The oceans represent 90% of the Earth’s biosphere and contain 97% of the Earth’s water. They also represent a major source of such resources as food and energy. Furthermore, the oceans are essential to a range of economic activities. In fact, over 90% of world trade takes place via maritime routes.
Because of their ability to absorb and transport large quantities of heat, moisture and carbon around the planet, the oceansplay a central role in regulating the Earth’s climate. Over the last 50 years, the oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat received by our warming planet and nearly 30% of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. As a result, we are now seeing ocean acidification, rising sea-levels, increasing surface and depth temperatures, melting sea ice (including a shrinking of the Arctic’s ice shelf) and de-oxygenation.
Observing and monitoring the oceans via the use of reliable positioning services is essential to better managing our oceans and to achieving a sustainable blue economy. This session aims to highlight how the Copernicus and Galileo programmes contribute to the sustainable management of our oceans and provide support for maritime operations. Specifically, the session will address such aspects as safety at sea, search and rescue, optimised maritime transport, sustainable fisheries, renewable energies, security and responding to pollution.