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CMEMS releases 2nd Ocean State Report
19th October 2018

Mercator Ocean announces the publication of the 2nd edition of the Copernicus Marine Service Ocean State Report (OSR), which provides information on changes and variations in the ocean over the past decades, with a focus on changes in the marine environment during the year 2016.

The OSR is a periodically published scientific report written by more than 100 scientific experts from more than 30 European institutions. It is a comprehensive and state-of-the-art assessment of the current state, natural variations, and changes in the ocean meant to act as a reference document for scientists, the Blue business community, policy and decision-makers as well as the general public.


Over the past quarter of a century, global sea ice melted at a pace far faster than ever observed since our earliest records dating back to the 1980s and there was a record sea ice extent low at both poles during the year 2016.

  • In the Arctic, sea ice extent is decreasing at a rate of 6.2% per decade, while sea ice volume has decreased at a rate of 15.4% per decade.
  • Over the past quarter of a century, the global ocean and the European seas are warming and the sea level is rising, and a number of record-breaking extreme events occurred in Europe.
Global sea level is rising at a rate of 3.3 millimetres per year.

  • About 30-40% of this sea level rise is due to the thermosteric (warming) effect (water expands when heated).
  • Sea level rise in European seas increased at a rate of 2.5 to 4 millimetres per year.
Global ocean heat content (heat absorbed by the ocean) increased at a rate of 0.8 Watts (heat) per meters squared. About 93% of the excess heat created by human activities on Earth is absorbed by the ocean.