Climate Change Impact on Physical and Biological Ocean Processes | JPI OCEANS

Climate Change Impact on Physical and Biological Ocean Processes

Climate change is a global threat which will impact the natural environment, economies and well-being of humankind.

Rationale

Changes to the earth ocean system range from long-term reductions in sea ice coverage and thickness in the Artic, to changes in ocean circulation and sea-level rise.There is a need for long-term monitoring, surveying and modelling to understand the processes and feedback mechanisms between the ocean and atmospheric systems. This should be conducted at both global and regional scales, and provide evidence from long-term, quality-controlled datasets and process-based understanding.

Activities

  • Research to understand impacts of climate change on ocean circulation, biogeochemical processes and the effects on ecosystem dynamics and pelagic ecosystems. This should include primary production trophic web interactions and distribution, abundance of marine organisms, changes in biodiversity and the spread of invasive species.
  • Establish a long-term monitoring programme to follow changes in the thermohaline circulation (THC) and deep water mass formation processes. Develop better models to predict future changes to the system and the potential for cooling and sea level rise in Western Europe.
  • Research to understand past environmental changes in connection to climate variability.  Historical and paleo data, ocean observing and forecasting systems should be integrated to provide better indicators of past, current and future environmental status.

 

Timescales

Short term
  • Support an open annual European forum or network to address reliability of models and coordinate, organise and plan further activities between research centres and large national infrastructures.
  • Research on impacts of climate change on ocean circulation and effects on pelagic ecosystems and ecosystem dynamics.
  • Multidisciplinary scientific research to understand past environmental changes in connection to climate variability.
Long term
  • Establish a long-term monitoring programme, linked to EOOS and GOOS, to follow changes in the thermohaline circulation.
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