As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
In a recently published book, JRC scientists review the current potential of Earth Observations to explore the African Seas. Carried out in collaboration with an international group of oceanographers, and following a previous volume devoted to the European Seas, the aim of this review is to help assess the abundant natural resources of the African Seas and encourage their sustainable use and protection.
The African Seas include marginal basins of two major oceans (the Atlantic and Indian Oceans), a miniature ocean (the Mediterranean Sea), and an infant ocean (the Red Sea). Exploring and understanding the environmental characteristics and processes of such a varied range of marine and near-coastal regions requires a combination of in situ observation systems and remote-sensing techniques.
The book presents an evaluation of space-based sensors and methods currently available to study the dynamics and bio-geo-chemical complexities of the marginal and enclosed seas around Africa, using both passive and active sensing in the visible, infrared and microwave spectral ranges. Results are shown covering most of the African open waters and coastal zones, together with an assessment of observation programmes focusing on the African Great Lakes.