Ocean observations come from a variety of sources, including satellite-based instruments, in-situ platforms such as surface and sub-surface buoys and floats, and volunteer observing ships.
Satellites have been used to observe the ocean since the 1970s. The satellite-based instruments listed on the linked-page are operational instruments currently used in MyOcean products. Even more satellite observations are used by MyOcean, for climatology, reanalysis and validation purposes, from past missions or from satellites that do not deliver data in real-time.
MyOcean does not operate in situ observing systems but collect observations from data providers outside MyOcean, mainly from EuroGOOS regional alliances and JCOMM networks (Observations programme Area). It also collaborates with SeaDataNet and EMODnet physics to improve the service for historical/reprocessed data and to involve new partners.
Oceanographers have used in-situ platforms to observe the ocean for ages. Today, in-situ observations are very important as a complement to satellite-based observations. When assimilated into numerical models, in-situ observations calibrate the model and serve as a reference point. Today, many in-situ observation systems use satellites to relay data from remote areas – such as the ocean or the poles – to scientists for their research or operational needs. Part of JCOMM network,Argo and its European component Euro Argo is one of the most important in-situ observing system for MyOcean.
EuroGOOS is an association of national governmental agencies and research organisations, founded in 1994, committed to European-scale operational oceanography within the context of the intergovernmental Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). EuroGOOS has 36 members, providing operational oceanographic services and carrying out marine research, from 16 European countries. Six regional sea areas have been defined, all closely linked and essential for MyOcean :
- ARCTIC-ROOS :The Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System
- BOOS: The Baltic Operational Oceanographic System
- NOOS : The North West European Shelves Operational Oceanographic System
- IBI ROOS : The Ireland-Biscay-Iberia Regional Operational Oceanographic System
- MOON : The Mediterranean Operational Oceanography Network
- BLACk SEA GOOS: the Black Sea Global Ocean Observing System