Figure from NASA

Oceanography from Space is global with repeat visit near simultaneous and provide data in near real time. In-situ data take ocean interior data with high temporal repeat but usually with incomplete coverage and often/sometimes also not in near real time. Models with assimilation give 3D description of the ocean and offer hindcast, nowcast and forecast but quality depends on availability of data.

Salinity anomaly shows freshening of the intermediate level due to melting ice:

Which problems operational oceanography tries to solve?

  • Predict the future state of the oceans and seas for both biotic and abiotic components
  • Estimate as accurately as possible the past state of the ocean from all information available
  • Understand changes and impacts of human activities on the oceans to manage adaptation and preservation within a ‘science based approach’
  • Create an efficient and cost effective way to monitor the marine components of the earth system both in real time as well as in delayed mode
  • Develop new applications for the sustainable management of resources using a new approach, the ‘operational approach’

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