.1 Comparison about history related with ocean ...................................................... 5
2.2 Current economy comparison .............................................................................. 6
2.3 China marine industry .......................................................................................... 8
2.4 China’s Navy ...................................................................................................... 12
2.5 China’s marine environment .............................................................................. 16
3. The gaps for in-situ observing systems between China and Europe........................ 17
3.1 Overview of the in-situ observing system in China ........................................... 17
3.2 Overview of the in-situ observing system in Europe ......................................... 19
3.3 The gaps for the in-situ observing systems between China and Europe ............ 23
4. The gaps for satellite ocean observing systems between China and Europe ........... 28
4.1 Overview of the satellite ocean observing systems in China ............................. 28
4.2 Overview of the satellite ocean observing systems in Europe ........................... 31
4.3 The gaps for the satellite ocean observing systems between China and Europe 33
5. The gaps for the data integration and information management between China and
Europe .......................................................................................................................... 40
5.1 Overview of the data integration and information management in China ......... 40
5.2 Overview of the data integration and information management in Europe ....... 43
5.3 The gaps for the data integration and information management between China
and Europe ................................................................................................................ 45
6. Comparing between the current status on the Ocean and coastal information
products and services in China and Europe ................................................................. 47
6.1 Overview of Status on the ocean and coastal information products and services
in China .................................................................................................................... 47
6.2 Overview of Status on the ocean and coastal information products and services
in EU......................................................................................................................... 49
6.3 The gaps of the ocean and coastal information products and services between
China and EU ........................................................................................................... 52
7. The gap for scientific research and education. ......................................................... 54
Current Europe science priorities ............................................................................. 61
The priorities of China in the frontiers for ocean science including ........................ 63
8. towards the future capacity building ........................................................................ 65
Reference: .................................................................................................................... 65
1. Introduction
This report is to identify the main gaps of capacity building in Chinese and Europe
marine monitoring for environment and security system.
1) Definition of Europe in this report
It is difficult to compare China with Europe. This is because Europe is one of the
world's seven continents. Europe has approximately 50 countries; Russia is the largest
by both area and population. Besides Russia, some countries like France, Germany,
United Kingdom etc are recognizes as G8 country. But China is only one country, and
is a developing country. So how can we make such comparison between Europe and
China? Therefore we have to make a definition that in this report, hereafter we use
the name “Europe” but discuss only in the EU area. The EU is an economic and
political partnership. The EU is currently made up of 27 countries, making up a total
population of about 495 million: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain,
Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary,
Sweden, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia,
Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta. In some necessary cases, we
will mark “All Europe” instead of Europe.
2) Definition of capacity building
The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
definition of capacity building: encompasses a country’s human, scientific,
technological, organizational, and institutional resources and capabilities. A
fundamental goal of capacity building is to enhance the abilities of stakeholders to
evaluate and address crucial questions related to policy choices and modes of
implementation among different options for development. These choices would be
based on an understanding of environmental potential and limits and of the needs
perceived by the people of the country concerned.
GEOSS definition of Capacity building: The most efficient means to improve the
geographic coverage of the Earth observing system is to encourage wider
participation from all countries. The capacity building envisaged within this context
must extend beyond training of qualified technical personnel to operate the observing
instruments, to include building of a broader community that will be trained in the
development, interpretation and utilization of value-added products from the
observations. Capacity building initiatives must therefore target a spectrum of citizens
– from the general public, to scientists, to managers, to decision-makers. This is
essential to ensure that all countries benefit from GEOSS.
2. Background
Before we study the main gaps in the marine monitoring system, it is necessary to
know that most important capacity is economy, marine industry, marine power and
marine environment. .
2.1 Comparison about history related with ocean
Europe and ocean
Europe is washed upon to the north by the Arctic Ocean and other bodies of water, to
the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the
southeast by the Black Sea and the waterways connecting it to the Mediterranean. The
coastal zone is a suitable homeland but it is not enough. Europeans was going out and
exploring the rest of the world. It is well known the importance of sea borne
commerce and square-rigged ocean-going merchantmen and warships to Europe's
emergence from the middle Ages, and the succession of great maritime powers in the
15th through the 17th centuries (Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and Britain). In the
Age of Exploration, European competition for overseas colonies begins. For example:
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)--Papal division of the world to regulate exploration and
colonization by Portugal and Spain. England, Holland, and France begin exploration
(1500’s). Colonies established in areas in Caribbean and Latin America not already
claimed by Portugal and Spain. Then, England: Eastern coast of present-day United
States; France: Canada and Louisiana; Holland: New York area, South Africa and
challenge of Portugal in Indian Ocean and East Indies. One of the famous stories is
about Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). He was an Italian explorer who sailed
across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for
spices). He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the
years 1492-1504. The motive of Columbus was occupation. He demanded of the
Crown that he be named "Viceroy of the Indies" and "Admiral of the Ocean Seas."
China and ocean
China has 18,000 km continental coastline, but the majority of Chinese people is
living in the continental area. The emperors have to pay much attention to some
serious civil wars between different parts of China, especially for northern conflicts.
From the Qin dynasty [221–207 BC] onward, each dynasty invariably expended much
of its manpower and material resources in repairing the Great Wall, in order to resist
the harassing attacks from the close neighbours. This had a grave effect on the
development of productivity. Marine concept is relatively weak in China. However,
China also has a glorious sailing story, Zheng He. His original name was Ma He. He
was born around 1371 in China, Kun Yang, a town in southwest Yunan Province.
Zheng He’s remarkable journey began when the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
ordered him to sail to "the countries beyond the horizon, all the way to the end of the
earth". Between 1405 – 1433, Admiral Zheng sailed to the Indian and Western oceans,
visiting more than 30 countries from Asia to Africa and as far as the central and
eastern coasts of the African nations. The economic motive for these huge ventures
may have been important, and many of the ships had large private cabins for
merchants. Unfortunately, after that, during the period of the European great powers’
unbridled colonial expansion, China’s rulers shut the door to the outside world with
Decree(s) Forbidding Seafaring. This societal attitude of closing oneself off runs
counter to the openness and global circulation characteristic of the ocean itself. In the
process of industrialization, Western Europe states cut across the natural barriers of
the oceans and with their heavily armed ships smashed down China’s gate.
2.2 Current economy comparison
Table 1 shows the 2008 statistics of GDP for top 25 countries.
Table 1 2008 List by the International Monetary Fund[1]
GDP (millions of USD)
European Uniona
United States
United Kingdom
South Korea
Saudi Arabia
Note a: The Eurozone in 2008 was 15 of 27 European Union
countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal,
Slovenia and Spain. Since then, Slovakia joined, on 1 January 2009.
Note b: Data include the French overseas departments of French
Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion
Foreign Economic Relations
The total value of imports and exports in 2008 reached 2,561.6 billion US
dollars, up 17.8 percent over the previous year. Of this total, the value of
exports was 1,428.5 billion US dollars, up 17.2 percent, and the value of
imports was 1,133.1 billion US dollars, up 18.5 percent. China had a trade
surplus (exports minus imports) of 295.5 billion US dollars, an increase of
32.8 billion US dollars over the previous year.
Table 2: Imports and Exports by Major Countries and Regions and the
Growth Rates in 2008
Unit: 100 million USD
Country or region
over 2007 Imports
over 2007
European Union
United States
Hong Kong, China
China mainland
Republic of Korea
Taiwan, China
2.3 China marine industry
This section covers the use and development of the various sea-related industries,
including shipbuilding, port, pleasure boat, sea communications and transportation,
offshore oil and gas, sea-related chemicals and sea fisheries, etc.
China has seen rapid development of its marine industry over past few years. China
has more than 3 million square kilometres of sea areas, with more than 1,400 harbours
and 210,000 cargo ships. According to the “National Marine Economy Development
Program” issued by the state council, the value of increase of sea-related
industries constituted approximately 4% of GDP by 2005; and the aggregate marine
industries will gradually become one of the pillar industries of China’s economy.
90% of world trade is carried by sea, and both EU and China are major players in
maritime affairs. EU shipping companies control more than 40% of the world fleet
and China is the EU's second largest trading partner.
In 2007, the output value of the global marine industry came to 1.4 trillion USD, and
it is expected to hit 1.5 trillion USD in 2010 and 3 trillion USD in 2020. Major
growing fields include marine oil and gas, marine fishery, seabed cable, marine safety,
marine biology, marine transport means, marine information technology, marine
entertainment, marine service and advanced marine energy. Marine oil and gas take
up the largest share in the total output value, followed by marine transportation.
According to Xinhua news agency, (Updated: 2009-07-20 09:09), China's gross
ocean product (GOP) increased by 11 percent year on year to hit 2.97 trillion yuan in
2008, accounting for 9.87 percent of the country's GDP, and topped 1.386 trillion
yuan ($202.96 billion) in the first half of 2009, according to an initial assessment by
the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The figure represented an increase of 6.9
percent over the same period last year, accounting for 9.91 percent of the country's
gross domestic product (GDP). The country's GOP represented a further growth in the
first half despite the world financial crisis, and will become one of the new economic
engines in the future,
China's marine industry faces major opportunities, and there is also great growth
potential. To grab a bigger share in the global market, Chinese marine enterprises
must be bold to go international.
Since 1999, the output of China's shipbuilding industry has been ranked number three
in the world. According to the statistics from the China Association of the National
Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), China's shipbuilding output exceeded 12 million
deadweight tonnage (DWT) in 2005, accounting for 18 percent of world’s total. The
output is expected to reach a historical high of 14 million DWT in 2006. Chinese
shipyards filled about 20 percent of global orders for ships measured by cargo
capacity. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, the country's top shipbuilder,
churned out 3.11 million DWT of ships in 2006, making it the world's eighth-largest
According to the government’s National Medium and Long-Term Plan of the
Shipbuilding Industry, issued in August 2006, China’s shipbuilding industry is
expected to hit capacity of 17million DWT by 2010 and would become the No. 1
shipbuilding power in the world by 2015.
The central government’s 11th five-year plan (2005 to 2010) pointed out that the key
to strengthening the shipping industry lies in design capability, marine equipment
supply, large-scale shipbuilding construction, and optimizing the three main ship
types: bulk-carriers, oil tankers, and container vessels. Emphasis will be put on
hi-tech ships, new ship designs and ocean engineering equipment, which have
additional added value.
According to the shipbuilding industry report issued by the state council, China is
embarking on major efforts to increase shipbuilding capacity. The country plans to
build three major shipbuilding bases in the Bohai Rim, East China Sea and South
China Sea. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the country's leading
shipyard began construction on the Changxing Shipbuilding Base on the Shanghai
coast in 2003. When completed in 2015, the Changxing base will be the largest
shipyard in the world with annual shipbuilding capacity reaching eight million tons.
Additionally, CSSC plans to build China’s largest yacht building base in the Fengxian
district of Shanghai.
China urgently needs hi-technology, machinery and management for the shipbuilding
industry. The best prospects for shipbuilding are raw materials, coating equipment and
coating materials, CAD (Computer aided design) software and associated technology
for ship design and construction, equipment maintenance, high-tech equipment such
as GPS, navigation and on board computer systems, cutting and welding technology
and related equipment.
Pleasure Boats
With the rapid growth of the economy, China's recreational marine market is forecast
to expand sharply in the coming years. Based on the confidence that pleasure boats
will become a part of life style in the country’s expanding wealthy and the
middle-class, provincial governments, property developers and boat builders are all
investing heavily in this industry. Business experts estimated that the market would
pick up speed after 2005, and the overall market size would reach USD10billion over
the next decade, which presents significant opportunities for the exports of U.S.
pleasure boats, accessories, marina planning and construction materials.
Port and Sea-Transportation
China is allocating a massive amount of money to the port and waterway construction
to meet the significant growth of freight volume. Since 2004, China has stepped up
the infrastructure construction of ports. China's port throughput is increasing at
exponential rates, reflecting a booming foreign trade. According to the Ministry of
Communications (MOC), freight turnover at major coastal ports rose 19% in 2005 to
2.9 billion tons. Container traffic at Chinese ports also increased 23% to 75.6 million
Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). Double-digit growth continued in 2006 and
was projected to expand to 130m TEUs by 2010. The cargo turnover of Shanghai port
exceeded 500 million tons in 2006, making it the world's busiest port for the second
consecutive year. Eight ports in mainland China, namely Shanghai, Shenzhen,
Qingdao, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo and Dalian, are included among the
30 top container harbors in the world.
To facilitate global trade, most ports in China are putting emphasis on expanding the
capacity and upgrading the port facilities as well as the modernization of operations.
The products and technologies in high demand are Vessel Traffic Management
Information System, laser-docking systems, terminal tractors, dredging equipments
and security equipment for the ports and vessels to abide by the International Ship and
Port Security Code (ISPS).
