GOOS at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The ocean is fundamental in controlling our climate. But under increasing impacts of climate change, the ocean system is changing as well. Currently, we have important gaps in ocean observations, affecting our ability to adapt to these changes and mitigate their outcomes. That is why GOOS invites the participants of COP26 to turn their eyes to the blue part of our planet, calling for sustained and timely ocean observations.

Woman Watching Earth Global Warming Simulation 3D Illustration

 “The ocean is currently missing from our climate conversation” – Anya Waite, GOOS co-chair and Scientific Director at Ocean Frontiers Institute tells delegates at the Earth Information Day event. Waite highlighted the critical need for ocean carbon observations for effective monitoring of CO2 reduction measures: “There are major potential changes in how carbon moves through the ocean system. And we are not observing them at a resolution we need to inform our carbon targets.”

One step along the way would be the establishment of the North Atlantic Carbon Observatory (NACO) – a pilot project that would be equipped with sensors for live-streaming of ocean data to scientific institutions and decision makers. Currently the North Atlantic takes up 30 percent of all ocean carbon, and NACO is designed to address fundamental questions about its current and future ability to do that.

“We are at a stage where ocean observation systems urgently require international support,” says Anya Waite, “if the ocean carbon sink fails, the current trajectories will not take us to our climate targets.”  

Read more about the importance of ocean observations in presence of climate change in the GOOS Climate Brief.

Watch the Earth Information Day recording.

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