The Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas (COSYNA) was established in order to better understand the complex interdisciplinary processes of northern seas and the Arctic coasts in a changing environment. Particular focus is given to the German Bight in the North Sea as a prime example of a heavily used coastal area, and Svalbard as an example of an Arctic coast that is under strong pressure due to global change.
The COSYNA automated observing and modelling system is designed to monitor real-time conditions and provide short-term forecasts, data, and data products to help assess the impact of anthropogenically induced change. Observations are carried out by combining satellite and radar remote sensing with various in situ platforms. Novel sensors, instruments, and algorithms are developed to further improve the understanding of the interdisciplinary interactions between physics, biogeochemistry, and the ecology of coastal seas. New modelling and data assimilation techniques are used to integrate observations and models in a quasi-operational system providing descriptions and forecasts of key hydrographic variables. Data and data products are publicly available free of charge and in real time. They are used by multiple interest groups in science, agencies, politics, industry, and the public.
In order to ensure relevance and societal impact of research and to meet the various requirements of different target groups, the Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas (COSYNA) developed and pursued a broad range of activities for knowledge transfer and stakeholder interaction. Potential user groups of data and data products include (but are not limited to) science, administration, renewable energies, engineering, tourism, and nature conservation. COSYNA data and data products are publicly accessible and available free of charge via the Internet (data portal; http://www.cosyna.de).
The stakeholder interaction is integrated into the COSYNA product life cycle outlined here and the steps undertaken are exemplified for the product „Surface Current Fields in the German Bight“. Initial surveys revealed COSYNA’s potential relevance in the national and international context. After the technological and mathematical realization of high-quality parameter fields, external experts evaluated the scientific value, informational value, innovative leap, cost/benefit aspects, operability, etc., of the data products. In order to improve products and their usability and to pave the way for future co-operation, interviews and workshops with potential users from the offshore wind energy industry were conducted. The stakeholder interaction process was successful, revealing relevant insights into user demands and usability of (possible) products. Analysis of data download provided some evidence for impact beyond academia. Other criteria for the increasingly demanded evaluation of the impact of coastal research are discussed. By sharing first-hand experiences, this study contributes to the emerging knowledge on integration of science and end users.
Ahmerkamp, S., Winter, C., Krämer, K., Beer, D. d., Janssen, F., Friedrich, J., Kuypers, M. M. M. and Holtappels, M. (2017): Regulation of benthic oxygen fluxes in permeable sediments of the coastal ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr., doi:10.1002/lno.10544
Large areas of the oceanic shelf are composed of sandy sediments through which reactive solutes are transported via porewater advection fueling active microbial communities. The advective oxygen transport in permeable sands of the North Sea was investigated under in situ conditions using a new benthic observatory to assess the dynamic interaction of hydrodynamics, sediment morphodynamics, and oxygen penetration depth. During 16 deployments, concurrent measurement of current velocity, sediment topography, and porewater oxygen concentration were carried out. In all cases the oxyclines were found at depths of 1–6 cm, correlating with the topography of stationary and migrating bedforms (ripples). Different conditions in terms of bottom water currents and bedform migration led to fluctuating oxygen penetration depths and, hence, highly variable redox conditions in up to 2.5 cm thick layers beneath the surface. Volumetric oxygen consumption rates of surface sediments were measured on board in flow-through reactors. Bedform migration was found to reduce consumption rates by up to , presumably caused by the washout of organic carbon that is otherwise trapped in the pore space of the sediment. Based on the observations we found oxygen penetration depths to be largely controlled by oxygen consumption rates, grain size, and current velocity. These controlling variables are summarized by an adapted Damköhler number which allows for prediction of oxygen penetretion depths based on a simple scaling law. By integrating the oxygen consumption rates over the oxygen penetration depth, oxygen fluxes of 8–34 mmol m−2 d−1 were estimated.
Marko Freese, Roxana Sühring, Lasse Marohn, Jan-Dag Pohlmann, Hendrik Wolschke, Jonathan D. Byer, Mehran Alaee, Ralf Ebinghaus, Reinhold Hanel (2017): Maternal transfer of dioxin-like compounds in artificially matured European eels. Environmental Pollution, Volume 227, August 2017, Pages 348–356, DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.04.096
Several eel species of the genus Anguilla are considered endangered due to a severe decline in recruitment. Up to now, the reasons for this threatening development are not fully understood. The eel’s highly specialized biology can lead to explicitly high accumulation of globally distributed organic lipophilic contaminants during its continental life. Because of this and due the particular toxicological sensitivity of early life stages of oviparous organisms towards dioxin-like compounds, it is crucial to improve our understanding concerning toxicokinetics and maternal transfer of organic contaminants in eels.
This study presents analytical data on maternal transfer of dioxin-like (dl) compounds in relevant tissue samples taken from artificially matured and non-matured European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla) from German inland waters using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC/HRMS). Detected concentrations revealed a lipid-driven transfer of targeted compounds from muscle-fat-reserves to gonads and eggs respectively, with no distinct preferences concerning the chlorination degree of targeted compounds. Dl-PCBs were shown to contribute the major share of toxicity equivalents found in analysed eel tissues. Maternal muscle tissue to egg concentration ratios in wet weight–based samples had a mean of 6.95 ± 1.49 in accordance with the differences in total lipid content in the respective body matrices. Dioxins and furans in analysed samples were (from a toxicological point of view) of less relevance. Furthermore it was shown that muscle concentrations in silver eels could be used in future assessments to make conservative predictions for expected egg concentrations in female eels.
J. Harff, N. Flemming, A. Groh, B. Hünicke, G. Lericolais, M. Meschede, A. Rosentau, D. Sakellariou, S. Uscinowicz, W. Zhang, and E. Zorita (2017): Chapter 2: Sea Level and Climate. In: Flemming, N., Harff, J. and Moura, D. (Eds). Quaternary Palaeoenvironments on the European continental shelf: survival and destruction of prehistoric remains. Wiley-Blackwell, New York, 550pp