China is building more deep-water berths to handle the larger fifth and sixth
generation container vessels. The largest project is the construction of Yangshan
deep-water port, approximately 20 miles offshore from Shanghai and linked to the
mainland by a 32.5-kilometre causeway bridge. The first phase was completed and
put into operation at the end of 2005, including 5 new berths and a capacity of 2
million TEUs per year. A second phase opened in December 2006, adding four berths
on a 1.4-kilometer waterfront with a designed handling capacity of 2.1 million TEUs
annually. The original plan is to complete 50 berths by 2020, which will cost over
USD10billion. The master plan also includes a logistics park and new harbor city on
the mainland.
Marine Fishing
China is the world’s top fishing nation and has vast resources available in her own
waters. Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea span
from sub-tropical to temperate zones with a total sea waters of 1.03 million square
nautical miles, of which 431,000 square nautical miles are continental shelves (within
200 meters deep). The total fishing ground area is about 818,000 square nautical
miles (see Table 3).
Table 3 Areas of marine fishing grounds ( 10,000 square nautical miles)
Sea region
Continental shelf
Fishing ground
Bohai Sea
The Yellow Sea
The East China Sea
The South China Sea 63.0
There are about 3000 marine species in the China seas, offering more than 150
commercial species.
2.4 China’s Navy
The China People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is responsible for safeguarding
China’s maritime security and maintaining the sovereignty of its territorial seas along
with its maritime rights and interests. In recent years, China’s Navy has become a
powerful Navy.
According to Xinhua 2009-04-24 10:06:50, China concluded a four-day celebration
for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy
Thursday, with an unprecedented parade of PLA Navy warships and an international
fleet review.
The PLA Navy parade, the fourth staged in China since 1949, but the first on such a
large and international scale, displayed 25 of the PLA Navy's vessels, including two
nuclear-powered submarines, and 31 naval aircraft.
The parade was followed by an international fleet review which saw the participation
of 21 foreign vessels from 14 countries, including the United States's destroyer USS
Fitzgerald and the Russian cruiser CG-011 Varyag.
Amid the rhythms of "March of the Review," a Chinese melody usually played for
formal occasions, the foreign vessels lined up in a row in the order of combatant ships,
landing craft, auxiliary ships and a sailing ship for training. All the foreign ships flew
their flags at full-staff.
Chinese President Hu Jintao reviewed the Chinese-made warships and their foreign
counterparts from onboard the PLA Navy destroyer Shijiazhuang in waters off the
port city Qingdao.
More than 200 military officers from foreign embassies in China, reporters and
Chinese people from various social circles observed the fleet review on the viewing
ship Zhenghe. The ship was named after a Chinese maritime explorer who sailed
about 600 years ago.
According to Rear Admiral Zhang Shiying, deputy commander of the PLA Navy's
Beihai (North Sea) Fleet, all the Chinese vessels and aircraft paraded were
independently designed and made by China, and represented the latest stage of PLA
Navy equipment. All the submarines and aircraft, and the majority of the warships
included in Thursday's parade came from the Qingdao-based Beihai Fleet. "The goal
is to showcase the development of the PLA Navy over the past six decades," Zhang
PLA Navy Commander Admiral Wu Shengli also said the celebration was aimed to
demonstrate China's determination and capability to maintain a peaceful, harmonious
ocean together with other nations. "The PLA Navy is willing to take the international
fleet review as an opportunity to enhance cooperation and exchange with our foreign
counterparts to better protect maritime safety," he said.
Thursday afternoon's PLA Navy parade also featured the maiden show of two Chinese
nuclear submarines, the Long March 6 and the Long March 3. It was the first-ever
publicappearance of the PLA Navy's nuclear submarines.
"It has been the first time to see a Chinese nuclear submarine so close to me and many
other advanced weaponry in the naval review," said Colonel Patrick Sice, Defense
Attache with Embassy of the Republic of France to China, onboard the viewing ship
"To invite so many countries to the review shows that China would open more to
foreign countries and in the future more willing to cooperate deeper in the Gulf of
Aden and other regions."
"China is emerging as a global power and there is nothing wrong with China's
modernization of its navy and other armed forces. But more power means more
responsibility and transparency. Otherwise you will lose confidence from the others,"
he said.
On Thursday morning, China asserted once again that the country's military build-up
was purely defense-oriented.
In a meeting with heads of 29 foreign navy delegations gathered in Qingdao to attend
the PLA Navy celebration Thursday morning, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged
that China's armed forces, including the PLA Navy, would never be a threat to other
China would always be an important force in safeguarding world peace and
development, he said.
"For now and in the future, China would never seek hegemony, nor would it turn to
military expansion or arms races with other nations," he said.
The PLA Navy will be more open and practical in international maritime security
cooperation in the future and unremittingly work towards the goal of building an
harmonious ocean, Hu said.
Hu's words were lauded by Lt. Commander Adnan of the Pakistan Navy, who said
China's navy was emerging among the world top naval forces.
The PLA Navy is an indispensable force to maintain world peace, he said.
China's navy still has far to go ( Li Jie , China Daily
PM | )
| Tue, 08/18/2009 12:58
A Chinese flotilla left for the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali Coast in
mid-July to escort merchant vessels in the pirate-ridden waters. This is the third
flotilla China has dispatched to the region since the end of last year.
The move, along with the two previous ones which took place on Dec 26 last year and
April 2 this year, is an explicit indication that China's naval overseas operations are no
longer limited as it was, and that more and more Chinese fleets are capable of sending
an array of sophisticated warships abroad.
As a follow-up naval move to the previous two, the latest expedition will not only
help protect the commercial vessels, but also enable more Chinese naval servicemen
to gather more knowledge about maritime operations far from the country's coastal
This should greatly temper their resolve in extreme conditions and thus boost their
capability and skills in terms of organization, logistics and armaments.
Since their first arrival at the Gulf of Aden late last year, Chinese warships have
escorted hundreds of domestic and foreign vessels and protected merchant ships from
the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries and regions from
pirate attacks.
Their responsive action against fast-moving pirates and their high efficiency have
helped maintain an unblocked sea transportation route in treacherous waters far from
China's coast.
At the same time, the effective actions by the Chinese navy have fully displayed and
enhanced China's image as a responsible power, and greatly boosted the country's
naval influence among foreign forces.
On a patrol operation in a water area side by side with navies from the European
Union, the NATO, Russia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries,
the Chinese naval fleet gained rare opportunities to learn advanced maritime
experiences from their foreign counterparts.
The whole escort mission in the waters has also helped China's navy to innovate and
develop a new mindset to conduct exchanges and cooperation with foreign navies.
For example, in past escorting actions, Chinese naval servicemen have conducted
contacts and communications in unprecedented frequency with other forces cruising
this area.
This has helped the country's navy, which has long been deployed along its own coast,
gradually get used to using a variety of modern ways and means to communicate with
foreign fleets, creating a new type of cooperation model and channel.
Despite accumulating experience of escort missions overseas, China's navy has still to
work hard to further improve its experience in this aspect. Great effort is needed to
increase the country's hardware equipment quantity and quality.
Experience indicates that owning a fleet of sophisticated and well-performing largeand medium-sized warships suitable for long-distance voyage is the key to a
successful overseas escort mission.
Without a sufficient number of vessels, it would be absolutely impossible for China to
dispatch a naval formation to the distant Gulf of Aden while maintaining its own daily
drills, war readiness and necessary experiments around the country's coastal areas.
Given that helicopters enjoy good mobility and overpowering advantages over
warships in fighting small-scale and fast-moving pirates, foreign naval formations are
usually equipped with some large- and medium-sized vessels carrying a good number
of helicopters.
This greatly benefits the escorting missions under rapidly changing and complicated
maritime conditions. Compared with their foreign counterparts, the Chinese naval
fleet patrolling the Gulf of Aden, however, is equipped with only two helicopters.
Past anti-piracy experience in the Gulf area also indicates that China's navy should
make bigger efforts to further shorten its material and armament supply cycle to
guarantee its success, and, if necessary, set up some coastal refuel and maintenance
stations. Good-quality and fresh food supplies constitute an indispensable component
for a country's naval servicemen to keep up robust and enduring fighting capability.
Any naval expedition should carry a sufficient stock of staple and non-staple foodstuff,
but fresh vegetables and fruits, whose preservation cycles are usually within three
weeks, are still the things that are desperately needed by naval soldiers on long
voyages. It is not unusual for seafarers to depend on medicines for making up with
their insufficiency of vitamins.
Also, in a remote water area fraught with complicated situations and atrocious
weather conditions, any equipment breakdown will prove a terrible challenge to a
country's naval forces, given that they have no necessary maintenance equipment at
Under these circumstances, some necessary maintenance and supply stations should
be set up as soon as possible to boost the capability of China's navy while away from
the motherland.
Besides, the country's naval servicemen should further accumulate and improve their
anti-piracy and escorting experience and strengthen their legal and other knowledge in
this regard.
Some measures should also be taken to help naval servicemen stay in good physical
and psychological shape.
In addition, optimizing the country's naval organization mechanism, improving its
command capability, increasing its cooperation with other countries and setting up
advanced logistics system are necessary to help China's naval missions achieve
greater successes.
2.5 China’s marine environment
(According to Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2009)
About 83 percent of China's sea areas were polluted to some extent, according to a
report released Friday by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
The polluted areas, up from 78 percent the year before, were affected by
eutrophication, a process in which water bodies receive excess nutrients that
stimulate excessive plant growth such as algae and nuisance plants weeds.
It also indicated other problems, including lack of oxygen and severe reductions in
water quality, fish and other animal populations.
Li Haiqing, a senior official with the SOA said the administration had called on all
oceanic departments to strengthen monitoring and prevention of "red tides" and other
algae blooms.
Pollutants were blamed for the cause of the red tides in which large amounts of algae
kill sea life. These algae vary in colour from green to brown, but are mostly red.
China saw 68 cases of red tides last year, fewer than the 82 cases in 2007. However,
they contaminated a total of 13,738 square km of sea area, up 2,128 square km from
the previous year.
Last June, algae invaded the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, which hosted sailing
events during the 2008 Olympics, blocking proposed sailing routes and affecting
preparations for the Games.
For a month, the city government mobilized soldiers and volunteers to clear more
than 1 million tons of algae, and built barriers and fences to keep it out of the sailing
venue. The algae was completely cleared on Aug. 1.
While some experts said it was a result of climate change and heavy rain,
environmentalists believed the algae blooms were largely due to sewage and
agricultural pollutant run-off.
According to the report, marine disasters resulted in 152 people dead or missing in
China last year, with direct economic losses of 20.61 billion yuan (3.03 billion US
dollars). The figure in 2007 was 8.84 billion yuan.
3. The gaps for in-situ observing systems between China and Europe
3.1 Overview of the in-situ observing system in China
China has already established various in-situ observation platforms, including the
marine observation station, buoy, survey ship, etc.
(1) Marine observation station
At present, China has set up more than 130 marine observation stations along the
coast(part at bayou), some of them are in the possession of the Water Conservancy
Bureau, the Transportation and the Geological Department, most of these observation
stations are tide level stations. The stations which observe the wave, temperature,
salinity, meteorology and other elements, about 60, are mainly in the possession of the
SOA. Since the SOA has been set up, observation station network construction rapidly
developed. At present, it already had has had 57 marine stations and 11 central marine
stations, carrying out extensive observation and monitoring aim at the tide, wave,
temperature, salinity, sea ice, weather and pollution, and other items, also had
established the data communication network with the aid of short wave, and the ultra
short wave radio. marine stations connected with area forecast station and satellite
communication network of forecast center, constituted a complete sea station data
transmission system. In the means of observation, it has constructed the Xiaomaidao,
Lvsi, Nansha three points of automatic observation system, promoted the use of
acoustic and gravity-wave meter in the Laohutan, Zhifu Island, Daji Hill and so on 12
stations, stepped out the service first step of service. Also it has established the
BaYuQuan radar staion to measure the ice, and has provided the northern area ice
detector in Bohai Sea. It has also established Xisha, Qinglan, Naozhou and so on 9
tidal observation tide gauge wells. The laboratories in 11 stations provided with the
some part pollution monitoring facilities. Through construction in recent years, the
station observation system has already begun to take shape.
(2) Marine buoy
The main types of Chinese marine buoy are marine data buoys, special marine buoys,
measuring current dive buoys and drifting buoy. And the marine data buoy is the
development key, so far altogether China has developed the large-scale, medium and
small-scale 14 sets of marine data buoy since 1965, and has built the corresponding
shore receiving station separately in the South China Sea, East China Sea and North
China Sea. China Argo Project has deployed 46 floats in the Western Pacific and
Eastern Indian Marines. Now there are 20 floats still active. The main types of the
Chinese marine buoy are as follows:
 H23-marine hydro- meteorology telemetering buoy. The buoy is boat-shaped with
length of 3 m, width of 1.9 m, height of 0.9 m.
 Marine data buoys of I-type. I-marine data buoy is disc-shaped made by the
steeliness, with diameter 10 m, height 2.6 m, underwater depth 1.4 m, tonnage 50 t,
free hauling velocity 4~5 kn.
 “Nanfu 1” marine data buoy. It is disc-shaped made by the steeliness, diameter 6
m, height 1.4 m, tonnage 15.5 t, single-anchor mooring, working depth of 80 m.
