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CARBOOCEAN first annual meeting on “Ocean Carbon Sources and Sinks” (EU FP6)


More than 100 of Europes’s leading ocean researchers meet at Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during 22-24 November 2005 in order to assess the ocean’s role in taking up anthropogenic carbon dioxide – the major driving agent for a human induced climate change. This assessment is carried out through the largest European funded research project on marine carbon research ever: the Integrated Project CARBOOCEAN.

The ocean is considered as the major ultimate sink for the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The timing of the oceanic carbon dioxide uptake is one of the most critical factors in determining the strength of the expected climate change during the coming decades and centuries. A correct quantification of the oceanic carbon sink is essential for human societies to plan ahead: (1) How large will the future warming of the climate system will be? (2) To which degree must societies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimise damage due to climate change? (3) What will the feedbacks to the marine ecosystem and climate be due to uptake of carbon dioxide by the oceans?

These and other related questions are vital within a global context. Enforcements of internationally binding treaties on greenhouse gas limitations, such as the Kyoto Protocol, have to be ensured and extended in future. The global ocean acidification due to the uptake of carbon dioxide by the ocean may lead to large scale changes in ocean ecosystems and possibly have implications for the food chain.

Within CARBOOCEAN, basic research is carried out which directly will feed into a best possible prediction of future greenhouse gas forcing. Marine observations, process studies, and high-end computer models are combined in a cooperative research project on marine carbon cycling of unprecedented scope. The CARBOOCEAN Consortium consists of 47 international high-level research groups from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA.

CARBOOCEAN is funded under EU´s 6th Framework Programme and coordinated by the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, a Norwegian Centre of Excellence. The project receives 14.5 million EURO support from the European Commission over 5 years. The project started on 1 Januar 2005. The meeting in Amsterdam will summarise the first year of the project and initiate the next project phase. Local hosts of the meeting at Amsterdam are the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ, Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee) and the University of Groningen.

Monika Sandnesmo | alfa
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