The ocean has many impacts on human life, through its central place in many human activities, but also through its role within the climate system. It is now clear that the oceans have a close relationship with the climate through interactions with the lithosphere and the atmosphere. So, in the face of rapidly changing climatic conditions, it is important to develop our knowledge of the temporal and spatial dynamics that characterize our oceans. To do this, only long series of measurements make it possible to describe the natural or disturbed evolution of a system with significant seasonal and / or interannual variability.
Regular observations over long periods of time have been and increasingly appear as an indispensable means of accompanying research. Indeed, for each of the natural environments, it is necessary to understand their fundamental functioning, to predict possible evolutions at different time scales and to build forecasting models that will have to assimilate reliable data.
In the framework of the regional multidisciplinary initiative “Chantier Mistrals”, some key scientific questions adapted for a long term observation system have been identified, related to three main ocean-atmosphere projects: HyMeX that focuses on the hydrological cycle and related processes in the Mediterranean; MERMeX that aims to deepen the current understanding of the Mediterranean marine ecosystems; ChArMeX a regional project on tropospheric chemistry and aerosols in the Mediterranean. However, compared to these programmatic actions, MOOSE pretends to be a long-term observing system project (over more than 10 yrs) in order to be able to observe and identify long-term changes in the Mediterranean marine ecosystem.
The main objective of the MOOSE project is to observe the long-term evolution of the NW Mediterranean Sea in the context of the climate change and anthropogenic pressure (over 10 yrs) in order to be able to detect and identify long-term environmental trend and anomalies of the marine ecosystem. The collection of long time series (benchmark concept) will allow to capture episodic processes that could not be previously observed. Sustained observations also allow more rigorous and accurate assessments of long term changes and temporal trends, which are needed for climate change studies.
MOOSE, built as a multi-scale observation network, is now 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). MOOSE supplies and maintains long-term time series, the only data sets that allow to evidence climatic trends and also provides a large flux of real-time data and ensures their operational usage.
Such a national strategic plan serves to reinforce the synergies between the four Observatories: Banyuls/mer (OOB), Marseille (Pytheas), Villefranche/mer (IMEV) and Paris (Ecce Terra) as well as marine research labs, that are located along the French Mediterranean coastline, in order to cover all physical, chemical and biological processes that play a key role in the marine ecosystem. In this context, one major objective is to contribute to the sharing of resources and to better coordinate the required efforts by favoring the definition and development of a joint technical oceanographic network involving The Technical Service of INSU (DT-INSU) and IFREMER.