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Ocean Forecasting and Marine Disasters Early Warning System for Southeast Asia

The Construction of Marine Environmental Forecast and Disaster Warning System is launched under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Natural Resources(MNR) collaborating with S&T innovation departments based in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia and marine research institutes including the University of Malaysia, Terengganu (UMT) and National University of Malaysia (UKM), and marine administrative authorities and research institutes of Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei and Singapore among Southeast Asian countries as well as IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC). Relying on tremendous scientific prowess of SOA’s First Institute of Oceanography, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, North China Sea Branch and National Marine Hazard Mitigation Service, the project focuses on five missions: the construction of forecast system of wave-tide-circulation coupled numerical model, verification of ocean observation and forecast system, trial operation of business-oriented forecast system and release of service product, forecasting and early warning for marine environmental disaster and emergency and disaster evaluation, improvement, popularization and application of forecasting and early warning capacities.

In the project, the marine environmental forecast and disaster warning system, that is based on the forecast system of wave-tide-circulation coupled numerical model with independent intellectual property right, shall be constructed in Southeast Asian seas; ocean observation and data sharing be launched; forecast of marine environmental factors like ocean wave, tide, tidal current, water level, ocean 3D temperature, salinity and current be preliminarily implemented; trial operation of business-oriented forecasting, early warning and evaluation system of marine environmental disaster and emergency such as storm tide, oil spill and maritime search and rescue be conducted in related nations, providing technological support for better construction of China-ASEAN Center.

The OFS Project has taken the lead in developing bilateral cooperation with Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) based in Thailand. The cooperation matters encompass joint observation of three to four sets of subsurface and drifting buoys, development of high-resolution numerical model, cooperation in disaster early warning, personnel exchange and training, and forecast products offering. Joint implementation of the project has remarkably elevated marine environment monitoring and forecasting capacities, and also advanced China-Thailand S&T cooperation.

In 2017, ocean observation system was arranged and preliminarily constructed in surrounding seas of the Indo-China (including the Gulf of Thailand, shelf break area in the southern section of the South China Sea, Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea); high-resolution wave-tide-circulation coupled numerical model was developed in the whole Southeast Asian seas stipulated in OFS project; and test was performed on the model according to the AVSIO observation data. All-round cooperation has been made with Thai side. In detail, the OFS system has been preliminarily constructed; five sets of subsurface buoy observation systems arranged; and regular maintenance be implemented. In July 2017, SOA’s First Institute of Oceanography signed the preliminary agreement related to OFS project with the UMT. Both parties reached consensus on the construction of Level 3 marine environmental forest and disaster warning system in the shelf break area in the southern section of the South China Sea, and the launching of corresponding ocean observation. So far, positive efforts have been made to communicate with Indonesia and Cambodia among other ASEAN countries, in a bid to expedite the OFS project.

First Institute of Oceanography,  Ministry of Natural Resources