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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Global Marine Ecosystem Monitoring (GMEM)

Activity ID: 153


The global marine ecosystem is an integral part of the earth’s biogeochemical cycles, which are coupled to and influence the climate through feedback processes. A myriad of physical, chemical, biological and ecological processes make up the complexity of the marine ecosystem, and many of these processes are not clearly understood. With the advent of satellite ocean colour technology, it has become possible to routinely survey and monitor the ocean, leading to an improved understanding of ocean ecosystem dynamics, for example, in global marine phytoplankton biomass and net primary production which are relevant to fisheries and tourism.

The Global Marine Ecosystem Monitoring (GMEM) Community Activity will propose a complete framework for monitoring and understanding the global marine ecosystem. It is based on innovative plans for satellite oceanic lidar that are beginning to be implemented in China and the United States. New lidar techniques will supplement traditional satellite ocean colour measurement, greatly enhancing the ability to monitor the global marine ecosystem.

The framework focuses on an advanced data collection technique, a comprehensive data service platform, an active scientific community, directed to several important science questions and social problems. The main objectives of GMEM are:

Objective 1: Revolutionize traditional satellite ocean colour measurement by introducing the space-borne active optical remote sensing;

Objective 2: Establish a comprehensive data service platform to provide effective information of marine ecosystem;

Objective 3: Build an active community to facilitate cooperation and exchange in ocean science and engineering;

Objective 4: Focus on and explain several major scientific questions, e.g. global marine phytoplankton biomass and net primary production evaluation, and increase the societal outputs of fisheries and tourism.


To achieve the above objectives, GMEM activities will be organized into four major components: 1) new remote sensing technology development, 2) data services, 3) cooperation building and advocacy, 4) scientific applications and social outputs:

  • GMEM will focus on the pre-research and data processing of the world’s first space-borne oceanic lidar and develop the active-passive ocean optical remote sensing fusion technology to establish a full-time-space, full-spectrum, full-parameter three-dimensional marine environment observation system.
  • GMEM plans to integrate the multi-source ocean optical remote sensing data and build a real-time online big data sharing platform to provide effective information of the marine environment and ecosystem for the department of meteorology and environmental protection and university researches.
  • GMEM will also organize activities, such as international workshops and conferences, for the related officials and academic experts to sharing experience and results in marine environment and ecosystem. Then, it will establish long-term and stable cooperation relationships with universities and research institutions on a global scale.
  • GMEM will focus on the marine ecosystem research, marine environment protection and marine resource exploration. Then, the results will be transferred to social output of fisheries and tourism.


Expected sources (cash and in-kind) include CNY 500 000/year support from the Ministry of Education of China and CNY 5 000 000  from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Dong Liu (China/Zhejiang University),


Members: Brazil, Canada, China, France, United Kingdom, United States.


Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity


Lead (PoC)

Dong Liu