 “Kefu 2” marine hydrology meteorology remote control telemetering buoy. The
hauling velocity of this buoy is 9 kn, with diameter 5 m, height 1.8 m, sea gauge
1.1 m, tonnage 14 t, single-anchor mooring, operating depth 200 m
 Ⅱ-marine data buoy. The research work of Ⅱ-marine data buoy presided over by
the State Oceanic Administration. Ⅱ-marine data buoy is disc-shaped made by the
steeliness, with diameter 10 m, height 2.2 m, sea gauge 0.85 m, tonnage 52t.
 Minitype marine data buoy. The structure of buoy is cirque-shaped dobber and
keel below, diameter 2.9 m, depth 0.88 m, sea gauge 0.548 m, tonnage 3.327t.
 Deep marine data buoy. It is disc-shaped made by he steeliness, with diameter 10
m, height 2.12 m, tonnage 54 t. single-anchor mooring, operating depth 80 m;
 Drifting Buoy. The China Argo Ocean Observing Network Experiment was
implemented on January 2002. China Argo Project has deployed 46 floats in the
Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Marines. Now there are 20 floats still active.
Chinese marine data buoy development and the buoy network construction obtains
the national attention and support. Started from 1965 to the period of 1986 to 1990, it
totally developed 11 set buoys, introduced 6 set, established 3 shortwave reception
shore station, two ARGOS system user ground receiving stations, transformed two
buoy work ship, marine buoys basically meet the needs of China's networking needs.
During the period of 1990 to 1995, it focused on the technological transformation of
the buoy system, strengthened management, and accumulated experience. Normal
work's 4 sets of buoys of this period maintain the definite 3 position long-term
continuous working. During the period of 1995 to 2000, the effective buoy quantity
reaches 14 set, guaranteed the definite 6~8 position can have the buoy to carry on the
surveillance normally continuously.
(3) Survey ship
China has already established a large-scale, full range survey ship team, to meet the
basic needs of the survey, including multi-purpose survey ship, professional survey
ship and special survey ship.
In 1965, China started to design and construct the first unlimited navigation area
marine comprehensive survey ship “Shijian”. In the 1960s, it has built China first
marine survey practice ship “Dongfanghong”. In the 1970s, various types of survey
ship which is newly built and refit by the State Bureau of Marineic Administration
sum to 51. From the end of 70s to the early 80s, China has additionally constructed
two comprehensive marine survey ships “Xiangyanghong 14” and “Xiangyanghong
16”, accessorial constructed 5 offshore survey ships: “Haidiao 105” to “Haidiao 107”
and “Haidiao 465”, “Haidiao 406”. To the middle 80s, all types of ships
speciallyespecially for development of marine oil and gas geophysical exploration,
geological exploration and geological engineering core-drilling have reached to 20. In
the late 80s, with rapid development of China marine technology, marine survey ship
unceasingly consummation and enhancement according to investigation duty change
and advance in technology. In order to meet the needs of Antarctic Survey, China
State Bureau of Oceanic Administration bought up an ice strengthen transport ship
from Finland, named “Jidi” scientific research ship, then put it in Antarctic Survey
work. In 1993, the State Bureau of Oceanic Administration has purchased the polar
inspection and transportation ship “Xuelong”. The geology and mining department
has introduced many advanced equipments from abroad in the late 80s. In order to
strengthen the marine environment pollution monitor, China State Bureau of Marineic
Administration has also designed and constructed “China Haijian 72” at the late 80s.
Since then, it also has made two similar marine survey ships “China Haijian 18” and
“China Haijian 49”.
China has carried out the Pacific Marine manganese nodule investigation, the initial
period is the use of general comprehensive marine survey ship, the State Bureau of
Marineic Administration has purchased the open sea synthesis research ship from
Russia in 1995, and refitted the marine mineral resource survey ship “Dayang”. It
putting to use causes China's marine mineral resource investigation ability greatly
improved. Also, China has chosen 120 merchants ships to equip the automatic
observation equipment, carried on the voluntary ship measuring and reporting work.
And it has equipped the maritime satellite communication facility on mainly 30
voluntary ships which have the high rate of navigation, good performance and
navigated in the domestic service. It has built three maritime satellite receiving
stations in Qingdao, Shanghai and Guangzhou, carried out the satellite
communication for observation data. Other voluntary ships still transmit data from
corresponding department on the ship to the coastal station. Three sea area's shipping
forecast management centers are responsible for the collection, processing, the
archive and the correspondence work of the non-real-time voluntary ship measuring
and reporting data. At present, China only have 35 voluntary ships which take part in
shipping assistant measuring and reporting work, South China Sea have 9,East China
Sea have 15, North China Sea have 11, mainly distributes in some fixed line merchant
3.2 Overview of the in-situ observing system in Europe
Monitoring of the marine environment is a duty of the individual countries in Europe.
The data are then reported to European or international organizations. These are e.g.
the European Environmental Agency in Copenhagen (, ICES
( or for questions of fish stocks and fishery but also marine pollutants
problems, OSPAR commission ( for the North Sea and North East
Atlantic ocean, HELCOM ( for the Baltic Sea
Beside these mandantory observing programs, for which in most countries the official
marine environmental agencies are responsible, there a number of national and
European research programs, which operate in situ observing infrastructure and thus
contribute to an European marine observing network. This includes regular observing
cruises using research vessels, which are partly equipped with towed undulating
systems to measure continuously the vertical structure along transects, ships of
opportunity, which are equipped with automatic measurements systems (FerryBoxes).
Furthermore moored stations and buoys are deployed, and platforms of opportunity
(oil and gas production rigs, platforms of offshore windenery parks are used.
Autonomous systems such as floats, gliders, rowis, aircrafts to monitor oil pollution
and for counting birds and sea mammals complement the system. In the case that
these observing programs are funded by the European community, inter-calibration,
joint protocols, harmonization and the data access is regulated. These programs are
now integrated into the European program GMES, Global Monitoring of Environment
and Security. MARCOAST and since 2009 MyOcean are part of GMES. On the
national level GMES supporting programs have been initiated, e.g. in Germany
DeMarine, which is funded by the German Ministry for Research and Technology.
Due to the European funding system on one side and the duty to deleiver data with
respect to the European Water Framework Directive, it is ensured that also countries
in Europe, which are not so much advanced in this field, develop the necessary
By these measures In-situ data access and harmonization have gradually improved in
recent years in Europe, but further work is still needed to integrate the many diverse
data streams in Europe from global to regional scales, and to make the data accessible
both in real time and delayed mode with adequate quality control building on
common procedures and standards. The in-situ data availability for the North Atlantic
to the Arctic Ocean, including the European Seas has been inhomogeneous,
fragmented and often sparse, in particular regarding multidisciplinary coastal data.
The data processing have moreover been distributed in several international and
national data centres, with varying practise for data access, and often not been
designed and operated to meet the near real time demands of operational forecasting
systems. For the countries bordering the European more than 600 scientific data
collecting laboratories from governmental organizations and private industry are
existing. They collect data by using various sensors on board of research vessels,
submarines, fixed and drifting platforms, airplanes and satellites, to measure physical,
geophysical, geological, biological and chemical parameters, biological species etc.
The plan for an overarching Pan-European in-situ data centre capitalize on national
and international providers of global as well as regional in-situ data. A fundamental
role of the in-situ data centre is to assemble and merge high quality data sets, and to
provide the “best” in-situ products and information for research, model validation and
data assimilation both in real-time and delayed mode. This implies a clear definition
of dissemination routines, quality control procedures and validation processes with
error characterisation as well as processing capabilities for re-analysis purposes. It
also implies a push to help and stimulate institutions to speed up their data flow for
operational application. Through consistent and integrated handling of regional data
collection in Europe in-situ data centre can also contribute to the design of the in-situ
observing systems.
All in-situ data will be available through a unique distribution portal following
common interfaces and is also offering discovery, viewing and downloading services.
However it is also necessary to acknowledge the originator of high quality data by a
data publication system, so that data authors get the same level of credit as users of
the data, who produce scientific paper from these data. By such a publication system
data originator would be much less reluctant to submit their data to public data
 Global and North Atlantic.
In France IFREMER and CNRS have developed, as part of the Coriolis service
( and the MERSEA projects, prototypes of statistical
methods to check the consistency of in-situ data sets by comparing given
measurements with its neighbours. These prototypes shall also be extended to analyse
systematically differences between various platforms (e.g. XBT versus Argo,
moorings versus Argo, Argo versus Argo) at different spatial and temporal scales.
This aims to identify and correct large scale biases for a specific platform or dataset.
Bio-geochemical data are usually acquired by a range of different platforms including
moorings, gliders, floats, CTD and Ferrybox for applications in both real time and
delayed mode. However, these data usually undergo rigorous processing and delayed
mode quality control, specific to each laboratory and data type, and there is a clear
need to advance a common QC procedures for near real time application. Capitalizing
on the Coriolis data service quality-controlled and validated in-situ data in real-time
and delayed modes will be provided including T-S profiles and time series from
profiling Argo floats, XBT's, thermo-salinographs, drifting and moored buoys,
ferrybox data and bio-geochemical parameters (nutrients, oxygen, chlorophyll
fluorescence, solar radiation, water-leaving radiance. The service will act as a
gateway to global ARGO data. Data transmitted by floats are processed, quality
controlled and distributed on GTS and Internet with minimum delay of 24 hours.
 Arctic Centre.
IMR ( will set up the Arctic in-situ portal for hydrographic data
(temperature and salinity) in real time mode. It is compliant with the goals of Arctic
ROOS ( IMR will also collect biochemical data (oxygen,
fluorescence/chlorophyll and nutrients) measured from ships and together with the
hydrographic data make available quality controlled data sets in delayed mode that
will be distributed on a regular basis. Data from other data providers doing ship
measurements in the Arctic area can also become available in delayed mode.
 Baltic Sea and North-Western European Shelf Centre.
The Baltic and NWS centre will be a federation of four centres, specialised by
variables that will be gathered from the institutes surrounding the Baltic and NWS
area. Quality controlled and validated data (currents, temperature, salinity, nutrients
and chlorophyll) will be made available by FTP and OpenDap in near real time and
delayed mode.
A new integrated observing system is for the North Sea (COSYNA, Coastal
Observing System for Norhtern and Arctic Seas) under development under the
leadership of the GKSS Research Centre in Germany. It includes Ferry Boxes,
moored systems, dedicated research cruises and land based radar systems. In
combination with remote sensing it will serve a modeled base data sssimilation. Data
are available vi web-based services (
 South Western European Shelf Centre.
An in-situ portal will offer quality controlled and validated hydrological data and
fixed point data (water level and biochemical data) for near real time and delayed
mode access..
 Mediterranean Sea Centre.
The Mediterranean in-situ data architecture is based on four data sub-systems
including XBTs, Argo profiling floats, moorings and gliders. A centralized data portal
at HCMR ( in Greece provides consistent methods for data
transfer (FTP, OpenDap) in near real time and delayed mode. In addition quality
controlled biochemical data acquired from multi-disciplinary mooring network will
also be made available in near real time and delayed mode.
 Black Sea Centre.
For the Black Sea the IO-BAS will specify, develop the Black Sea centre and the
Black Sea in-situ portal in cooperation and consistency with the other global and
regional in-situ data centre. It will implement standard procedures for quality control
and validation, and contribute to the in-situ services in the area based on integration of
hydrographic and biochemical data from data providers surrounding the Black Sea
(e.g. Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia). Both near real time and delayed
mode products will be made available through FTP and OpenDap.
The different centres will provide the following services: Data integration, Quality
control, Data access and dissemination, User desk, and Monitoring of performances
3.3 The gaps for the in-situ observing systems between China and Europe
Marine observation stations spread all over China's coastline, islands and the
governed sea area, south to the Nansha IslandsYong shu reef, north to the mouth of
Yalu River, west to the Yongxing Island of the Xisha Islands. It has a total number of
more than 100 observation stations, including national stations, local stations and
professional stations. For the Europe observation stations, the parameters measured
are Chlorophyll-a, oxygen, temperature, sea pressure, salinity, nitrate, PAR,
dissolved Carbon Dioxide, POC, wave height, current profile, turbidity. While in
China the measured parameters lack dissolved Carbon Dioxide, nitrate, PAR,
Chlorophyll-a. The number of the stations in China is more than that in Europe, the
technique also need to improve, adding the new measurement parameters.
China coastline
North Atlantic , Arctic ocean and
Mediterranean sea
Sea pressure
Dissolved Carbon Dioxide
Wave height
Current profile
Wind speed Wind direction
Air pressure Humidity
Marine wave Tide
Precipitation rain fall
In China, buoy technology has obtained rapid development in recent years, new
sensor's development is helpful to the people from the different angle understanding
sea interior change and the driving mechanism, or ocean and atmospheric material
interchange and so on.The new communication system, like the iridium satellite and
the use of Argos-3, may realize transmits the more observation data in a short time, as
well as buoy observed parameter changed at any moment and so on.
