Copernicus Marine Service to contribute to digital twin of the ocean project

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Non-profit ocean science organization Mercator Ocean International has announced that it will participate in the European Space Agency-funded digital twin of the ocean project.

Mercator, which implements the Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS) on behalf of the European Commission, will participate in the project to help analyze oceanic data on a large scale and combine it with AI. This will help in identifying marine heatwaves and making the oceans more sustainable.

Using ocean observation, modeling, data assimilation and AI, scientists will create a dynamic, digital replica of the ocean which can mimic its behavior. The so-called digital twin of the ocean (DTO) will give many insights, including on sea ice dynamics in the Arctic and marine heatwaves in the Mediterranean.

Yann Drillet, head of the Copernicus Marine Service Global Production Centre and Operational Oceanography at Mercator Ocean, said, “Machine learning within the digital twin of the ocean will help to increase our understanding of marine heatwaves. By training a neural network with our long-term data sets based on observations and modeling, we can improve our detection, understanding and forecasting of these events.

“Later on in the Digital Twin Ocean framework, we plan to use machine learning for several other applications as well, including modeling to simulate specific ocean variables based on other variables, to reconstruct ocean currents and trajectories, and to classify and identify objects such as microplastic patches, based on satellite observations. This will also help provide better information on uncertainty for our data sets,” he added.

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