Despite intensive research efforts undertaken in the Mediterranean Sea over more than a century, an integrated view of its evolution, in the framework of climate change and anthropogenic pressures still lacks. In this context, a Mediterranean Ocean Observing System for the Environment (MOOSE) has been set up as an interactive, distributed and integrated observatory of the North-Western Mediterranean Sea to detect and identify long-term environmental anomalies. Another target is to define efficient indicators of the health of the NW Mediterranean basin.
MOOSE, built as a multi-scale observation network, is based on a multisite system of continental-shelf and deep-sea fixed stations as well as Lagrangian and mobile platforms to observe the spatio-temporal variability of interaction processes between the coastal-open ocean and the ocean-atmosphere components. It includes high frequency monitoring in order to precisely document the broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales involved and to link it to the main circulation features already identified (basin scale gyres, eddies, biogeochemical provinces). Near real-time measurement capabilities avoid any data loss and ensure their operational usage. The approach developed here aims to be more innovative compared to the last decade of programs being more focused on biogeochemistry and natural variability than on ecosystem and biodiversity and anthropogenic change.