The number of the Argos deployed by Chinese Argo plan has reached 68, and there
are now 35 buoys still working. Most of them were deployed in the northwest of
Pacific Ocean. There are 11 mooring buoys which were deployed in china near shore
from 2007, with the observation of marine meteorology and hydrology.
In Europe, about 69 Argos were deployed in the Nordic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and
the Southern Ocean under the financial support of MERSEA.
The detail buoys information in China and Europe are showed in below two tables.
Total number 11 from 2007
( For “Kefu 2” marine hydrology Combined Sea Height
control Dominant Period
telemetering buoy)
Wind Speed
Average wind speed,
Wind Gust
Maximum wind speed
Wind Direction
Wind direction
Air temperature
Air Temperature
Air pressure
Water Temperature
Relative humidity
Water temperature
Wave height
Wave cycle
Current speed
Current direction
Nearshore Buoys
Total number
Offshore and Near shore buoys
68 (35 in active)
About 69
Wind speed
Wind direction
Atmospheric temperature
Water temperature
Temperature and salinity profiles
Wind speed
Wind direction
Atmospheric temperature
Water temperature
Temperature and salinity profiles
the northwest Pacific Ocean
the Nordic Sea
the Atlantic Ocean
the Southern Ocean
The number of Chinese survey ship (about 160) and tonnage (about 15 million tons)
has reached the marine survey needs. Compared with Europe, Chinese marine survey
ship is very similar on the number and tonnage. In the technical performance, the
ship's speed, the sea constant, the resistance, the laboratory area has achieved the level
which the internationally survey ship approaches. Generally speaking the commonly
speed of ship is 13-14kn (Maximum 18 knots). A comprehensive survey of subjects
would cause too much waste of the sea voyage, research institutes and universities can
be configured to a comprehensive survey ship, the professional department should be
in accordance with professional requirements and optimal. Chinese ocean survey ship
has experienced 20-30 years of development at present; it faces "renewal" stage
(upgrade of ships).
Comprehensive 3000-4000
Professional 1000-2000 tons
Total 15,000,000 tons
20~30 years
Face upgrade
18knots )
In conclusion,
(1) The limited capacity of ocean monitoring and forecasting
Ocean forecasts are provided on a regular basis by a dozen of operational
oceanography centers in the world; forecasts are built through routine assimilation of
real-time space observation and in situ data into numerical models. Some of them
describe the global ocean as a whole, others are regional. Europe has this double
capacity; however, China only has the regional capacity.
(2) The limitation of the existing in-situ observation system
Although China has already established various in-situ observation platforms,
including the marine observation station, buoys and survey ships, China has not yet
formed a rational layout and advanced in-situ observation system. Many of the marine
observation stations still use individual and not standardized scales and readings, and
the observation data is different from person to person. Particularly, bad weather
makes observation work difficult and the continuity is bad. Therefore, the marine
station monitoring methods are already quite obsolete, moreover the fact that the tide
observation facilities require maintenance, has affected the observation quality and
observer’s security seriously.
(3) Lacking of the marine observation station and buoy
Comparing to the large sea area of China, the existing number of marine observation
stations and buoys is too small. Hitherto, China has only deployed 46 floats in the
Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Marines. So far there are only 44 tide observation
stations and 38 wave measuring points. In particular, the number of tide gauge
stations is so small that it is impossible to gain enough material to meet the
requirements for marine disaster forecasting, shipping, aquaculture, engineering,
management and the marine environmental protection programme.
(4) China has not carried out the relevant work of Gliders at present.
Through the MERSEA plan as well as national research programs, Europe started to
deploy Glider in Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic partial seas including the North
Sea, and received a lot of profile data. The glider data of the MERSEA project will be
utlized for the assessment report.
Glider trajectory of the PAP-1 and CIS-1 experiments
In this report, we suggested that:
1, Under international cooperation's frame, Europe community should carry out
Glider cooperation with China.
2, The Institute of Oceanography and the University of China should develop gliders
as soon as possible. The Chinese marine instrument development units have the
ability to develop and manufacture gliders.
3, The Chinese ARGO plan has received tens of millions Yuan of funding from the
Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and obtained already a large amount of
data, It has organized a number of seminars on the China ARGO programme. The
Ocean community of China should suggest to the Ministry of Science and Technology
to support the glider plan of China, and carry out the cooperation with the
international or European (Mersea) glider programme within five years
4. The gaps for satellite ocean observing systems between China and Europe
4.1 Overview of the satellite ocean observing systems in China
There are 7 satellite series with the onboard sensor capable for marine environmental
monitoring and application. The meteorological satellites (FY-n), oceanic satellites
(HY-n), resource satellites (CBERS, ZY-n) and environment satellites (HJ-n) are
jointly implemented by China National Space Administration (CNSA) and related
application sectors which are China Meteorological Administration (CMA), State
Oceanic Administration (SOA), Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) and Ministry
of Civil Affairs (MCA) / Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) respectively.
Shenzhou spacecrafts (SZ-n) and Chinese Remote Sensing satellites (CRS-n or YG-n)
are implemented by CNSA. Disaster Monitoring Constellation / BeiJing-1
micro-satellite (DMC / BJ-1 micro-satellite) are implemented by Ministry of Science
and Technology of China (MOST).
(1) FY-n is the meteorological satellite series, including polar-orbiting and
geostationary meteorological satellites, whose serial numbers n are odd and even ones
respectively. FY-1A and FY-1B were experimental satellites carrying 5-channel
Multichannel Visible Infrared Scanning Radiometers (MVISR-1) similar to channels
of NOAA/AVHRR, which were launched in 1988 and 1990, respectively. FY-1C and
FY-1D are operational satellites carrying 10-channel Multichannel Visible Infrared
Scanning Radiometers (MVISR-2), which were launched in 1999 and 2002,
respectively. FY-2 series is the geostationary satellite. FY-2A and FY-2B are the
Chinese first generation geostationary meteorology satellite with the 3-channel Visible
and Near-infrared Spin Scanner Radiometer (VISSR) onboard, which were launched
in 1997 and 2000, respectively. FY-2C, FY-2D and FY-2E are operational satellites
with similar sensors but with more bands and a high spatial resolution, which were
launched in 2004, 2006 and 2008, respectively. So far, FY-2D and FY-2E are still in
operation. FY-3 series is Chinese second generation of polar orbiting meteorology
satellites. FY-3A is the first integrated satellite with 11 sensors onboard, which was
launched in 2008. FY-3B will be launched in 2010 which are on the experimental
phase. The FY-3C/D/E… (on operational phase) are planed. A total of 9 satellites will
be launched every 2 years from 2013, which will form the AM/PM satellites with time
slots coordinated through WMO. Generally, FY-3 is similar to the American National
Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and the
European Meteorological Operational satellite programme (MetOp). FY-4 series
satellite as Chinese second generation of geostationary meteorological satellites is at
the pre-phase stage and scheduled to launch after 2012. It is proposed to have two
separate series, the optics and microwave remote sensing series. In general, FY-4
series is similar to American GOES-R satellite and European Meteosat (MTG)
(2) HY-n is the polar-orbiting ocean satellite series, including three sub-series of
ocean color satellites (HY-1), ocean dynamic environment satellites (HY-2), and
ocean watch and monitoring satellites (HY-3). HY-1A and HY-1B were experimental
satellites carrying the Chinese Ocean Color and Temperature Scanner (COCTS) and
the Coastal Zone Imager (CZI), which were launched in 2002 and 2007, respectively.
COCTS is a 10-channel visible and infrared radiometer similar to ADEOS-I/OCTS,
and CZI is a 4-channel CCD camera. HY-1A was failed in April 2004, and HY-1B is
still operational running. HY-1C/1D, HY-1E/1F and HY-1G/1H are the follow-on
operational ocean color satellites to form the AM and PM satellites constellation.
HY-2A is an experimental satellite carrying a Ku-band microwave radiometer, similar
to QuikSCAT, Topex/Poseidon and EOS-Aqua/AMSR-E, respectively. HY-3 will
carry a C-band SAR with 10 m spatial resolution, an X-band SAR with 1 m spatial
resolution and an 8-channel CCD imager with 3m spatial resolution similar to
Envisat/ASAR and TerraSAR-X. On the whole, HY-1, HY-2 and HY-3 series will all
go into operation around 2015, and their performance will be equivalent to that of
current international operational ocean observing satellites.
(3) HJ-n is the polar-orbiting small satellite constellation for environment and disaster
monitoring, which consist of ‘2+1’ constellation and ‘4+4’ constellation, called HJ-1
and HJ-2, respectively. HJ-1A and HJ-1B were launched simultaneously in 2008.
HJ-1A carries a multi-spectral camera (CCD) and a Hyper Spectral Imager (HSI) with
a spectral resolution of 5nm. HJ-1B carries a multi-spectral camera (CCD) and a
multi-spectral Infrared Camera (IR). The HSI is similar to ISS-JEM/HICO. HJ-1C
will carry an S-band SAR with spatial resolution of 5m and 20m similar to the
Russian Almaz/SAR. HJ-1 constellation will be very useful for ocean color, ocean
dynamic environment and ocean watch and monitoring, and especially the HSI and
SAR-S fill the gap of HY-n. HJ-2 constellation will consist of four optical small
satellites and four SAR small satellites.
(4) ZY-n is the polar-orbiting resource satellite series. China-Brazil Earth-Resources
Satellite (CBERS)-1, 2, 2B, 3, and 4 belong to the ZY-1 sub-series. The CBERS-1, 2,
2B satellites carry the 5-channel CCD camera, Infrared Multi-Spectral Scanner
(IRMSS), Wide Field Imager (WFI) and high resolution camera (HR), which were
launched in 1999, 2003 and 2007, respectively. The CBERS-2B/CCD & HR with
spatial resolution of 20m and 2m, respectively, can be used to monitor the coastal
ocean. CBERS-3, 4 satellites will carry the improved CCD, IRMSS, WFI and
Panchromatic and Multi-spectral camera (PAN-MUX). The performance of CBERS is
similar to that of Landsat 7/ETM+ and SPOT 5. ZY-2 satellites are funded and
developed by China, and carry high resolution optical sensors (improved HR,
PAN-MUX). The performance of ZY-2 is similar to that of QuickBird and IKONOS.
The ZY-2A, 2B and 2C satellites were launched in 2000, 2002 and 2004, respectively.
The operation time of ZY-2A, ZY-2B and ZY-2C greatly exceed their two-year design
life, so ZY-2A, ZY-2B and ZY-2C could form an earth observing network.
(5)CRS-n is a high spatial resolution satellite series, also called YG-n, which carry the
high spatial resolution SAR and optical sensors. CRS-1 is the first SAR satellite in
China and carries an L-band SAR with a resolution of 5 m. CRS-2 carries optical
sensors. CRS-3 carries an L-band SAR with a resolution of 5 m. The launch time of
these three satellites is close. CRS-n is very useful for ocean dynamic environment
and ocean monitoring.
(6) SZ-n is the Chinese manned spacecraft series, with the orbital module carrying the
experimental observation of the sensors for space and earth environment monitoring.
The earth observing sensors included a medium resolution spectral imager, a
multi-mode microwave remote sensor, a solar constant monitor, a solar ultraviolet
spectral monitor, an atmospheric ozone sounder, an earth radiation budget sensor and
so on, which are the payloads of FY-3A and HY-2A.
(7) DMC/BJ-1 (Disaster Monitoring Constellation / Beijing -1) is a 166kg small
satellite. The BJ-1 small satellite, also called DMC+4, carries the multi-spectral and
panchromatic CCD imagers with the spatial resolution of 32 m and 4 m, respectively,
which can also be used for coastal zone monitoring.
All above satellite and spacecraft series are capable of ocean observation, and
therefore comprise the Chinese satellite ocean observing system, carrying ocean color
sensors, infrared and microwave radiometers, microwave altimeters, microwave
scatterometers, microwave SARs and high spatial resolution optical sensors,
 For the Chinese satellite missions carrying ocean color sensors. Among seven
satellite and spacecraft series, FY-n, HY-n, SZ-n and HJ-n carry ocean color
sensors. Thus quasi-simultaneous observation could be achieved with two medium
resolution spectral imagers (HY-1B/COCTS, FY-3A/MERSI) and a hyper-spectral
imager (HJ-1A/HSI).
 For the Chinese satellite missions carrying infrared and microwave radiometers.
Among seven satellite and spacecraft series, FY-n and HY-n carry infrared and
microwave radiometers which could be used to retrieve Sea Surface Temperature
(SST). FY-1D/MVISR-2 and FY-3A/VIRR have three infrared channels, similar to
NOAA/AVHRR. HY-1B/COCTS have two infrared channels. FY-3A/MWRI and
HY-2A/RAD are 5-channel microwave radiometers. The quasi-simultaneous SST
observation could be achieved by FY-1D, FY-3A and HY-1B. Moreover,
all-weather and all day/night high resolution SST data could be obtained together
with FY-3A/MWRI and HY-2A/RAD. These could contribute to the GHRSST
project. In addition, Chinese geostationary satellites (FY-2C, 2D, 2E/VISSR-2,
FY-4/MCSI, GEO-MWRI) could provide high temporal resolution average
cloud-free SST.
