Ocean and climate regulation

Scientific Context

Climate variability directly constrains the ocean, sea ice dynamics and biogeochemical fluxes, which in return affect atmosphere and climate. The ocean modulates the intensity of climate change by absorbing part of the heat excess and greenhouse gas increase resulting from human activities.

The processes driving the behaviour of the complex system of ocean / biogeochemical components / marine ecosystems are nonlinear and work on large spatial and time – scale spectra, from thousands of kilometres (ocean basin) to several kilometres (fronts), down to centimetres (turbulence). Interactions and feedbacks between the global ocean, 1 Ui30 climate change and human activities are numerous and complex, ranging from the energy efficiency of maritime transport to mitigation strategies involving marine ecosystems and the ocean carbon pump.

The ISblue community has expertise in fine-scale ocean dynamics (LabexMER axis 1- remote sensing at high resolution, leadership in ESA-CNES satellite missions such as SWOT or Sentinel, and numerical modelling); observation of ocean circulation and global climate (OVIDE observatory of the meridional overturning circulation, Euro- Argo and equipex NAOS); distribution and global cycle of trace elements (e.g. GEOTRACES cruises); process-based studies of the ocean carbon pump (LabexMER axis 2); evolution of sea state, sea ice and icebergs under climate change, and their impacts on maritime transport (e.g. IOWAGA ERC project on surface waves); and efficiency of marine shipping (IRDL and IRENav).

Specific Objectives

This Theme will support projects such as:

• Modelling and observing the dynamics of the ocean-ice-atmosphere interface at high resolution, including surface waves, to improve the safety of human activities and the accuracy of regional climate scenarios;

• Coupling between dynamics, minor and major chemical elements,
biogeochemistry and plankton ecology in the open ocean, from the scale
of energy dissipation to large-scale thermohaline circulation, and their
modifications linked to climate change;

• Integrating instrumental, archaeological and historical datasets with
sedimentary records of climate variability over the last millennium combined with physiological knowledge of present and fossilized marine organisms such as bivalves, to extend time series of climate into the past;

• Improving the safety and climate impact of global shipping, taking into
account changes in the physical environment, legal issues, and energy
efficiency of ships (through improved propellers, clean energy production,
and better ship resistance to rough seas).