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


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

  • The busy Arctic Ocean field season is about to start and we're working to finalize our suggestion for the A-DBO key sampling site locations ('ver.2023'). In these locations we wish to converge as many disciplines as possible, as often as possible, for both dedicated and opportunistic 'passing-by' sampling. The list of stations will be released soon.
  • Also, please save the date: on 28-30 November 2023, the A-DBO autumn workshop will kindly be hosted by IOPAN in Sopot, Poland. The agenda is in the making.


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 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

Arctic PASSION currently provides the means for increased coordination capabilities to establish the A-DBO network and the common protocols for sampling, analysis and data sharing.

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.

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 construction, please join the process to shape it for best use of existing and future data!


A-DBO Autumn meeting 2023

28-30 November 2023 in Sopot, Poland (MORE INFO TO COME)

ASSW 2024

March 2024 (Edinburgh, UK)


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 Autumn Meeting 2022

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).