 Among seven satellite and spacecraft series, only HY-n carries a microwave
altimeter (ALT). HY-2A, the first satellite carrying the ALT in China, will be
launched in 2009. The dual-frequency (Ku, C) altimeter is similar to
 Among seven satellite and spacecraft series, only the HY-n carries a microwave
scatterometer (SCAT). HY-2A, the first satellite carrying a scatterometer (SCAT)
in China, will be launched in 2009. The SCAT will operate at Ku frequency
similar to QuikSCAT.
 Among seven satellite and spacecraft series, CRS-n, HJ-n and HY-n carry
microwave SARs. CRS-1/SAR (L), the first SAR satellite in China, was launched
on 27 April 2006, and its sister satellite CRS-3/SAR (L) was launched on 12
November 2007. HJ-1C/SAR (S) will be launched in 2009. HY-3A 3B/SAR (X, C)
will be launched after 2012. If these SAR satellites could operate over design life,
then multi-frequency SARs will be in orbit concurrently.
 For the Chinese satellite missions carrying high spatial resolution optical sensors.
Among seven satellite and spacecraft series, HY-n, ZY-n, HJ-n and DMC/BJ-1
carry optical sensors with spatial resolution better than 30 m as follows, which
could be used for qualitative observation and monitoring of coastal zone and
analysis of coastal SAR images.
4.2 Overview of the satellite ocean observing systems in Europe
The European Spaceborne Earth Observing System consists of ESA satellites,
meteorological satellites of EUMETSAT and national satellites.
ESA is following 2 lines: (1) the Explorer mission, which are experimental satellites
with new technology (examples are CRYOSAT for ice research and SMOS for
measuring ocean salinity and soil moisture) and (2) the SENTINEL satellites for the
GMES program, which are operational satellites and which are based on already
proven technology.
The operational meteorological satellites including METEOSAT are operated by
(1) ESA satellites
The European Remote Sensing satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2 have been launched in
1991 and 1995, respectively. The Envisat satellite was launched in 2002, and the
METOP satellite was launched in 2006. The sensors onboard the satellites which are
used for ocean observations are the following:
 On ERS-1 and ERS-2: An Active Microwave Instrument (AMI) comprising a
C-band scatterometer and a C-band SAR, an altimeter, and an Along Track
Scanning Radiometer (ATSAR).
 On Envisat: The Advanced C-band SAR (ASAR), the altimeter (RA-2), the
Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR), and the Medium
Resolution, Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS).
 On METOP: The Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT).
METOP is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology.
It represents the European contribution to a co-operative venture with the United States
providing data to monitor climate and improve weather forecasting. The METOP series
consists of a total of three satellites, which are designed to provide meteorological
operational data from polar orbit until 2020. METOP carries an Advanced
Scatterometer (ASCAT) for measuring wind speed and direction over the ocean. It is an
enhanced follow-on instrument to the scatterometers flown on ESA's ERS-1 and ERS-2
satellites. It has six antennas which allows for simultaneous coverage of two swaths on
either side of the satellite ground track, providing twice the information of the earlier
instruments on ERS-1 and ERS-2. Sea surface wind speed is used, among others, as
input in wave forecast models. If the Quikscat mission should come to an end (Quikscat
was launched already in 1999), METOP can fill the gap. Thus continuity of global sea
surface wind measurements is provided by the three METOP satellites until 2020.
Sentinal series: Starting in 2011, Europe plans to start a series of earth observation
satellites called the “Sentinal series”. The Sentinel satellites will be part of the
European project “Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)”.
GMES is a joint initiative of ESA and the European Union “to respond to the need to
establish a European capacity for Global Monitoring of Environment and Security to
support the public policy maker’s need for global access to reliable, accurate and
up-to-date information on issues of environment and security”, It will be the European
contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Five
different types of satellites are planned in the Sentinel series, called Sentinel 1-5. Each
type consists of several satellites. The Sentinel satellites are designed to provide
continuity of the ERS, ENVISAT, SPOT missions, Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 3 will be
used for ocean monitoring.
 Sentinal 1 will carry the European Radar Observatory, which is a C-band
Synthetic Aperture Radar (same frequency as Radarsat 2) and has an
Interferometric Wide Swath mode. It measures sea surface winds, currents and
waves, and will be used in oil spill information services and ship detection
services for fisheries and security. Three Sentinel 1 satellites will be launched (in
2011, 2012, and 2013) so that coastal zones and the main shipping routes are
covered on a daily basis.
 Sentinel 3 carries an advanced radar altimeter and two multi-channel optical
radiometers (VIS, IR) for measuring ocean colour and sea surface temperature.
The Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) has a strong heritage from
MERIS instrument on Envisat, the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer
(SLSTR), a strong heritage from AATSR instrument on Envisat, and the SAR
Radar Altimeter (SRAL) a strong heritage from Cryosat (an ESA satellite to be
launched in 2009). The first of the Sentinel 3 satellites will be launched in 2013.
(2) National satellites
An example of a national Earth Observing satellite system is the French SPOT
satellite series. However, it has only limited application for monitoring the ocean, but
can be used for coastal zone studies. In 2007 three national European satellites were
launched which have great potential for ocean monitoring: the German satellite
TerraSAR-X (on 15 June 2007) and two Italian/French COSMO-SkyMed satellites
(on 8 June and 9 December 2007). Both carry high-resolution X-band SARs. The
parameters of TerraSAR-X can be found in Table 17 of the next section. The
parameters of the SAR onboard COSMO-SkyMed are quite similar. Like TerraSAR-X,
also COSMO-SkyMed SAR has also spotlight mode with a resolution of 1 m.
COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin
Observation) consists of a constellation of 4 Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites for
primarily military surveillance. But products will be made available also to civilian
4.3 The gaps for the satellite ocean observing systems between China and Europe
The technical performance of Chinese satellites and sensors are roughly similar to
the satellites and sensors launched in this century by NASA, ESA etc. For examples:
FY-3A / MERSI was launched in 2008, the performance of which is similar to
Terra / MODIS and Auqa / MODIS which was launched in 1999 and 2002
respectively. Hy-1B / COCTS was launched in 2007, the performance of which
is similar to SeaWiFS which was launched in 1997. Quantization and radiometric
accuracy of MERSI and COCTS are lower than MODIS and SeaWiFS (See Table
There are only three microwave sensors of 19 Chinese on-orbit sensors for ocean.
(See Table 2) No ocean data products are available up to now. Merely L1 data can
be obtained. Both Envisat and Sentinel satellites are equipped with SAR and
altimeter. MetOp satellite is equipped with scatrometer. Terra-SAR X was
developed by Germany.
Among 19 on-orbit sensors, only the service for products of ocean color
parameters and SST are available. Only L1 data of microwave sensor and
hyperspectral sensor can be achieved (Table-3).
Only retrieval algorithms for SST and parameters of ocean color data are
available among the ocean data products of the on-orbit Chinese space-borne
system, they are just primary results, not strictly in the sense of operational
retrieval algorithm. Operational retrieval algorithms for European satellites were
developed with sensors at the same time. Take ocean color as an example, for
atmospheric correction, no aerosol models for the China seas and Case II water is
added. For Bio-optical algorithm, Both HY-1B / COCTS and FY-3A / MERSI
make use of the method developed for SeaWiFS and MODIS in ocean. There is a
lack of wind and sufficient validation experiments for the statistical inversion
models in coastal water. For radiometric calibration, both COCTS and MERSI
reply on the cross-calibration of radiation of SeaWiFS and MODIS
4 Up to now, no Chinese satellite data products is used to assimilate into ocean
models. For monitoring service systems using ocean color data, Chinese ocean
color data products, for example HY-1B / COCTS and FY-3A / MERSI play a
‘supporting role’ of MODIS data products actually. Reasons are given below:
MODIS data can be downloaded easily, no limit to the quantity of data, SeaDAS
software can be used.
FY-3A / MERSI limit to the quantity of data, only image displaying software
HY-1B / COCTS manual work for data download and order.
Strictly speaking, no operational retrieval algorithms for MERSI & COCTS
The tasks of top priority are:
synchronize validation experiments
ocean color database for China seas
the operational retrieval algorithms for China seas.
Satellite SST is the earliest product providing to users among all the data products
of China spaceborne ocean observing system. However, data quality of products of
Satellite SST is not satisfied. The FY and HY have been designed with capability
providing SST observation from space. FY-2C, 2D, 2E are currently on orbit. FY-2E
was launched in December 2008, replacing FY-2C which has exceeded its duty time.
The FY-2D infrared split window channels IR1 and IR2 for the observation of SST
are analyzed and compared with simultaneous brightness temperature data
fromMTSAT-1R. The results show poor calibration of FY-2D IR1 and IR2 channels,
which are not capable of retrieving valid SST products. For HY series satellite, the
HY-1B is on-orbit. The FY-2E IR1 and IR2 performance will be analyzed. The HY-1B
COCTS SST products are compared with AVHRR and MODIS SST products. The
results show negative bias around 1K for COCTS SST. The FY-3A, a new generation
polar orbiting meteorological satellite, was launched in 2008. The Visible and
InfraRed Radiometer (VIRR) on board FY-3A has infrared split window channels as
well as a mid-infrared channel for SST retrieval. The SST products derived from
FY-3A are under investigation.
Table1 Comparison of ocean color sensors
Table 2 Chinese on-orbit sensors for ocean
Table 3 Summary of Data Products of six sensors for Ocean Observing System
(1) The short life of the satellite
Taking the ocean color satellite for example, the design life time of the Chinese ocean
color satellites HY-1A and HY-1B were 2 years and 3 years, respectively. However,
the design life time of the Envisat/MERIS, SeaStar/SeaWiFS and EOS/MODIS were
all more than 5 years, and the actually in-orbit operational time may more than 10
years. Therefore, the life time should be prolonged for the Chinese satellite.
(2) Lacking of the on-orbit calibration system
On-orbit calibration system is very important for the quantitative using of the satellite
data. However, up to now, few of the sensors onboard the Chinese satellites have the
on-orbit calibration system.
(3) Incapability of the global monitoring
Most of the satellites of ESA, NASA and NOAA have the global detecting capacity,
which is very important for the global monitoring for environment and security.
However, few of the Chinese oceanic satellites have the capacity of global monitoring.
Taking HY-1B for example. It has the ability to detecting the global ocean color
information, but because of the limitation of the oversea data storage memory (250
MB), HY-1B can only achieve 5 orbits data maximum in one day.
5. The gaps for the data integration and information management between
China and Europe
5.1 Overview of the data integration and information management in China
(1) Data sharing
Based on different data resources, oceanic data in China is largely divided into five
categories: Data from meteorological satellites, data from oceanic satellites, data from
Argo buoys, data from in situ marine observation stations and data from research
vessel observations.
 Data from meteorological satellites (FY-1 and FY-2). Real-time data from FY-2 is
public data. Users can download freely directly from the website of the
meteorological satellites FY-1 and after registration.
While, marine data from meteorological satellites (FY-1 and FY-2) are internal
data. Users who want to get those data should firstly get permission from data
management departments.
 Data from oceanic satellite HY-1 are free besides costs for making products.
 Argo data: China is a part of the global Argo program. Argo data are shared for
free. In order to distribute Argo data effectively, the China Argo Data Center and
China Real-time Data Center established websites ( and The former provides access to the global Argo profiles
data, meta data, trajectory data and deployment information from the Argo
Continuously Managed Database. The users are able to access the data
conveniently from the website including netCDF raw data, near real-time data,
meta data, trajectory data, delayed-mode data, and can download Argo data via
FTP. China Real-time Data Center’s website shows the status of Chinese floats
including TS profiles and trajectories. The global Argo data are available to users
via FTP.
 Data from in situ marine observation stations. Generally speaking, forecast data,
statistical data and scientific maps of history such as sea surface temperature
forecast in South China Sea, global grid sea surface temperature monthly anomaly,
Sea surface pressure and anomaly of north hemisphere, typhoon maps in South
China Sea, Investigation maps in Southern Sea, etc., in global or large areas are
free sharing data. Original observation data from marine observation stations such
as meteorological observation data, sea surface temperature, salinity, luminance of
sea and tide data are limited sharing data.
 Data from oceanic research vessels: In order to promote communication and
cooperation in the field of oceanic research and between different scientific fields,
and for making data the exchange effective, sharing voyage investigation has been
implemented in different institutions.
Main oceanic investigations are held by South China Sea Institute of Oceanography of
CAS (SCSIO), and Institute of Oceanography of CAS (IOCAS). SCSIO has a
comprehensive ocean research vessel named SHIYAN-III. The institution has used it
for oceanic investigation since the year of 2004. Similar to SCSIO, IOCAS has a
comprehensive ocean research vessel too, which is called KEXUE-III. IOCAS has
been doing oceanic investigation since year of 2006. And, investigations of this year
(2009) are being prepared now. There are two ways to share data from oceanic
research vessels, which are sharing cruise and free data sharing.
 Sharing cruise means scientific workers can take part in oceanic investigations
and become member of the investigation teams for free.
