A UN Decade Collaborative Centre for the ocean prediction we need

The 30 June 2022 saw the official launch of the Decade Collaborative Centre for Ocean Prediction (OceanPrediction DCC) at the UN Ocean Decade Forum that took place in Lisbon, in the backdrop of the UN Ocean Conference 2022. Hosted by Mercator Ocean International, the DCC will establish a global forum to catalyse and coordinate efforts towards the co-development, integration and strengthening of ocean prediction activities worldwide in support of the UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. 

Advances in operational oceanography over the last decades have revolutionised ocean prediction services, providing crucial information on the current and future state of the ocean. This is critical to foster evidence-based solutions, contributing to the protection and restoration of marine environments and ecosystems. Ocean prediction services are more than ever needed to support mitigation and adaptation strategies and improve the resilience of coastal communities in the face of climate change and fast evolving marine environments. Leveraging ocean prediction capacities across the globe, the arrival of the Decade Collaborative Centre for ocean prediction (OceanPrediction DCC) is spot on time.  

Launched at the Ocean Decade Forum in Lisbon, Portugal, on 30 June 2022, the OceanPrediction DCC will work to catalyse and coordinate efforts towards the co-development and integration of global ocean forecasting activities. The centre will be hosted by Mercator Ocean International – a world leader in operational oceanography, providing ocean science-based services and information vital for the conservation and the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.  

The Ocean Prediction DCC will work in close collaboration with other Decade coordination bodies and endorsed actions to deliver a predicted ocean, which is a key Ocean Decade’s outcome, providing society with the capacity to understand current and future ocean conditions.  

The centre will provide the international ocean forecasting community with a unified voice. This will be articulated through creating a global and transversal forum dedicated to ocean prediction activities, connecting the different actors (from coastal to deep sea, nowcast to climate projections, biogeochemical to physical, users to scientists, public to private) promoting the dialogue and the exchange of information. The DCC will work to strengthen ocean forecasting capacities worldwide, promoting these services as key tools for the Blue Economy and as valuable assets for ocean policy. The momentum created will also raise ocean literacy and public engagement, while providing standards, best-practices and tools to build an ocean science-to-service global framework centred on the principals of accessibility, interoperability and integration. This technical activity will be also be important for the development of the new ocean digital twin concept and the advancement of this vision, which will ultimately permit marine forecasting services to be available worldwide. 

In the backdrop of the UN Ocean Conference 2022, the OceanPrediction DCC will be a powerful platform to connect and strengthen communities in support of stronger ocean forecasting systems worldwide at the service of society and our planet.  

A Decade Collaborative Centre dedicated to ocean prediction would not only have a coordinating role, bringing together a broad range of user communities to be a part of this incubator and co-design mechanism, but it will also work to deliver. We want to foster an ocean science-to-service approach to develop powerful ocean prediction capacities around the world for a sustainable ocean, giving every citizen on our blue planet the power to understand what is happening or will happen in our ocean, and ultimately to our planet – Pierre Bahurel, Director General of Mercator Ocean International.