The world’s first digital ocean

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The French company Mercator Ocean International in Toulouse has been selected by Europe to build the world’s first digital ocean. The mission of this oceanic twin is to run simulations to better understand the effects of human activities in the marine environment. (Repeat from 02/27/2022)

Thanks to recent developments in 3D virtualization technologies, it is possible to create a world parallel to ours on supercomputers, which would be as true as the original. These digital twins make it possible to study the evolution of environmental disturbances, which are intensified under the pressure of human activity. And data from ocean observations, satellites or sensors at sea that are collected and analyzed Mercator Ocean Internationalnow offer the opportunity to create the world’s first digital ocean.

The Need for Access to Digital Ocean Information

“The goal of this computer simulation of reality is to anticipate the effects of global warming on the marine environment and to understand the ocean’s dominant role in climate regulation,” explains Pierre Baurel, general manager of Mercator Ocean International.

The fact that it is possible to access digital information about the ocean and easily visualize data about its state or environment is of interest that today goes beyond purely scientific research. ”, explains Pierre Baurel. ” Citizens also need access to this information, political decision makers or industry. This is the goal of the digital twin of the ocean that we are developing. This computerized copy of the marine environment combines several components such as temperature status, oxygen levels, CO2, presence or absence of ice, iceberg drift, amount of pollutants, amount of phosphate, biodiversity status. or the strength of the waves and the level of the sea. »

This dual marine environment computer combines all the parameters needed to reproduce a real ocean on a supercomputer. “, he adds. ” Thus, it is a great software that offers an accurate simulation where one can move in all dimensions and move freely in 3D space as well as in time to make predictions. This allows for careful experiments, for example, to find out what happens if, for example, the level of CO2 is increased, and thus determine how this will affect the acidity of the water. Another example: if a pollutant enters a river, this digital model makes it possible to know how and with what speed this pollution will spread according to its initial position at a distance of 10, 50, 100 or even 500 km from the sea. ”, details Pierre Bayurel.

Decision support tool

At the recent One Ocean Summit, Spain, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the UK and France committed to transforming Mercator Ocean International into “ intergovernmental organization responsible for the world’s first digital ocean “. This new structure is intended for researchers, the maritime industry, governments, as well as associations and all civil society.

In this way, this oceanic digital twin will become a decision-making tool, open to all and all countries, to jointly search for solutions to the global climate crisis.

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