The ocean and its digital twin: towards a better decision support tool?

The Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO) fills the need to integrate a wide range of existing and new data sources, to transform data into knowledge and to connect, engage, and empower citizens, governments and industries by providing them with the capacity to inform their decisions. 

The DTO is to contribute to continuous, timely monitoring of the ocean, from the coast to deep sea and from the surface to the seabed. 

The digital modelling of the Earth’s physical resources (Digital Earth), the elaboration of digital twin earth, appears like natural continuation of decades of continuous ingestion, processing, and storage, of large amount of data of various origins by more and more performing computerized systems.  It offers innovative ways - high precision and dynamic simulations of Earth Natural Systems, improved modelling and predictive capacities, among others - to contribute to policy making and implementation, decision making, which are presently explored in many ways, notably by the EU.   

Below some recent examples of initiatives supported by Europe in this respect. 
  • The ESA Digital Twin Earth Challenge, which seeks to stimulate applications which combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data from Copernicus Sentinels and other Earth observation (EO) data to provide forecasting on the impact of climate change and responding to societal challenges (Registrations are closed). 
  • A project financed by ESA that started on 18 September 2020. This project is led by IFREMER with Mercator Ocean InternationalNERSC, CLS, TAS, LOBELIA and COLAB+ Atlantic as partners.  
  • In September 2020, the European Commission published the call "Transparent and Accessible Seas and Oceans: Towards a Digital Twin of the Ocean" in the framework of the H2020 program.

  • The call “Transparent and Accessible Seas and Oceans: Towards a Digital Twin of the Ocean”.
  • The Digital Twin Concept (Wikipedia). A digital twin is a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity. Digital twins integrate IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning and software analytics with spatial network graphs to create living digital simulation models that update and change as their physical counterparts’ change. More
  • The Digital Earth Concept (Wikipedia).
  • The European Union Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative, is to develop a very high precision digital model of the Earth to monitor and simulate natural and human activity, and to develop and test scenarios that would enable more sustainable development and support European environmental policies. More