EirOOS (Irish Ocean Observing System) is a distributed Research Infrastructure operated by the Irish Marine Institute that provides ocean and climate observation data via a range of marine platforms to address key national scientific requirements and support enhanced Irish participation in European and International marine research.
EirOOS represents a culmination of ocean observation efforts in the NE Atlantic and Irish coastal waters over many years through the integration of a range of existing ocean observation infrastructures and a series of significant government funded upgrades of the national ocean and climate observing infrastructure. Key gaps in our understanding of the state and variability of the NE Atlantic Ocean include inter-annual variability of water masses, the sub-polar gyre and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), ocean carbon dioxide uptake and regional sea level budget. Systematic observations of oceanographic processes in the Atlantic are needed to investigate ocean ecosystems and biogeochemistry changes and help assess the potential future climate change impacts in Irish waters.
Accurate and reliable scientific advice and services underpin the societal goals of achieving a sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations. EirOOS will stimulate and develop the Irish ocean and climate research community, attracting international scientific and technical expertise. EirOOS offers considerable scope for enhanced industry engagement in provision of data to support industry and opportunities for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and provide innovative new solutions addressing ocean and climate observing challenges. Combining different observing technologies, e.g., gliders, ship-based observations, moorings and tide gauges will provide the basic data requirements to constrain ocean forecasts and projections of future climate in Ireland.
The establishment of long term, sustainable, multidisciplinary, fit-for-purpose ocean observing infrastructure is a key ambition for Ireland to bridge historical shortcomings and gaps in observed Essential Ocean Variables - EOVs & Essential Climate Variables - ECVs, spatial and temporal resolution and data quality and volume. The expanded marine infrastructure capabilities provided by EirOOS, coupled with harnessing the power of state-of-the-art digital infrastructures and modelling tools, to bridge these gaps provides the basis and knowledge for the oceanographic ‘community of users’ to investigate and address ocean and coastal processes that impact society
EirOOS is supported in part by Science Foundation Ireland under Grant N°. 18/RI/5731