Summary of the project
CARBOCHANGE will provide the best possible process-based quantification of net ocean carbon uptake under changing climate conditions using past and present ocean carbon cycle changes for a better prediction of future ocean carbon uptake. We will improve the quantitative understanding of key biogeochemical processes (particle flux, ecosystem community structure, lateral advection) and physical processes (overturning circulation, ice cover, mixing) through a combination of observations and models. We will upscale new process understanding to large-scale integrative feedbacks of the ocean carbon cycle to climate change and rising carbon dioxide concentrations. We will quantify the vulnerability of the ocean carbon sources and sinks in a probabilistic sense using cutting edge coupled Earth system models under a variety of emission scenarios including climate stabilisation scenarios as required for the 5th IPCC assessment report. The drivers for the vulnerabilities will be identified. The most actual observations of the changing ocean carbon sink will be systematically integrated with the newest ocean carbon models, a coupled land-ocean model, an Earth system model of intermediate complexity, and fully fledged Earth system models through a spectrum of data assimilation methods as well as advanced performance assessment tools. Results will be optimal process descriptions and most realistic error margins for future ocean carbon uptake quantifications with models under the presently available observational evidence. The project will deliver calibrated future evolutions of ocean pH and carbonate saturation as required by the research community on ocean acidification in the EU project EPOCA and further projects in this field. The time history of atmosphere-ocean carbon fluxes past, present and future will be synthesised globally as well as regionally for the transcontinental RECCAP project. Observations and model results will merge into GEOSS/GEO through links with the European coordination action COCOS and will prepare the marine branch of the European Research Infrastructure ICOS. Results of the project will be summarised and forwarded to policy makers working on climate change mitigation through specifically targeted outreach papers.
Area of study
Global Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Southern Ocean
TimeTable for activities
1 March 2011 – 20 February 2015