Project Endorsement

Funded research projects within SOLAS science can request formal endorsement. Currently, SOLAS has endorsed 30 projects. For detailed information on the endorsed projects as well as on application information see below.

Endorsed by SOLAS, the highlights of your project will be spread via the SOLAS newsletter, Twitter, Flickr, and the website.

Apply now and increase the visibilty of your research!

Endorsed Projects - running

BASS - Biogeochemical processes and Air–sea exchange in the Sea-Surface microlayer

Endorsed since July 2022

The overall objective of BASS is to explore the significance of the sea surface microlayer (SML) as a biogeo- and photochemical reactor and how its reactivity influences air–sea interactions.

The proposed research unit will provide new insights into the enrichment of organic matter in the SML, and how well-adapted microbes and (photo)- chemistry transform organic matter. Moreover, the photochemical production of trace gases and the presence of surfactants will connect these processes to air-sea exchange processes. BASS will also investigate the coupling between the SML and bulk water as such coupling determines the distribution of unique products of bio- and photochemical processes in the SML into the upper ocean. Eight subprojects will cooperate in joint field campaigns in the open North Sea, a joint mesocosm study at the Sea-Surface Facility (University Oldenburg), and a joint experiment at the wind-wave tunnel Hamburg (University Hamburg). BASS will bundle interdisciplinary expertise, advanced technologies for observations at millimeter scales or below, core infrastructures for controlled experiments, and state-of-the-art analytical facilities on molecular and cellular levels. With this framework, BASS will push observations of the SML towards unprecedented spatial and temporal scales and establish a mechanistic description of the biogeochemistry of the SML and its effect on exchange processes, including physical models.

Principal investigators:

Oliver Wurl (

More details:

CARBOSTORE - Carbon Storage in German Coastal Seas - Stability, Vulnerability and Perspectives for Manageability

Endorsed since April 2022

The project Carbon Storage in German Coastal Seas - Stability, Vulnerability and Perspectives for Manageability (CARBOSTORE) will investigate the stability and vulnerability of various carbon storage pools in the German marginal seas North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Germany and its European neighbours have a long history in exploiting, over-exploiting and rehabilitating its coastal waters. This is clearly a consequence of human pressures on these coastal systems, which are paralleled by climate change driven pressures. Both types of pressures have the potential to alter the biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems. The project CARBOSTORE will determine whether and to what extent relevant pathways for carbon storage have been impacted or will be impacted. Based on these investigations of the vulnerability of the carbon stocks and based on applicable legal and socioeconomic frameworks, researchers will eventually derive perspectives on how to translate this knowledge into opportunities to sustainably enhance carbon storage in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, with the goal of establishing net negative CO₂ emissions.

Principal investigator: Helmuth Thomas (

More details:


CARBOSTORE-related publication:

Van Dam, B., Lehmann, N., Zeller, M. A., et al. (2022). Benthic alkalinity fluxes from coastal sediments of the Baltic and North seas: comparing approaches and identifying knowledge gaps. Biogeosciences, 19(16), 3775–3789.

Carbon-FE - Carbon Fixation and Export in oligotrophic ocean

Endorsed since January 2022

Carbon-FE is a national project funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. It selects the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) as the study site to examine carbon fixation and export, or the biological bump in general, regulated by differently sourced nutrients including macronutrients (i.e., N, P, Si) and micronutrients (e.g., Fe). The major objectives are (1) to determine the distribution of macro- and micro-nutrients, fingerprint their sources and estimate their fluxes into the NPSG, (2) to constrain the spatial-temporal variability of biological N2 fixation and its limiting factors in the Nutrient-depleted layer (NDL), (3) to quantify the carbon fixation and associated planktonic community structure, (4) to constrain the export production from both the NDL and Nutrient-repleted layer (NRL), and (5) to simulate the biological pump and carbon sinks in the NPSG. 

Principal investigators: Minhan Dai (

More details:

Marine Carbon Sink - Quantifying and Predicting Canada's Marine Carbon Sink

Endorsed since September 2021

Canada’s Marine Carbon Sink project brings together a network of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and academic and government scientists to make progress on quantifying the absorption of anthropogenic carbon by the three ocean regions adjacent to Canada. The team is working to develop both observational and numerical modelling techniques to assess the sink on regional spatial scales and at annual to interannual time scales. The project capitalizes on Canada’s investment in new technologies to observe the ocean and in expanded numerical modelling resources. Because the ocean naturally absorbs a large proportion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and because that rate of absorption is vulnerable to change, techniques to take stock of this sink are needed to facilitate international planning to meet climate targets. 

