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Quantifying, predicting, and exploiting uncertainties in marine environments

Rixen, M., P.F.J. Lermusiaux and J. Osler, 2012. Quantifying, Predicting and Exploiting Uncertainties in Marine Environments, Ocean Dynamics, 62(3):495–499, doi: 10.1007/s10236-012-0526-8.

Following the scientific, technical and field trial initiatives ongoing since the Maritime Rapid Environmental Assessment (MREA) conferences in 2003, 2004 and 2007, the MREA10 conference provided a timely opportunity to review the progress on various aspects of MREA, with a particular emphasis on marine environmental uncertainty management. A key objective of the conference was to review the present state-of-the art in Quantifying, Predicting and Exploiting (QPE) marine environmental uncertainties. The integration of emerging environmental monitoring and modeling techniques into data assimilation streams and their subsequent exploitation at an operational level involves a complex chain of non-linear uncertainty transfers, including human factors. Accordingly the themes for the MREA10 conference were selected to develop a better understanding of uncertainty, from its inception in the properties being measured and instrumentation employed, to its eventual impact in the applications that rely upon environmental information.

Contributions from the scientific community were encouraged on all aspects of environmental uncertainties: their quantification, prediction, understanding and exploitation. Contributions from operational communities, the consumers of environmental information who have to cope with uncertainty, were also encouraged. All temporal and spatial scales were relevant: tactical, operational, and strategic, including uncertainty studies for topics with long-term implications. Manuscripts reporting new technical and theoretical developments in MREA, but acknowledging effects of uncertainties to be accounted for in future research, were also included.

The response was excellent with 87 oral presentations (11 of which were invited keynote speakers) and 24 poster presentations during the conference. A subset of these presentations was submitted to this topical issue and 22 manuscripts have been published by Ocean Dynamics.