 Free sharing data (data of sharing cruises). SCSIO has set up a special data
management team to manage observing data and samples from navigation sharing.
The special data management team is in charge of data collection and makes
information and data sharing through the network or database, and also publish
them at regular time. According to different scientific fields, each research team
should submit data to SCSIO within one to two years after the cruise to share
information and data. According to different scientific fields, each team should
submit observing data of navigation sharing to the Department of Research and
Technology of IOCAS to share information and data.
(2) Data management
There are several main bodies of Chinese oceanographic institutions in charge of
observing, transmitting, and managing marine data, including Chinese Academy of
Science (CAS), State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China Meteorological
Administration (CMA), universities under Ministry of Education (MOE), and military
agencies like the Navy Marine Meteorological Center. Data from military agencies
and universities are more specialized in defense and research purposes.
 Meteorological remote sensing data.
In order to manage data from meteorological satellites effectively, the ground system
of the satellite, which is being designed, constructed and operated by the China
Meteorological Administration, is in charge of management of data from
meteorological satellites. The ground segment of FY-1 satellite comprises three
ground stations, which are located at Beijing, Guangzhou, and Urumchi, and a Data
Processing Center (DPC) at Beijing. The data received at the three ground stations are
transmitted to the DPC via ground communication network in real time. After data
processing in DPC, the generated products are distributed to users via the \9210"
System and ground network.
 Oceanic remote sensing data.
To manage the ocean remote sensing data from HY-1, oceanic satellite ground
application systems has been built in China. For example, the Marine Satellite Data
Application System(MSDAS)in SIO/SOA is composed of a satellite receiving
ground station and a data processing and distribution system. This system is able to
accomplish real-time receiving and automatically synchronous processing of
multi-satellite data, such as EOS/MODIS, NOAA/AVHRR, FY-1/MVISR, and
HY-1/COCTS, and then generates L0, L1, L2, L3 and L4 remote sensing products
which include sixteen kinds of marine environmental mapping that have been
achieved since 1989, such as sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, suspended
sediment, yellow material, diffusing attenuation coefficient of 490 nm, Secchi disk
depth, vegetation index and optical thickness and so on. A distribution platform
named WebGIS sub-system has been developed for querying and browsing of oceanic
remote sensing data. This sub-system is based on large database system: Oracle. We
took relation database as the core to store spatial data with related attribution data. To
realize automatically warehousing of remote sensing data and management of the
system, the C/S structure is applied. And B/S structure is used to release and share
ocean information. Simply using standard browsers (such as IE6.0), users can visit the
public service provided by the system including quasi-real-time oceanic remote
sensing data of different dimensional and temporal characteristic.
Particularly, the distribution processing of HY-1 data is given out as following: firstly,
users submit data order to business department of National Satellite Marine
Application Center. Then, the business department distributes tasks to departments in
charge of kinds of business in National Satellite Marine Application Center. After
tasks are finished, these departments will transfer results back to the business
department. And then, data will be sent back to users.
 Argo data
In order to extend the influence of China Argo Project, to link up the International
Argo Project Organization and Countries, and to promote the Argo data for public
share, , China Argo Real-Time Data Center Website was set up in Hangzhou, China
on April 5, 2002. In pace with the China Argo Project steady developing and the
China Argo Data were founded. China Argo Data Real-Time Center has conducted the
tasks of Argo floats deploying, real-time data receiving and processing, data quality
control methods/ways research and developing, and fast delivering the data to
Argo-related institutions/users and agencies.
 Data from field and vessels observation
Due to the large numbers of marine stations spreading across China Sea and the huge
amount of information, which can be gained every day, many data agencies are
needed for data transmission and distribution. At present, main agencies in China
dealing with these things are the National Marine and Environmental Forecast Center,
the National Marine Information Center, the National Marine & Environmental
Surveillance Center, the Regional Marine Information Center, and the National
Marine Data & Information Service. Among all of these agencies, the National
Marine Data & Information Service (NMDIS), which is aiming at managing data
from field and vessels observation, is responsible for the final storage of data and,
thus, is more important than the others. NMDIS is a national facility under the State
Oceanic Administration (SOA), and maintains and develops the national marine
database, which is a collection of marine data sets originating mainly from China
marine observation establishments. Besides, as a national coordinator, NMDIS hosts
the World Data Center for Oceanography (Tianjin, China), China Argo Data Center,
China Delayed Mode Database for NEAR-GOOS.
There are many ways to distribute data. Generally, they are can be divide into two
ways, which are offline sharing and online sharing. Offline sharing means sharing
data through DVD and tapes etc.. Online sharing works via online platforms to share
data via the internet. So far, there are four platforms in China, which are Marine
Information & Data Sharing Center, marine data sharing platform in northern sea,
marine data sharing platform in Qingdao and marine data sharing platform in southern
sea. Up to now, thirteen marine scientific database systems and metadata systems
have been built by the Marine Information & Data Sharing Center. The Marine
Information & Data Sharing Center is operational now. So service can be supplied
now operationally. The Marine data sharing platform in Qingdao has just been
completed. Users can visit the website at for further
information. Besides, marine data sharing platform in southern sea can be visited
online too through the website at
5.2 Overview of the data integration and information management in Europe
The GMES European program provides today a clear framework for the development
of operational oceanography in Europe, with priorities and guidelines for the teams
involved. Priorities are related to fast-track implementation of the more mature services
for the benefit of downstream users, whereas guidelines focus on interoperability and
system modularity to ensure a progressive and sustainable development of the overall
GMES system infrastructure.
Different data bases with a longer history have been maintained by various national and
international agencies in Europe. One is e.g. the data base at ICES (the International
Councel for the Exploration of the Sea), which is supported by corresoponding national
data bases. The European Integrated System for Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting as
organized in the framework of European Community GMES projects, such as
MERSEA, ECOOP or upcoming MyOcean, led to a first system definition for an
integrated European capacity for ocean monitoring and forecasting compliant with
existing organizations and international & European standards, efficient for an
innovative and operational service, and easy to implement under the GMES schedule.
The “system of systems” approach which was used as a guideline to build this
European capacity requires a particular focus on information management and shared
protocols and policies in order to hide the underlying distribution and heterogeneity of
the interconnected systems and partners.
The MERSEA Integrated System is composed of different components, developed
and operated in different places, but inter-connected to form an integrated capacity:
the MERSEA Integrated System is itself a Pan-European “system of systems”. Eight
major components have been identified for MERSEA system. Three components
manage the observation data for remote sensing, in-situ and forcing fields raw data
that they quality control and assemble into an integrated dataset. The system is also
composed of five for model data (Global, North-East Atlantic, Mediterranean, Artic
and Baltic). These five components take the observation datasets as input and
assimilate them in order to provide ocean state and forecast.
The targeted marine applications gather a wide range of users that require different
oceanic products from MERSEA. But, regarding their technical interface with the
MERSEA Integrated System (i.e. the way these users are using the System), they can be
classified into a small number of “uses” categories needed to define “how” the
MERSEA Integrated System is used. Uses of the MERSEA Integrated System have
thus been classified into 5 categories, each category grouping users sharing similar
Category 1: “Privileged users”: they need exchanging data and/or products and/or
services on a routine mode. This is mainly done via computer-to-computer link, with no
human intervention and the guarantee of high level availability & quality of service.
Category 2: “Standard users”: they, on request, access products routinely produced by
MERSEA integrated system (standard products); they need tools to search among
registered (qualified) products and easily identified/find needed products, to select/
extract/ access useful (limited) information.
Category 3: “Public users”: General Public with aim for education and public
outreach. They want ‘front/demonstration’ window for operational oceanography.
Category 4: “Specific users”: these users (e.g. research labs) request specific products,
i.e. Products which are not available online or though registered distribution mean, or
not routinely produced and qualified;. They can be served via human intervention. We
just mention here this “specific use” category, but they have not been considered in
MERSEA Integrated System implementation.
Category 5: “Operations” (system management): All users involved in the MERSEA
system monitoring and supervision. They need monitoring functions and results, serve
general information and provide visibility on existing systems.
The MERSEA overall service provides a high resolution 4D depiction of ocean state on
global ocean and major European seas, on an operational basis, including full expertise
and assessment indices. Even though no strong common data policy has been agreed
among data providers, a few security and data access rules have been agreed: 1)
Metadata and images provided in the MERSEA framework are free. 2) Data access
may be restricted.
In order to build, from the distributed data centres (observation data centres or
monitoring and forecasting centres), a federated system of systems, a few low level
standards have been agreed between partners. These implementations of standards
provide low-level homogeneous interfaces for the overall system. These standards deal
with: metadata, local data repositories (data files), download interface and viewing
5.3 The gaps for the data integration and information management between
China and Europe
(1) Low level of the data integration
As mention above, there are several main bodies of Chinese oceanographic
institutions in charge of observing, transmitting, and managing marine data, including
Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China
Meteorological Administration (CMA), universities under Ministry of Education
(MOE), and military agencies. The in-situ data availability for the China Sea has been
inhomogeneous, fragmented and often sparse, in particular regarding
multidisciplinary coastal data. The data processing have moreover been distributed in
several national data centres, with varying practise for data access, and often not been
designed and operated to meet the near real time demands of operational forecasting
systems.Although there are some data integration plans or programs in China, but the
integrated systems are always limited in the same body or the same cruises, which
lacks the high level of data integration to gather through the different bodies of
Chinese oceanographic institutions. Currently there is no marine data and information
system, which can include data from all observing stations in the form of a system of
systems in China. Even though the marine scientific sharing platforms under NMDIS
can provide much data and information, it is still under construction and most of the
remote sensing data are still not included.
(2) Lacking the international links and the unified data format
International links are very important for the successful data integration program. At
present, different departments in China have their ocean data integration standards but
only a few of them consider the international links and compliant with international
standards. As far as marine data and information are concerned, there is no unified
format for both data and metadata from all different sources in China. It is necessary
to define a unified data and metadata format which can be applied to all data from
various sources. Moreover, there is no common data transfer protocol for all data
facilities. That also needs to be defined clearly and quickly.
(3) Low efficiency of the information service
There are many ways to distribute data in China, online and via data media (e.g.
DVD). However, in most cases, data distribution is still through manual processing in
China. Furthermore, because of the lacking consideration of the services for the
benefit of downstream users, many online data sharing systems are inconvenient for
users to access. The marine data and information provided by different platforms are
overlapped with each other to some degree. In other words, data redundancy exists
under many circumstances. More efforts should be made to ensure that marine data
and information can be managed more efficiently and also more cost effectively.
(4) The quite limited data sharing
Because of the security, copyright and data policy reasons, the data sharing in China is
quite limited. Although the meteorological and oceanic satellite remote sensing data,
and the Argo buoys data are almost free, but the data from in situ marine observation
stations and data from research vessel observations are still difficult to get.
(5) The low level of the data assimilation into model
A majority of oceanic and atmospheric models in China use station and ship data as
input. Satellite data from altimeters, scatterometers and radiometers as well as buoy
data from ARGO are also assimilated into numerical models but with less than 30%,
and all assimilated satellite data are from abroad. Chinese remote sensing data are
rarely used at present time.
6. Comparing between the current status on the Ocean and coastal information
products and services in China and Europe
6.1 Overview of Status on the ocean and coastal information products and
services in China
Due to its administrative responsibility, the State Ocean Administration of China
(SOA) and its subordinates is officially in charge of the ocean and coastal
management and information services. In August 2008, the State Council
re-determines the functions, the organizations, posts and the staff size of SOA. A new
department is added, which is based on the original organs of the headquarters of
SOA, namely “Department of marine forecasting and disaster reducing”, with the new
responsibility of supervising the operational running of marine economy, assessment
and information dissemination. The work to address climate change and energy
conservation & pollutant discharge reduction is also specially highlighted in the new
responsibility of SOA. SOA has been strengthening and enlarging the rights and
responsibilities in comprehensively coordinating the marine affairs, which is a new
milestone in the development of China marine cause.
Under the administrative system and function, the marine information dissemination
and service is in charged by the national marine centers, and the SOA branches in
three sea areas (Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea, East China Sea and Southern Yellow Sea,
and the South China Sea). In the recent years, the coastal provinces have founded
their own local organization to serve the public, government and industries for marine
and fishery management.
 National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center (NMEFC) is specially
engaged in marine environmental forecast and related advisory services and
scientific research. It is also the sole state-authorized institution at nation-level to
issue marine environmental forecast products for public use.
 The National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS) is responsible for
the centralized management of national marine information resources, the
provision of technical support and information service for national marine
economic development, sea area management and marine environmental
protection, and the operational guidance and coordination for national marine
information work.
 SOA is represented by three branches in local China Sea to perform the ocean
administrative management, regional marine environment observation and
monitoring. They have their own regional operational centers to serve the public
and local government. North China Sea Branch of SOA (NCSB) is responsible
for Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea, East China Sea Branch (ECSB) for East China Sea
and the Southern Yellow Sea, and South China Sea Branch (SCSB) for the South
China Sea.