Principal investigators: Roberta Hamme (

More details:

CRiceS - Climate Relevant interactions and feedbacks: the key role of sea ice and Snow in the polar and global climate syste

Endorsed since June 2021

The CRiceS project, or Climate relevant interactions and feedbacks: the key role of sea ice and snow in the polar and global climate system, is a new H2020 project funded by the European Commission starting in 2021. CRiceS will contribute to a more precise understanding of the ocean-ice-snow-atmosphere system to deliver improved models that describe polar and global climate. One of the main ways scientists can improve our understanding of environmental change is to combine knowledge from different disciplines in a coordinated way, including linking knowledge from different SOLAS relevant communities. The new project involves a broad team of researchers that focuses on climate physics, chemistry, and biology. CRiceS brings together researchers from the SOLAS sponsored CATCH and BEPSII communities and includes 21 research institutes, from Europe, Canada, South Africa, India and Russia, that are at the forefront of polar and global climate research.

Principle investigators: Dr. Risto Makkonen ( and Jennie Thomas (

Project manager: Åsa Stam (

More details:

BOOGIE - Breathing Oceans: understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean

Endorsed since April 2021

Understanding how the ocean’s organic skin layer modulates this exchange is critical to estimate the intrinsic oceanic sinks and sources of these key greenhouse gases both now and in the future. BOOGIE (Breathing Oceans: understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean), a new European Research Council Starting Grant, investigates the effects organic substances in the surface microlayer on air-sea gas exchange by examining a variety of carbon sources and their (a)biotic transformations along a land-ocean transect from South America toward the African Continent over the next 5-years. Central to this work is the development and application of novel in-situ sensors, advanced geochemical characterisation, and hydrological and gas flux models to examine spatial and temporal effects of surfactant suppression of gas exchange.

Principle investigator: Dr. Ryan Pereira (

Project website:

Project on Twitter: @water_carbon

ShipTRASE - Global shipping: Linking policy and economics to biogeochemical cycling and air-sea interaction

Endorsed since November 2020

Shipping is the most widely used medium for transport of goods internationally and, although it is a carbon-efficient transport medium, there is an increasing focus on its broader environmental consequences. For equitable use of the oceans, as well as minimizing impacts of global change, a further development to sustainable shipping is needed. Ship-building and operational standards are introduced and area-based instruments, such as emission control areas (ECAs), are established. However, lack of wider regulations, vague monitoring, unclear environmental impacts and economic uncertainty might cause problems for industry and society.

In ShipTRASE, the environmental, economic, and legal aspects of both near-term and long-term solutions to shipping emission reduction and control mechanisms will be analysed. Potential environmental impacts on the lower atmosphere and upper ocean likely arise from pollutant emission from ship smokestacks and liquid discharge, as well as altered methane emissions. With our transdisciplinary team (atmospheric sciences, chemical oceanography, international law, environmental economy, and engineering), we will investigate how the use of scrubbers and alternative fuels impact the environment and feedback on economics and regulation. In addition, we will involve stakeholders in both Germany and Sweden (industry, local government, large scale regulation) to discuss these topics, share information and outcomes, and co-design further scientific research. The work involved will use various platforms: scrubber laboratory and incubation experiments, numerical modeling, cost-benefit analysis, and survey methodologies. ShipTRASE will deliver environmental, legal, and economic assessments of near-term and long-term solutions to emission reduction strategies. We will also deliver multiple stakeholder dialogues aimed to co-design this research and its outcomes for relevant stakeholders at various levels. Finally, we will deliver open access data, publications, a website, and public lectures about our transdisciplinary results.

Principle investigator: Prof. Dr. Anna Rutgersson (
                                          Christa Marandino (

Youtube information

SEANA – Shipping Emissions in the Arctic and North Atlantic Atmosphere

Endorsed since April 2020

The project Shipping Emissions in the Arctic and North Atlantic Atmosphere (SEANA) aims to significantly enhance our understanding on the impact of shipping emissions upon atmospheric aerosols and the climate in the Arctic and North Atlantic atmosphere (ANAA). To this aim, SEANA will carry out synergistic yearlong observations at Faroe Islands and Greenland (Thule Observatory) and intensive fieldwork on a research ship along the Northwest (NW) Passage with a focus on (1) sources of aerosol, cloud condensation nuclei (CNN) and ice nuclei (IN); (2) atmospheric processes including the formation of new particles and aging of primary particles during transport.

