Submission from the United Kingdom Hydrographic
1. The Maritime Environment Information
Centre (MEIC) at the UK Hydrographic Office:
(a) Is a repository for marine environmental
data collected by the Royal Navywe process raw observational
data, build and manage databases.
(b) Provides the information which the RN
needs to enable commanders to understand their operating environmentwe
analyse data, both our own and data acquired from external sources.
The results of such analyses are used to compile a range of products
that are distributed to RN units.
(c) Has a global remit with particular emphasis
on regions of operational interest.
2. The Marine Environment Information Centre's
major contribution to marine science is to manage a significant
volume of data. Part of that process is to periodically release
batches of data to the wider science community. Our data is delivered
to the British Oceanographic Data Centre, the National Oceanographic
Data Centre (US) and, in the case of marine life observations,
to Duke University in the US for dissemination via the OBIS website.
3. Data may also be made available to support
specific research projects such as marine mammal habitat preference
modelling (Sea Mammal Research Unit, St Andrews University).
How marine science is being used to advance knowledge
of the impact of climate change on the oceans
4. Any impact on climate change studies
is incidental. Certainly the release of old data is useful in
climate change studies but the data has rarely been gathered with
that use in mind.
Organisation and funding of UK marine science
in the polar and non-polar regions
5. The MoD collaborates with various scientific
institutions such as the National Oceanography Centre for the
Sumatra seabed survey, Scott Polar Research Institute for under
ice measurements and St Andrews University for marine mammal studies.
MEIC is peripherally involved in such projects in being the repository
for data collected and supply supporting data. MoD has also been
asked to submit evidence and would probably be better placed to
present evidence about such activity. The NERC/MoD Joint Grant
Scheme for funding research has been significant in terms of funding
for marine science and is currently an issue for research organisations
who find it difficult to secure funding from NERC by this route.
UKHO is represented in CAROS (Cooperative Arrangements for Search
in Ocean Science) a joint NERC/MoD group chaired by MoD, DI-ICSP.
The role of the UK internationally and international
collaboration in marine science
6. MEIC does have some standing internationally
in defence marine science due to the RN's global interests, our
position within NATO and various bilateral arrangements. Activity
is largely data and product exchange.
Support for marine science, including provision
and development of technology and engineering
7. We do play a small part in the delayed
mode quality control of Argo data but I would assume that MoD's
contribution to its funding is much more significant in this context.
Use of marine sites of specific scientific interest
8. MEIC supports the RN Sonar 2117 project.
S2117 is a computer decision aid whose purpose is to provide command
guidance on the minimisation of the environmental impacts from
use of sonar. Our support is primarily in the provision of underlying
data sets on the distribution of marine mammal species and other
relevant oceanographic information. We are also responsible for
providing geospatial data describing the locations of marine management
areas of all designations including Sites of Special Scientific