4C: Climate-Carbon Interactions in the Current Century (2019-2023)

The project addresses the crucial knowledge gap in the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions, by reducing the uncertainty in our quantitative understanding of carbon-climate interactions and feedbacks. This will be achieved through innovative integration of models and observations, providing new constraints on modelled carbon-climate interactions and climate projections, and supporting Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments and policy objectives.

To meet this objective, 4C will:

(a) provide a step change in our ability to quantify the key processes regulating the coupled carbon-climate system,

(b) use observational constraints and improved processes understanding to provide multi-model near-term predictions and long-term projections of the climate in response to anthropogenic emissions, and

(c) deliver policy-relevant carbon dioxide emission pathways consistent with the UNFCCC Paris Agreement goals.

Primary production changes across the Subarctic Atlantic (2017-2019)

The ongoing changes in the circulation of the Subarctic Atlantic are, without question, impacting its marine ecosystems, yet our quantitative understanding of such ecological change(s) remains meager. A fundamental challenge is to predict whether net primary production (NetPP) in this region will increase or decrease under changing northerly and southerly advective flows. A growing understanding of the surface and deep overflows, counterflows, and recirculation patterns within the Subarctic Atlantic is emerging that indicates stronger influences of the Atlantic surface Water (AW) and Arctic-origin Water (ArW) on each other and on the average circulation patterns within the Subarctic Atlantic than previously thought.

The project focus on the balance of NetPP in the Subarctic Atlantic as affected by (i) advective losses and gains within this region at large-scales interaction with respect to boundary conditions in the temperate N. Atlantic and Arctic Oceans; (ii) lateral and vertical “export” production within sub-regions of the Subarctic Atlantic at intermediate scales; and (iii) advective and local processes controlling NetPP in the Subarctic Atlantic region.

remOcean: remotely-sensed biogeochemical cycles in the Ocean (2010-2016)

Due to global change and ocean response to climatic and anthropogenic forcing, it has now become critical to improve our understanding of biologically mediated carbon fluxes and to reduce the uncertainties in their estimates. At the root of much of the present uncertainty in carbon budget is the scarcity of data. Based on state-of-the-art remotely-operated observation techniques (profiling floats and satellites) and bio-optical modeling, remOcean aims at addressing the causes of variability in the so-called biological oceanic pump within key oceanic areas.

NAOS: Novel Argo Ocean observing System (2011-2019)

The main challenge is to set up an effective monitoring of the world ocean and to strengthen French leadership in ocean and climate research and prediction. The overall objective of NAOS is to consolidate and improve the French and European contribution to the international Argo observing system and to prepare the next decade of Argo. Argo floats are autonomous profiling floats measuring in real time and every 10 days temperature and salinity throughout the deep global oceans, down to 2,000 meters. NAOS will develop and validate the next generation of Argo profiling floats. New float capabilities will include: improved performances, integration of biogeochemical sensors, deeper measurements (3,500 m) and under-ice operations in the polar seas. All these evolutions are essential to improve our knowledge on the role of ocean on climate.

In the Mediterranean Sea (NAOS-MED), NAOS is devoted to implement a first, basin scale, network of Bio-Argo floats, as a first step toward a global array (as strongly suggested at the OceanObs09 conference, see here). In the framework of NAOS, 30 PROVBIO floats will be deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, following two successive waves (in 2013-2014 and in 2015-2016).

MerMex: Marine Ecosystems’ Response in the Mediterranean Experiment

French and Mediterranean biogeochemical oceanographers have raised the issue of Mediterranean marine ecosystems response to changes in physical, chemical and socio-economical forcings induced by climate change and by growing anthropogenic pressures. This debate has focused on the current understanding of the effects of key natural and anthropogenic forcings on ecosystems (from coastal zones to open-ocean, from pelagos to benthos) and organisms (from viruses to fishes and mammals). It has further aimed to identify knowledge gaps and to contribute to the emergence of a large integrated research project. This initiative aim at studying the water cycle and dynamics of atmospheric aerosols in the Mediterranean basin, considering the coupling between compartments (continent, ocean, atmosphere), the roles of extreme events (precipitation, heat waves, Saharan dusts), and the impacts on regional climate and marine systems.