SEANA focuses on shipping emissions but our comprehensive observations will include natural emissions from the ocean, for example, marine biogenic volatile compounds and sea salts. The research cruise to the NW Passage will also include observations of surface ocean biogeochemistry to support data interpretation. In particular, SEANA will evaluate the contribution of marine biogenic emissions to new particle formation and growth, as well as to the number concentration of aerosol, CCN and IN. The new experimental data will be integrated with recent and ongoing measurements at existing ANAA stations to generate a benchmark aerosol baselines in ANAA. The new data and process understanding will be used to develop a global aerosol model – GLOMAP. SEANA will use the updated GLOMAP model to simulate the current aerosol “baseline” (sources and processes) in the Arctic, from which the impact of future shipping emissions on aerosols and climate will be projected.

It is expected that the 2020 International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation (ship fuel sulphur limit from 3.5% to 0.5%) will reduce the emissions of sulphur dioxide from shipping emissions and thus their relative contribution to sulphate aerosol in the marine atmosphere. By using sulphur isotope analysis, SEANA will apportion the contribution of sulphate from marine biogenic sources (i.e., dimethyl-sulphite), sea salt and anthropogenic emissions before and after 2020. On this basis, the “real-world” impact of the IMO regulation on sulphate particles in the marine atmosphere will be evaluated. We will also develop the GLOMAP to incorporate sulphur isotope tracers, including those from marine biogenic sources (dimethyl-sulphite and sea salt) and anthropogenic emissions. The model will be constrained with real-world sulphur isotope observations and used to evaluate the impact of the IMO regulation on the composition of aerosols in the marine atmosphere, CCN and the climate.

Principle investigator: Dr. Zongbo Shi (

Project website:

SEANA related publication:

Song, C., Dall’Osto, M., Lupi, A., et al., (2021). Differentiation of coarse-mode anthropogenic, marine and dust particles in the High Arctic islands of Svalbard, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21, 11317–11335.

Sea2Cloud: Are marine microorganisms influencing clouds?

Endorsed since December 2019

The main goal of the project Sea2Cloud is to investigate how marine emissions from living microorganisms can influence cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), ice nuclei (IN) and ultimately cloud properties. We will investigate the whole process chain of gas-phase emissions, nucleation and growth through the atmospheric column, and impact on the CCN population above oceans. We will also quantify marine primary aerosol emissions, including particles of biological origin, and evaluate how they impact IN and cloud precipitation capabilities. Experiments will be performed in the Southern Hemisphere, especially sensitive to the natural marine aerosol concentration variability.

The experimental approach will be to use mesocosms enclosing large volumes of seawater and the atmosphere above it, in order to link marine emissions to the biogeochemical properties of natural seawater with little perturbations of its biodiversity. This process-based approach will be complemented with ambient measurements of aerosol properties and their precursors simultaneously at low and high altitude sites. At last, a 3-D meso-scale modelling study will help merging process studies and ambient measurements, and assess the role of biologically driven marine emissions on cloud properties.

Principle investigator: Dr. Karine Sellegri (

More details:

Sea2Cloud-related expeditions:
The Sea2Cloud expedition with the R/V Tangaroa took place east of the New Zealand South Island in March 2020. During the cruise different parameters were measured in the ambient air as well as in the ocean surface seawater and surface microlayer for biogeochemical analysis. In addition, four mesocosm experiments were carried out to study the aerosol fluxes and their gaseous precursors from marine microorganisms under natural conditions.
A footage of the Sea2Cloud is available here:

ACRUISE - Atmospheric Composition and Radiative forcing changes due to UN International Ship Emissions regulations

Endorsed since November 2019

Ship exhausts are a significant source of sulfur(S)-containing aerosols to the marine atmosphere and some global models suggest the emissions cause a large negative radiative forcing by modifying cloud properties. International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations require that ships in international waters reduce their S emissions from a maximum of 3.5% to 0.5% from January 2020.

This proposal addresses whether the IMO’s 2020 sulfur regulations will substantially reduce the climate cooling effect from ship pollution. ACRUISE will take advantage of this unique large-scale aerosol perturbation to challenge our most advanced models with observations across a wide range of scales. We will quantify the impact of the S regulations on atmospheric chemistry and climate in the North Atlantic and globally.

Five UK institutes are involved to achieve these ambitious goals, bringing together expertise in marine atmospheric chemistry, aircraft observations, aerosol-cloud modelling and satellite observations.

Principle investigator: Dr. Ming-Xi Yang (

Project website:

AMT4CO2Flux - Atlantic Meridional Transect Ocean Flux from Satellite Campaign

Endorsed since October 2019

The main aim of the AMT4CO2Flux project is to provide validated estimates of the air-sea flux of CO2 calculated from a suite of satellite products over a range of Atlantic locations.

