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Impact of climate change on marine ecosystems

Workshop (Other)
EUR-OCEANS organisation / funding


This WS has been selected for co-funding after the EUR-OCEANS 2012 call for proposals.

It is funded by the ITN GreenCycles II, embedded in the MAREMIP international project and endorsed by IMBER. It should gather around 25 participants.

The programme is structured around the following themes:

  • Impact of climate change on marine ecosystems
  • Hot topics in marine ecosystem modelling
  • Future directions

Topic and objective (extracts from proposal)

There is an increasing demand for predictions of ecosystem response to anthropogenic and climate change, made more urgent by the fact that marine ecosystems are changing. In the last 10 years, numerous studies have documented potential changes in marine ecosystems. For example, Steinacher et al. use 4 coupled climate-marine biogeochemistry and predict a 2 to 20% decrease in marine net primary production by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions (Steinacher et al. Biogeosciences, 2010); Bopp et al. predict more than 10% decrease in Diatoms at 4x CO2 concentration (Bopp et al. Geophysical Research Letters, 2005); Boyd and Doney predict a 27% increase in nitrogen fixation (Boyd and Doney. Geophysical Research Letters, 2002) and Hashioka et al. predict an earlier onset of the diatom spring bloom (Hashioka et al. Ecological modelling, 2007).

There are increasingly frequent observed changes in plankton concentrations – Boyce et al. estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median of phytoplankton concentrations per year (Boyce et al. Nature, 2011); Reid et al. suggest a regime shift in North Sea ecosystems (Reid et al. Fisheries Research, 2001) and Beaugrand et al. document major biogeographical shifts for zooplankton assemblages (Beaugrand et al. Science, 2002).

There are still numerous unknowns – (a) because of the coarse representation of the complex nature of ecosystem structure and functioning in marine ecosystem models, and (b) because of the lack of model-relevant data on plankton physiology and response to environmental changes. Also, there are no quantitative estimates on the consequences of these changes on ocean biogeochemical cycles (e.g. CO2 air-sea fluxes), and on marine upper trophic levels (up to marine resources). This workshop will address those topics by gathering key international expert in marine ecosystem - low trophic level modelling. We plan to have some review presentations, some hot-topic talks and have time for discussion groups on direction of future research. A particular focus of the workshop will be knowledge transfer between experienced scientists in this field and young European early career researchers. A key product of this workshop will be submission of a high profile publication reviewing the current state of the field.

Activity leader(s): 
• Laurent Bopp (LSCE/IPSL,CNRS)• Mehera Kidston (LSCE/IPSL, CNRS)- contact person (mehera.kidston [at]• Nicolas Gruber (ETH, Zurich)• Meike Vogt (ETH, Zurich)
Paris, France
Financial support: 
7.5 k€ to organizers
Start date: 
End date: 

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