Research

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OceanNETs will investigate the feasibility and impacts of emerging ocean-based NETs through a transdisciplinary research approach. We will establish if ocean-based NETs can play a substantial and sustainable role in medium-to-long term pathways that achieve climate neutrality from the perspective of reaching the Paris Agreement goals. The impacts of ocean-based NETs on society and the Earth system will also be determined. Analyses will account for both risks and co-benefits, as well as any feedbacks these may have on NET efficacy and feasibility. The project will contribute to major international, national, and EU assessments of possible climate mitigation options.

This project aims to assess the relevance of oceanic subtropical cyclonic (C) and anticyclonic (A) mesoscale eddies in the context of the Biological Pump (i.e. the production of organic matter and its transport to the deep ocean). To achieve this goal, we will study the linkage in the dynamics of mesoscale (O~100 km) and sub-mesoscale (O~10 km) physical processes and their biological and biogeochemical impacts, along the life history of C and A eddies (from their generation to a mature stage), in the Canary Current Corridor. The project will combine traditional oceanographic sampling with novel instrumentation (e.g. buoys and gliders) to sample down to the sub-mesoscale.

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The hypothesis and general objective of this project is to verify if the sea surface temperature increase, together with the micro- and macronutrient fertilization that may result from natural upwelling (due to an increase in mesoscale process’ occurrence) and/or atmospheric deposition (caused by the potential aerosol intensification), have a combined effect on primary production and phytoplankton community structure. The temperature increase and intensified fertilization rates may be causing a shift in phytoplankton populations, which may become dominated by larger species. Thus, potentially posing alterations in higher trophic levels (fish). The study will be conducted through controlled experiments in which the covariation between fertilization rates and temperature will be analysed.

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Sustainable management of human activities affecting Atlantic marine ecosystems is critical to maintain their health and to support the blue economy of the bordering countries. TRIATLAS will contribute to this purpose by delivering knowledge of the current state and future changes of the Atlantic marine ecosystems. We achieve this through a basin-wide approach that integrates research from the North and South, and that closes critical knowledge gaps in the Tropical and South Atlantic that currently impede a complete understanding of the entire basin.

The mesopelagic layer is one of the least understood ecosystems on Earth. Recent research suggests that the fish biomass in the mesopelagic ecosystem might be 10 times higher than previously thought, and therefore represent 90 % of the fish biomass of the entire planet. SUMMER will establish a protocol to accurately estimate mesopelagic fish biomass, quantify the ecosystem services provided by the mesopelagic community (food, climate regulation and potential for bioactive compounds) and develop a decision support tool to measure the trade-offs between the different services.

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The focus of this project is to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of the colonial cyanobacteria Trichodesmium around the Canary Islands, and its relationship with environmental variables, with the aim to develop a predictive model of massive bloom occurrence.

The main goal of FLUXES is to quantify the relevance of labile and semi-labile dissolved (DOC) and suspended (POCs) organic carbon (i.e. non-sinking organic carbon) in the context of the biological pump (BP), in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems (EBUE). The Cape Blanc region (NW Africa), characterized by a rich mesoscale variability resulting from the interaction of the upwelling system and the Cape Verde Frontal Zone that built up the Giant Filament, will be used as a case study. We want to test the hypothesis that offshore lateral advection of POCs, as well as secondary circulation at the submesoscale range and vertical mixing of DOC and POCs, contribute significantly to the export of organic carbon in EBUE.

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​The focus of the SCOR Working Group 155 is reviewing the existing knowledge on EBUS and formulate a strategic recommendation white paper for setting up regional observational systems and climate modeling approaches to monitor and understand physical and biogeochemical ocean-atmosphere processes. These observational systems will be instrumental in improving the performance and reliability of climate models in these socio-economically relevant regions of the world ocean.

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​This working group will bring together experts in observation, experimentation, data analyses, and modelling to systematically compile and compare data sets of mesopelagic microbial respiration in order to constrain respiration uncertainties and improve quantifications of organic matter flux and remineralisation rates. A final outcome will be to improve projections of the effects of global change on the decline of oxygen in the world’s oceans, with implications for fisheries and food security. The outputs of ReMO will have a high impact on future ocean research as they will enable efficient use of the wealth of data currently collected by autonomous instruments in the oceans.