Establishing the Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (A-DBO)


Thank you for showing interest and getting involved in shaping a strong A-DBO framework!

We are just finding our way home from last week's A-DBO autumn meeting and will share more updates from that here in early December! The meeting was kindly hosted by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN) in Sopot, Poland, to discuss our latest sampling, and how to collectively strengthen our work onward – in terms of results, sampling plans, and common routines. The first day held a long list of presentations for 2023 ocean observational activities in our gateway region while the second day was spent on discussing common science outputs based on our newest observations, across a mix of disciplines. View the detailed agenda below, or here.


The Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (A-DBO) is under development, and envisioned as a comprehensive marine observing network 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), the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait DBO, and the emerging East Siberian Sea DBO, the Atlantic DBO aims to serve as an important contribution to the pan-arctic collaborative observatory network.

The locations of all four Distributed Biological Observatories overlaid on a bathymetric map of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO V4.2 Grid/Jakobsson et al. 2000).
The DBOs in the Atlantic and Siberian Arctic sectors are under development, please join the process to shape it for best use of existing and future data!

The fundamental incentive for the DBO sampling concept is to work across disciplines in dedicated geographical areas toward better integrated and available observations. 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

During 2022-2025, Arctic PASSION provides the means for increased coordination capabilities to establish the A-DBO network and the common practices for sampling, analysis and data sharing. The work is carried through based on the DBO annual cycle with seasonal activities.

The annual cycle of the A-DBO activities with the main networking events being the open community meetings in autumn,

and at the Arctic Science Summit Week in spring.

This webpage serves as our main hub of information during the pilot implementation phase. From here you will be able to find contact info, access common documents, and get the latest information about our events. The implementation process is open to scientists and institutions with interest to collaborate in this region, as well as to end-users who will benefit from results from the A-DBO. The opportunities for getting involved are listed in 'Upcoming Events' below.


A-DBO 2023 Autumn meeting

28-30 November 2023, at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN) in Sopot, Poland

The main objective for this annual meeting is to give our members the opportunity to share experiences and outcomes of their 2023 activities and to summarize the observed status for the A-DBO sector. We will also look at the sampling plans for 2024 and discuss (and adjust) our general A-DBO routines onward.

As a tangible output from the meeting, we aim to put together an overview of the 2023 status, setting individual observations into a larger perspective and serving as a teaser for increased scientific collaboration. This material can be used for dissemination and will also be brought along to the pan-Arctic scope of our DBO Community meeting at ASSW2024 in Edinburgh, UK (see the next upcoming event).

The presentation and discussion sessions will be broadcasted online too (day1, metadata session on day2, and day3).

ASSW 2024 - Joint Community meeting for the pan-Arctic network of DBOs

21 March 2024 | 10:30 - 18:00 (GMT) | Edinburgh, UK (and online)

The four current DBO:s are organizing a Joint DBO community meeting at ASSW2024, for presentations of the 2023 sampling activities and the plans for 2024, as well as for discussions about common aspects.The detailed agenda is yet to be determined, but the program skeleton of our DBO day is currently:


ASSW2023 Joint DBO Sessions

17 – 24 February 2023, in Vienna, Austria

The Pacific, Davis Strait and Atlantic DBOs jointly organized two sessions at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2023, in both the community and science parts of the conference:

A-DBO 2022 Autumn Meeting

31 October – 1 November 2022 in Bergen, Norway (+ TEAMS)

The first A-DBO dedicated autumn meeting was held with focus on defining the fundamental spatio-temporal characteristics of the A-DBO and the associated core parameters to sample. We also took the opportunity to share news about our recent sampling activities and about our planned cruise activities. For more information, see the agenda and the meeting minutes.

ASSW2022 Session on Establishing the Distributed Biological Observatory system in the Atlantic Sector of the Arctic Ocean 

27 March 2022 in Tromsø, Norway

A workshop was held during the Arctic Science Summit Week to invigorate the process initiated in 2016 to implement a comprehensive marine observing system for climate and environment in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean. With inspiration from the Pacific DBO system and existing long term observational programmes on the Atlantic side, discussions were initiated about priorities for sampling locations, variables, and methods as well as means of collaboration. A steering group was established to support the work of the executive team. 

For a summary of the workshop, please see the meeting minutes.


Executive team:
Arild Sundfjord (NPI),
Marit Reigstad (UiT) and Anna Nikolopoulos (NPI)

Steering group:

Agnieszka Beszczyńska-Möller (IOPAN), Michael Karcher (AWI), Monika Kedra (IOPAN), Angelika Renner (IMR), Mikael Sejr (AU), Thomas Soltwedel (AWI), and Laura de Steur (NPI).