NEWS: The joint pan-Arctic DBO community meeting at the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2024, 21 March 10:30-18:00 GMT/UTC, in Edinburgh, UK. is starting next week. Both in-person and online participation are subject to a ASSW2024 registration fee. The registration for online participation is open until 18 March, 2024. See further details and meeting agenda at

Joint DBO sessions at ASSW 2023: Towards a pan-Arctic DBO

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During two inspiring sessions at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2023 in Vienna, Austria, the recently initiated Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) community joined up with the teams from the pioneering Pacific Arctic DBO, and the two DBOs in formation for the Davis Strait and the East Siberian Sea. Through discussions and science presentations, the aim was to identify opportunities for jointly improving our observational capacity in the Arctic Ocean, and ways to build a pan-Arctic DBO system out of the regional systems. Map (right) of the Arctic Ocean with the four Distributed Biological Observatory systems; the Pacific Arctic (purple), Davis Strait (orange), Atlantic Arctic (yellow), and proposed East Siberian Sea (green) DBOs.

The DBO concept is based on an international and collaborative network of standard sampling stations in the different sectors of the Arctic Ocean, with the aim to improve our ability to detect changes in the marine environment and in the associated ecosystem responses. The approach is interdisciplinary and serves to better utilize the observational expertise and already ongoing efforts through strengthened connections between existing observational timeseries, increased opportunistic sampling, and increased cooperation on sampling and equipment in dedicated DBO locations. It is one of the contributions of Arctic PASSION to much needed improvement of international coordination and cooperation in Arctic observing system elements..

As leveraging mechanisms towards better connectivity between the networks we discussed the ideas of regular, all-DBO science symposia and a joint pan-Arctic DBO special issue for scientific publications. To begin with, we agreed to establish a common, all-DBO webpage making it more feasible to reach first-level information about any of the observatories (to be launched soon). We also agreed on repeating the success of our joint DBO days at the ASSW 2024 and the planning of these upcoming events will start shortly.

Follow the progress of the Atlantic-Arctic DBO within Arctic PASSION.

About The Atlantic Distributed Biological Observatory

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The Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (A-DBO) is under development through ArcticPASSION (Pan-Arctic observing System of Systems: Implementing Observations for societal Needs), and envisioned as a comprehensive marine observing system for climate and environment in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean - one of the key gateway areas of the Arctic, currently experiencing rapid environmental, climate and ecosystem changes. Together with the pioneering observatory in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean (DBO), and the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait DBO, the Atlantic DBO aims to serve as an important contribution to the pan-arctic collaborative observatory network. The fundamental incentive for the DBO sampling concept is to work across disciplines toward better integrated and available observations within dedicated geographical areas of common interest and relevance (focal areas/hot spots). The DBOs are shaped to:
  • Cover key ocean phenomena and processes under rapid change
  • Bring together all disciplines needed to understand the marine ecosystem functioning
  • Increase the data coverage within the focal areas
  • Utilize common, harmonized procedures for data sampling and sharing
  • Facilitate both dedicated (long-term) and opportunistic sampling
  • Encourage technological development for improved multidisciplinary coupling
  • Be sustainable and overarch shorter observational efforts
Arctic PASSION currently provides the means for increased coordination capabilities to establish the A-DBO and the common protocols for sampling, analysis and data sharing.

Developing a Pan-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory

At the March 2023 ISAR-7 (International Symposium on Arctic Research) side session in Tachikawa, Japan Jackie Grebmeier presented on current efforts underway to develop a Pan-Arctic DBO. Information and plans were discussed related to the Atlantic-DBO (more information above) and two additional programs, including: the Davis Strait/Baffin Bay DBO and the Siberian DBO were highlighted.