The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) is Chinese research center in the
field of comprehensive studies of the polar region and the polar information
center of China. It is responsible for the Chinese Polar Science Database, the
polar information network, National Polar Archives of China, Polar Library,
sample database and science journals, Polar Popular Museum, etc.
The major ocean and coastal information products and services in China include the
ocean wave forecast, sea surface temperature forecast, sea ice forecast, storm surge
forecast, harmful algal bloom forecast, tide and tidal current prediction, marine
meteorological forecast, seashore and Routing forecast, El Nino forecast, and Tsunami
forecast. The forecast products are directly broadcast by CCTV (China Central
Television), CCBS (Chinese Central Broadcasting Station) and other news media.
Also, the information can be transmitted to its users through fax, telex, long-distance
computer terminal, public post and telecommunication network, etc..
The marine environmental forecasting includes
 Seashore and Routing Forecast. The forecast group provides three days
forecasting products of marine environmental elements for beach and human
health safety both on TV and internet. Products include sea temperature, air
temperature, water quality, swimming comfort degree, water health index, best
swimming time, sea wave etc…
 Sea Surface temperature. The operational forecasting products are based on
statistics and numerical models. The main numerical models include improved
POM, HYCOM and FVCOM configurations. Forecasting areas covers Pacific,
Northwest Pacific and China Seas.
 Ocean wave forecast. Sea wave real-time analysis and short-term forecasting
service covers the china seas and the northwest Pacific (5°N~45°N, 100°E ~
165°E). Numerical forecast includes wind wave, surge amplitude, period, main
wave direction, intensity and motive directions by using WAM4 model and
SWAN models. But, in the fields of the global ocean wave operational forecasting
system, China is still at the preliminary stage.
 Tide and Tidal Current Prediction. NMDIS manages the tide data recorded from
the tidal stations along Chinese coasts and is in charge of the tidal prediction and
tidal current analysis. NMDIS is also responsible for publishing "Chinese Sea
level Bulletin" every year. The State Oceanic Administration of China maintains
the Chinese sea level monitoring station networks.
 Marine Meteorological Forecast. NMEFC has improved MM5 model and WRF
model used for China seas and other adjoin regions. Wind, temperature, relative
humidity and pressure etc. elements are provided by these models. They are
forcing field inputs for sea wave, storm surge models, and the typhoon path
forecast. In recent years, mid and long range forecasting methods for marine
weather have been improved. The main products include disastrous marine
weather and weather system, with a-ten day, monthly or annual (especially for
typhoon) range.
El Niño Forecast. El Niño group provides sea surface temperature and
temperature anomaly for the NiNO3region in the Pacific from one to six month
forecast. CGCM model (from Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS) and CCM3
(Community Climate Model from NCAR) are the main numerical climate
forecasting systems.
The forecast for the disasters, including
 Storm Surge Forecast. NMEFC has autonomously established typhoon and
extra-tropical storm surge model (CTS model and CES model) covering the
whole China Sea and supplying the forecast services to the users. Evaluation of
storm surge risk is also one of the main technical services. DEM, DLG data and
SPOT satellite sensing data are used to plot high resolution risk evaluation map
by GIS integrating technique and nested grid calculation.
 Harmful algal bloom forecast. The main objectives are to monitor environment
element variability of China Seas, disseminating forecast of harmful algal bloom
trend and trigger conditions and evaluative trend of current harmful algal bloom.
 Sea Ice forecast. Sea ice forecast of Northern Bohai Sea and Huanghai Sea is a
part of disastrous ocean forecasting. The forecasting products are directly
disseminated to users and some are also released through CCTV. Statistical
products include weekly, 10days, monthly and annual sea ice maximum cover
line, normal and maximum ice thickness. Numerical products are 1 to 5days ice
thickness, density, ice velocity and daily ice cover line.
 Tsunami Forecast. The main responsibilities are to monitor ocean and local
tsunamis and to send pre-warning along china seas. Analysis and evaluation of
the tsunami risk and supports of the information distribution is a benefit for the
human being and property security.
6.2 Overview of Status on the ocean and coastal information products and
services in EU
In Europe, numerous efforts have been carried out at national and European levels to
define and demonstrate a capacity to make available and deliver a generic services
based on common ocean state variables necessary to meet the needs for environmental
and security applications. Under several consecutive European projects, such as
EuroGOOS, MERSEA, BOSS4GMES, and MyOcean, operational oceanography is
structured over Europe in the frame of international programs such as the Global
Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Global Monitoring for the Environment and
Security (GEMS).
As the oceanographic component of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems
(GEOSS), GOOS is a system of programmes, each of which is working on different
and complementary aspects of establishing an operational ocean observation
capability for all of the world's nations. In 1995, the EuroGOOS Memorandum of
Understanding was signed in Italy for the coordination of operational oceanography
( The service was developed with a European regional seas
strategy and service were initially developed at the level of three regional seas,
so-called MOON (Mediterranean Sea), BOOS (Baltic Sea) and NOOS (North West
Shelf). This is nowadays the conceptual model followed by the overall GOOS
At the same time, a comprehensive effort to connect European regional seas to global
ocean forecasting started with the advent of the MERSEA Integrated Project, funded
by the FP6 GMES research and development program from April 2004 to March
2008. The GMES service, integrated and interoperable between regional seas and the
global ocean, started also to be developed in a precursor GMES FP5 EU project,
so-called MERSEA Strand-1 where four European regional seas (Arctic, Baltic, North
Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean) started to develop and implement common
quality control protocols for ocean products ( The
strategic objective of MERSEA is to provide an integrated service of global and
Regional Ocean monitoring and forecasting to intermediate users and policy makers
in support of safe and efficient offshore activities, environmental management,
security, and sustainable use of marine resources. The system is a key component of
the Ocean and Marine services element of GMES.
BOSS4GMES is an integrated Research & Development project co-funded by the
European Commission under FP6.The BOSS4GMES Consortium gathers members
from all around Europe: 37 committed industrial, research and institutional partners
from 11 Member States of the EU. The project started in December 2006 and
operated for 30 months. Its major aim is to support GMES in becoming a sustainable
and operational tool for the “public good” of all European Citizens. The project was
established on three pillars: technology, economics, and communications. The
BOSS4GMES project is a pioneer and is rather unique in the GMES world: 1) it
enables players who have been previously working separately to share information
and better serve the development of GMES; 2) it enables the development of
synergies and enhanced coordination with other GMES projects co-financed by the
European Commission or the European Space Agency; 3) The consortium integrates
as partners, specialists in communication and PR; an important element at this stage in
the development of GMES; 4) The project places special emphasis on organisational
and long-term financial sustainability issues.
With the GMES program and its Marine Core Service (MCS) fast-track, the European
community is consolidating all previous efforts in pre-operational ocean monitoring
and forecasting capacity in Europe developed through precursor’s projects in FP6
MERSEA and BOSS4GMES. During years 2009-2011, MyOcean Project was
funded, which will lead the setting up of this new European service, grown on past
investments in research & development, system development and international
collaborations. MyOcean is the implementation project of the GMES Marine Core
Service, aiming at deploying the first concerted and integrated pan-European capacity
for Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting.
MyOcean is focussed on the transition from demonstration to operations as a first
priority, with the final review for a “ready-for-operations” label. The MCS fast-track
is to build on already existing and well coordinated pan-European research and
operational oceanography capabilities to deliver real operational service infrastructure
described in the GMES Marine Core Services Implementation Plan. The MyOcean
“system of systems” will be composed of a central service desk, and 12 production
units - 5 Thematic Assembly Centers, handling space and in situ observations, and
7 Monitoring and Forecasting Centers, handling assimilative 3D modelling capacities
- spread throughout Europe, but interconnected to form an integrated system thanks
to information management components and global workflow operations monitoring.
MyOcean is conducted by a consortium of 61 partners. It is structured around a core
team of 12 core service operators, connected to key research and development players,
linked to 26 key intermediate users ready to commit to service validation and
promotion. It represents the whole maritime EU Member States and is connected to
countries across the Atlantic and around the Mediterranean and Black seas.
For the service, MyOcean will provide the best information available on the Ocean for
the large scale (worldwide coverage) and regional scales (European seas), based on
the combination of space and in situ observations, and their assimilation into 3D
simulation models: temperature, salinity, currents, ice extent, sea level, primary
ecosystems. Maritime security, oil spill prevention, marine resources management,
climate change, seasonal forecasting, coastal activities, ice sheet surveys, water
quality and pollution … are some of the targeted applications. Services will be
accessible through a single entry point – the service desk – that will guarantee the
uniformity of the form, availability and quality of access to MCS services in each
country and for each thematic. The MyOcean Service Desk is the unique front facing
service interface to users of the MyOcean. It is the 24/7 MyOcean central service to
The major expected progress will be the engagement of downstream users, and long
term adoption of MyOcean products and services. The MyOcean service will be also
open and accessible to any GMES downstream service provider candidate to validate
the MCS service. A strong involvement from key users will enable the qualification of
the MyOcean products portfolio to ensure a complete readiness towards long-term
operational oceanography services in European waters. Two key scientific challenges
for MyOcean will be to broaden the scope of the operational production to include
other components (such as biological properties), and to further improve the quality
and reliability of ocean information in terms of scientific content. There is also an
organisational challenge which will be the development and adoption by all partners
of common practices, standards and quality management policies.
6.3 The gaps of the ocean and coastal information products and services between
China and EU
From the above overview of the status on the ocean and coastal information products
and services in China and EU, clear differences can be seen. Under the national
framework, the system of the marine information services has the typically
administrative feature. The national centers, branches of SOA, and local governments,
all had their windows to release the ocean and coastal information products and
services to the related users and public, although the types of services are various
according to their administrative functions and techniques abilities. The marine
information is mainly used for the domestic management and marine activities, like
marine transportation, fishery, investigation and exploration, etc. And the forecasting
model also focus on the China Sea and its adjacent area, some extend to the North
Pacific Ocean. Less attention is paid to Global Ocean. Therefore, the marine
observation and information service in China is only for domestic affairs. In recent
years, China is also paying much attention to the global ocean and climate change, but
it is in the initial stage, and the connection or the contribution to GOOS and GEMS is
very small. Lots of effort should be done to integrate the China marine observation
and information service system to GOOS and GEMS, in which the administrative
communication and encouragement are the most critical requirements.
In ocean numerical model forecasting or simulation, the main gaps, which should be
filled by China, could be summarized as follows. (1) The forcing field and data
assimilation: wind fields with high quality and accuracy are needed to improve both
ocean wave modeling and ocean numerical modeling. Assimilation of in situ data and
satellite data into 4-D models should be improved. (2) Key physical processes should
be studied and parameterized especially in coastal areas: further studies are needed in
air-sea coupling processes including wind storm – wave – tide – current – ice
interaction processes, and solar radiation and its scattering processes, and atmosphere
– ocean coupling techniques. (3) Model products’ verification and validation: model
verification and validation standard should be improved in ocean numerical modeling.
(4) In situ data, satellite data and model forecasting data service should be improved
in the future.
For the EU, which is composed by many countries, once the common signature is
confirmed, capacity in national and European levels can be integrated to make
available and deliver a generic services based on common ocean state variables
necessary to meet the needs for environmental and security applications. Under
several consecutive European projects, such as EuroGOOS, MERSEA, BOSS4GMES,
and MyOcean, operational oceanography is structured over Europe in the frame of
international programs such as GOOS and GEMS.
Therefore, the ocean and coastal information products and services in EU are in a
higher level than that in China. But China is making great progress in integrated
marine information service by setting up a large China “Digital Ocean” Program,
which can make full advantages of the national marine resources. The program
includes several important parts: ocean three-dimensional monitoring data and
information collection and transmission, spatial data infrastructure, information
resource exploration and usage, digital ocean application service system etc. On June
12, 2009, China launched a website called iOcean (, the first
digital marine service system open to the public in the country. With the iOcean,
public can access to a wealth of marine knowledge, and enhance the marine
geo-spatial concepts, understanding and perception of a colorful world of the ocean.
However, the “digital sea” construction is a huge, complex, long-term and systematic
project, and it still needs time and numerous efforts to catch up the information
service system in EU and contribution to the GOOS and GEMS.
7. The gap for scientific research and education.
We compare China and Europe marine institutions.
