UK-IMON has adopted the concept of core variables (Table 1) that could form the basis of a shared vision of the common measurements to be made across all future UK-IMON partner programmes.
These cover physical, chemical and biological variables and are specifically designed to meet the known policy, science and operational programme requirements.
With support from the Defra Strategic Evidence Fund a series of implementation studies are being designed and will be carried out over the next 6 months in order to ‘kick-start’ UK-IMON. These range from work on ocean acidification, improving model forecasts by improving access to real-time data to making better use of existing observational infrastructure and supporting the testing of new observing techniques with gliders.
The studies will promote partnerships that are essential for the future success of the initiative. These developments are timely, providing an important contribution to International and European work to create harmonised regional scale observing systems that provide the critical marine information required for the sustainable development of a blue economy.