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Authors: Coppini, G.* 
Nadia, P.* 
Vladyslav, L.* 
Francois, S.* 
Gilles, L.* 
Stephanie, G.* 
Isabelle, P.* 
Johnny, J.* 
Claudia, F.* 
Marina, T.* 
Salvatore, M.* 
Peter, L.* 
Rosalia, S.* 
Simone, C.* 
Gianluca, V.* 
Title: Operational Oceanography and European Environment Agency indicators
Issue Date: 20-May-2008
Keywords: Indicators
Operational Oceanography
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.05. Operational oceanography 
Abstract: Operational Oceanography (OO) emerged to a stage of development that allows the design and development of services such as the routine production of environmental and climate indicators for specific users. Indicators are synthetic indices of environmental changes at various time scales. The indicators are often used by international environmental agencies and national directorates like the European Environment Agency (EEA web page on indicators: and by the regional Conventions (i.e. Helcom webpage on indicators: ). In this paper we have carried out an analysis on the possible improvements of existing indicator reporting in use by EEA and on the development of new indicators based on OO products. The list of indicators includes: Temperature, Chlorophyll-a (from ocean colour), Ocean Currents and Transport, Salinity, Transparency, Sea Level, Sea Ice and Density. A critical analysis has been carried out to identify the relevance of the above mentioned indicators for EU policies, their spatial and temporal coverage, their accuracy and their availability. The Temperature and Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) products are the most suitable for an indicator development test phase. In particular the OO Chl-a product, deduced from satellite data, will be able to contribute to the further development of the EEA Chl-a indicator that is based on in-situ measurements (CSI023). Sea Level and Sea Ice products are also robust quantities for climate indicators. For the above mentioned indicators a development test phase has been undertaken in 2008 within the European Topic Center for Water (ETC-W) and BOSS4GMES ( projects. Ocean Currents and Transports and Salinity products appear less mature for the development of new indicators at pan-European level because their connection with environmental aspects are less recognised in all European marine areas, to be noted that Transport derived indicators are available in the Norwegian Sea and in the North Sea where correlation with ecosystem components have been shown. Transparency product appears suitable for indicator production, but more effort should be put to relate the indicator to in-situ measurements. In addition to the products mentioned above, we have also identified a Density indicator that appears relevant for the eutrophication problems and ecosystem health.
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