China side
Ocean University of China
Xiamen University
ZhongShan (Sun Yat-sen) University
Dalian University Of Technology
Dalian Maritime University
Tongji University
University of Hainan
Naval University of Engineering
Hehai University
Shanghai Maritime University
Shanghai Fisheries University
East China Normal University
Chinese Academy of Sciences:
Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research for Sustainable Development, Chinese
Academy of Sciences
Institute of Acoustic, Chinese Academy of Sciences
State Oceanography Administration:
The First Institute of Oceanography, SOA
Second Institute of Oceanography, SOA
Third Institute of Oceanography, SOA
China Marine Monitoring Team
National marine environment monitor Centre
national marine environment forecaster center
National Satellite Ocean Application Service
Polar Research Institute of China
National Ocean Technology Center
China Institute for marine environment protection
China Institute for marine S & T information
China Institute for Marine Affair
Ministry of Agriculture:
Yellow Sea China Sea Fishery Research Institute
East Sea China Sea Fishery Research Institute
South China Sea Fishery Research Institute (SCSFRI)
Europe side:
Laboratoire d'Océanologie, Université de Liège
Unité d'Océanographie Chimique, Université de Liège
Biogas Transfer in Estuaries - BIOGEST
SALMON: Sea Air Land Modeling Operational Network, Université de Liège
MAST - Marine Science and Technology, European Commision, Brussels
Mediterranean Oceanic Data Base, Université de Liège
MMarie, Application of High Performance Computing Techniques for the
Modeling of Marine Ecosystems
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split
Center for Marine Research of the Rudjer Boskovic Institute
Zagreb Division
Rovinj Division
Cyprus Coastal Forecasting and Observing System
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES
ICES Oceanographic products for PCs (FTP)
Department of Ocean Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Finnish Institute of Marine Research
DSI: Information processing System Development
LPO: Laboratorie de Physique des Oceans
ORSTOM: ships of opportunity XBT network
SISMER: Marine Scientific Information Systems
Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille, CNRS
Institut Pierre Simon Laplace-Numerical Modelling Group, Paris
Laboratoire de Biog 閛 chimie et Chimie Marines, Paris
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commision, UNESCO, Paris
GOOS - Global Ocean Observing System
Centre for Earth Observation - Coastal Zone, Sophia Antipolis
European Boards for Marine and Polar Science, Strasbourg
AVISO - TOPEX/POSEIDON W3 server, CLS, Toulouse
Oceanologic Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer
Institute of Marine Biology, Crete
National Centre for Marine Research, Athens
Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Universität Bremen
Tracer Oceanography, Universität Bremen
The Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven
GKSS Institute for Coastal Research
Hydrographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean
Near-Earth Navigation & Geodesy Section ESOC, ESA, Darmstadt
European Geophysical Society (EGS)
Bundesamt für Seeschiffahrt und Hydrographie - Federal Maritime and
Hydrography Agency, Hamburg
German Climate Computer Centre, Hamburg
WOCE Hydrographic Program SAC (FTP)
Institut für Meereskunde, University of Hamburg
Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel
Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea, Oldenburg University
Institut für Ostseeforschung, Warnemünde
Baltic Sea Resources
The Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, Reykjavik
Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik
The Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute, National University of Ireland,
The Irish Marine Institute, Dublin
Marine Fisheries Research Institute (IRPEM) of the Italian National Research
Council, Ancona
The ESA/ESRIN Ionia Global AVHRR Data Set Browser, Frascati
Robotlab, Genoa
The Joint Research Centre, Ispra
Live DMS Ocean Biological Model
NATO SACLANT Undersea Research Centre
Department of Oceanology and Environmental Geophysics, University of
Space Research and Technology, Delft University of Technology
Department of Oceanography, KNMI, De Bilt
National Oceanographic Data Committee
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Texel
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht
Institute of Marine Research, Bergen
Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen
Joint Global Ocean Flux Study - JGOFS
ESOP-2 Thermohaline circulation in the Greenland Sea
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen
Geophysical fluid dynamics, Mechanics Division, University of Oslo
Oceanor, Trondheim
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, Poland
Institute of Oceanology PAS, Sopot, Poland
Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, University of the Azores
Institute of Oceanography, University of Lisbon
Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences
P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Institute of Marine Sciences, Barcelona
AINCO-Interocean, Madrid
Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Madrid
Göteborg University Marine Research Centre
Analytical and Marine Chemistry, University of Göteborg
Stockholm Marine Research Centre
Meteorologiska Institutionen Stockholms Universitet (MISU)
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme - IGBP, Stockholm
SMHI Oceanographical Laboratory
Umee Marine Sciences Centre
AB Hydroconsult, Uppsala
Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas, National Academy of Sciences
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, National Academy of Sciences
United Kingdom
ALIPOR (Autonomous Lander and Intrumentation
Oceanographic Research) Project, Aberdeen University
S.O.A.E.F.D. Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen
The School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor
Plankton Reactivity In the Marine Environment (PRIME)
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Bidston
BODC: The British Oceanographic Data Centre
WOCE `delayed-mode' Sea Level DAC (FTP)
Hadley Centre, Bracknell
British Marine Life Study Society (England)
British Marine Life Study Society (Scotland)
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge
Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
InterRidge, Durham
U.K. Ocean Drilling Program, Durham
Earthworks - job opportunities online, Cambridge
Physical Oceanography, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Stable Isotope Laboratory, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Satellite Observing Systems, Godalming
Ocean Systems Laboratory, Heriot Watt, Edinburgh
Virtual Ecology, Earth Sciences and Engineering, Imperial College
Ocean Circulation Modelling, Earth Sciences and Engineering, Imperial
Oceanography Laboratories, University of Liverpool
Physical Oceanography
School of Marine science and Technology, Newcastle University
Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban
Marine Science BSc, University of the Highlands and Dunstaffnage Marine
OSIL Environmental Instruments and Systems
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Oxford University
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
GLOBEC International Project Office
National Marine Biological Library
Institute of Marine Studies, University of Plymouth
The Marine Biological Association, Plymouth
Oceanography Group, Department of Meteorology, Reading University
Along Track Scanning Radiometer, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
North Atlantic Fisheries College, Shetland
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology
TT Designs, Southampton
Fugro GEOS, Swindon
From above investigation, we can clearly see that Europe has more marine institutions
than China. If we consider the total budget, scientific and technological level etc,
China is relatively weak, the equipment used in marine development is backward and
some areas are still in rough shape.
Nevertheless, China and Europe marine capacity building have obvious respective
characteristics. For example:
Geographic characteristics
Europe side pays more attention to Arctic Ocean region, and China has more interests
to watch Equator area, South China Sea and India ocean, because Asia Monsoon, west
pacific ocean warm pool and the Tibet plateau are important factors to China’s and
world climate. So two observing systems are multi-complement. Further cooperation
between Europe and China marine monitoring will be very useful.
Research area difference
The Global monitoring on environment and security GMES is proposed by EU.
European research area also has global characteristics. China pays more attention to
the study of the inshore shelf oceanography. China has established a multidisciplinary
oceanographic research system with regional characteristics.
Current Europe science priorities
(1). To understand the role of the ocean in the Earth system
This role manifests itself in long-term climate and short-term weather patterns as
controlled by ocean circulation, which in turn responds to changes in global
temperature, radiation budget and sea-level change. Oceans also interact with tectonic
forces that gradually change the long-term ocean/land configuration or, short-term,
cause environmental catastrophes.
Key examples and priority goals:
� Ocean circulation: improved assessment and prediction systems.
The North Atlantic is a crucial regulator in the global climate system.
� Tropical cyclones: better global forecasts.
Europe suffers indirectly in multiple ways from hurricanes and typhoons through
global effects
� Tsunamis: a tsunami early-warning system for Europe
European coasts have been devastated in the past by tsunamis triggered by
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, underwater land slides.
� Ocean observatories: networking and strategies for ocean-wide research. Local,
regional and ocean observations are proven tools for these goals.
(2). To maintain the ocean’s ecosystem while continuing to exploit ocean resources
The aims are to achieve a balance between scientific, environmental, political and
economical interests. An ongoing basic scientific theme is the assessment of
biodiversity, as are the applied fields of fisheries development, innovative aquaculture,
energy conversion, deep-sea mining, and fossil-fuel exploitation. Sustainable
exploitation also needs to be based on a solid knowledge of ecosystem interaction,
environmental compatibility, reliable estimates of resources, as well as prudent ocean
Key examples and priorities:
� Aquaculture and fisheries: a new ecosystem approach to aquaculture.
Declining global catches are irreversible; current aquaculture is facing grave
� Resources from the sea: improved technical developments and assessment of
environmental impacts.
Ocean energy derived from wind farms, tidal parks and gas hydrates could
minimize greenhouse gas outputs.
(3). To evaluate and mitigate human impact on the marine environment
Myriad problems have arisen due to human activities in and around marine
environments. Predicting scenarios, developing counter measures, capacity building
and coastal zone management are means by which human impact can be better
understood and counteracted.
Key examples and scientific priorities:
� Acidity of the ocean: assessment of marine response to increased acidity.
Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing irreversible effects.
� Invasion of alien species and chemicals: new monitoring strategies and
evaluation of environmental and ecological effects.
Globalization accelerates the spread of biological species and increases the
production of synthetic chemicals.
� Near-shore impacts: mitigating disturbance
morphotectonics and increasing sea level.
Conflicting activities place pressure on coastal zone use.
� Temperate lagoons: implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
Over-fertilization and internal seafloor nutrient fluxes contribute to eutrophication.
Impact of artificial hormones, which are part of the waste water, on marine
(4). To explore the deep-sea frontier
Without doubt, curiosity-driven science is the motor for long-term progress of any
society. The ocean is the last frontier on Earth, with its vast expanse, hostile
environments, and inaccessibility. Innovative deep-sea technology paces progress in
science as well as provides spin-offs for industrial use. Blue biotechnology, sensor
development, and the construction of new research tools and platforms are but a few
of the numerous initiatives promoting successful exploration of the deep-sea frontier.
Key examples and scientific priorities:
� Deep biosphere: unravel survival and adaptation mechanisms and assess the
effect on global environmental chemistry.
One-third of all living microbial organisms is found below the seafloor and
constitute a wealth of new life forms.
� Pharmaceuticals: screen organisms living under extreme conditions and test
new enzymes and chemicals.
New life forms metabolize at extremely high or low temperatures, in the presence
of poisonous gases and the absence of oxygen.
� Marine environmental technology: network existing infrastructures and invest
in new designs; under-ice research as a special challenge to Europe.
Innovative technology paces progress in science. High pressure, extreme
temperatures, and the inaccessibility of the ocean environment requires special but
costly technologies.
The priorities of China in the frontiers for ocean science including
 Coastal water circulation mechanism and the effects on China environment.
 Marine bio-geochemistry circulation process,
 Key problems about the formation and evaluation of marginal sea,
 Asia monsoon and its influence on climate and environment.
 Ocean disaster and safety of off-shore and coastal activities including shipping
 Geology and geography study and oil-gas resources formation in the bottom of
 Discover the gas-hydrate and other non traditional resources,
 Important resources utilization and protection of the marine biological
resources and water resources in coastal zone,
 Mechanism of red tide and other marine environmental pollution,
 Disease occurrence and disease resistance of the commercially important
organism in mari-culture,
 Ecosystem dynamics and sustainable utilization of living resources in the
China seas,
 Relation between structure and function of polysaccharides and new marine
 Mechanism of ocean disaster,
 Ocean information transition mechanism etc.
Some progress has been made in recent years in physical oceanography, biological
oceanography, Marine geology and marine chemistry. These achievements have
provided scientific directions and references for the promotion of offshore fishing and
oil and gas exploitation, protection of the marine environment, and reduction and
prevention of marine disasters.
China is also developing marine high technologies. The projects such as
 Select and cultivate technology of the good species in Mari-culture,
 High efficient and Sustainable utilization of the marine biological resources.
 Prediction for mineral deposits and Oil and Gas in the bottom area of sea,
 Three dimension observation technology and system design,
 Robots technology in deep sea etc.
The research priority difference directly reflects the gaps between Europe and China.
To give a further boost to oceanographic technology, offshore development and
marine environment protection, the Chinese government has worked out the Mediumand Long-Term Program for the Development of Oceanographic Science and
Technology, the Oceanographic Technology Policy (Blue Paper) and a number of
concrete development plans. The main tasks for oceanographic technology
development in the future are: To strengthen research into basic oceanographic
science; tackle the key technologies of marine resources exploitation and
environmental protection; promote the application of oceanographic technologies to
marine industries; improve marine resources development and service support for
marine disaster prevention and reduction; improve marine environmental protection;
and narrow the gap between China and the developed countries in oceanographic
8. towards the future capacity building
We have analyzed the main gaps for marine monitoring capacity building
between China and Europe. The most important now is toward the Future. Both
Europe and China sides has some new proposals to improve our marine monitoring
system and to enhance our capacity building. The cooperation between Europe and
China is also very important. Therefore, the next year, in the third report of WP5,
future capacity building will be identified and recommended in order to develop more
harmonized global systems of marine monitoring and forecasting for use in P.R. of
China and Europe. This, in turn, will contribute to a more harmonized implementation
(1) D1.1:
DRAGONESS_D1.1.doc, Project No. 030902, 2008.
(2) D2.1: 1st Report on Chinese and European Spaceborne Ocean Observing
Systems and Onboard Sensors (1988-2025), DRAGONESS_D2.1.doc, Project
No. 030902, 2008.
(3) D3.1: 1st Report on Review of level of data integration and information
management. DRAGONESS_D3.1.doc, Project No. 030902, 2008.
(4) D4.1: 1st Report on assessment of current status on the Ocean and coastal
information products and services in China, DRAGONESS_D4.1.doc, Project No.
030902, 2008.
(5) Pierre Bahurel. MyOcean, building up the European “Marine Core Service”.
WINDOW ON GMES, 18-25,2007.