This first edition of the EMSO Time Series conference 2021 (EMSO TSC) aims to inform and train the ocean science community on the latest advancements in detecting and monitoring underwater sound for environmental and industrial purposes.

The increasing need to observe and monitor underwater sound for environmental and industrial purposes is faced with the challenge of the vastness of the marine space, the diversity of sound sources and receptors, and the high costs of acquiring representative and useful time-space resolution. This challenge calls for cost-effective solutions that need to address the whole acquisition chain, from sensors to platforms, communication, processing and data delivery. In-situ acoustic data acquisition devices and the processing to deliver meaningful time series data remain costly due to acquisition costs and the need for experts at each stage. Improved methods are needed to respond to legal and overarching international recommendations and prescriptions to reduce the impact of anthropogenic noise on the ocean. The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive asks the Member States to report on the state of underwater noise in their surrounding seas on a regular basis, and at international level the International Quiet Ocean Experiment calls for improvements in our understanding of ocean soundscapes. The Global Ocean Observing System recently adopted ocean sound as an Essential Ocean Variable (EOV), with two sub-variables, sound pressure and sound particle velocity, necessary to characterise ocean sound and potential impacts on marine life.
Underwater sound can also provide cost-efficient information for the assessment of marine mammal populations, the detection of fish reproduction areas, the detection of greenhouse gas seeps from pipelines and deep-sea carbon storage, gasification of methane clathrates, adverse meteorological conditions, detection of low-frequency seismic events, ice-cracking, ocean basin sound-velocity tomography and acoustic communication.

The EMSO TSC 2021 « Observing Ocean Sound » will be held in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, Spain, from 20-22 October 2021*. During this three-day event, there will be plenary and training sessions covering the scope of underwater sound study areas. The conference will be open to scientists of all nations, and financial support can be provided to the promising young researchers to assist participation.

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