A campaign was conducted on the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) in 2018 for satellite algorithm validation in a range of open ocean oligotrophic, eutrophic and coastal waters. To credibly validate satellite estimates of marine geophysical products, like air-sea gas flux or OA, independent ground-based Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRMs) are needed that follow published protocols and procedures, have documented SI traceability and have an associated uncertainty budget.

The strength of AMT4CO2Flux is all of the satellite products that are used to estimate the CO2 flux are validated using FRMs. The installation of state-of-the-art eddy co-variance instrumentation to estimate gas exchange provided independent reference measurements for the validation of the satellite estimates of CO2 flux. Global algorithms used to study ocean acidification from space are also being evaluated in this project.

Principle investigator: Dr. Gavin Tilstone (

Project website:

AMT4CO2Flux related publications:

Brewin, R., Wimmer, W., Bresnahan, P., et al., (2021). Comparison of a Smartfin with an Infrared Sea Surface Temperature Radiometer in the Atlantic Ocean. Remote Sensing, 13(5), 841.

Dong, Y., Yang, M., Bakker, D., et al., (2021). Uncertainties in eddy covariance air–sea CO2 flux measurements and implications for gas transfer velocity parameterisations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21, 8089–8110,

Ford, D., Tilstone, G., Shutler, J., et al., (2021). Wind speed and mesoscale features drive net autotrophy in the South Atlantic Ocean. Remote Sensing of Environment, 260, 112435.

Tilstone, G., Pardo, S., Dall'Olmo, G., et al., (2021). Performance of Ocean Colour Chlorophyll a algorithms for Sentinel-3 OLCI, MODIS-Aqua and Suomi-VIIRS in open-ocean waters of the Atlantic. Remote Sensing of Environment, 260, 112444.

Yang, M., Smyth, T., Kitidis, V., et al., (2021). Natural variability in air–sea gas transfer efficiency of CO2. Scientific Reports, 11, 13584.

Alikas, K., Vabson, V., Ansko, I., et al., (2020). Comparison of above-water Seabird and TriOS radiometers along an Atlantic Meridional Transect. Remote Sensing, 12(10), 1669.

Banks, A., Vendt, R., Alikas, K., et al., (2020). Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour (FRM4SOC). Remote Sensing, 12(8), 1322. 22.

REEBUS - Role of Eddies in the Carbon Pump of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems

Endorsed since September 2019

REEBUS is a national collaborative research project, which has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Coastal upwelling areas belong to the world’s biologically most productive marine areas. The upwelling in these regions is driven by trade winds blowing parallel to the coast. The combination of trade wind direction and earth rotation causes an offshore transportation of surface water masses allowing cold and nutrient-rich deep water masses to up well. Upwelled surface waters are characterized by a lower temperature, lower oxygen and chlorophyll concentrations and increased nutrient and carbon concentrations. The input of nutrient-rich upwelling water to coastal areas leads to an increase in primary production and turns upwelling regions into highly productive regions, providing a rich biodiversity and approx. 20 percent of the world's fish harvest. Therefore, many of the coastal upwelling areas are of great socio-economic importance, for example, the majority of the West African countries are economically dependent on the fishing industry in upwelling regions.

Upwelling systems are vulnerable to the major global man-made environmental changes such as ocean warming, acidification, and deoxygenation. Further, it is expected that upwelling systems will be indirectly influenced by climate change due to changing trade wind conditions and intensities. The responses of upwelling systems to these environmental changes especially in regards to synergistic or antagonistic effects have hardly been integrated so far. Therefore, reliable predictions of the expected changes within these upwelling systems are not possible yet.

The REEBUS project is based on the observation that oceanic eddies play a central role for the physical, chemical and biological properties of coastal upwelling systems. It is hypothesized that climate change will lead to changes in the statistics and/or characteristics of oceanic eddies which in turn will possibly also influence the characteristics of upwelling systems.

A major goal of the REEBUS project is to gain a better quantitative understanding of the dynamics of mesoscale eddies (eddies with a diameter of approx. 100 km) with a special focus on the coupling of physical, chemical and biological processes within these eddies. Furthermore, the REEBUS project will focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) source/sink mechanisms of mesoscale eddies as well as on the biological carbon pump in the eastern boundary upwelling systems. In addition, it will be investigated how eddies influence their oligotrophic periphery, both in the pelagic as well as in the deep-sea benthic environment. The regional research focus of REEBUS lies on the upwelling area off the coast of West Africa, one of the most productive upwelling systems.

A central part of the REEBUS project are three research expeditions coordinated by GEOMAR and performed with the R/V Meteor to investigate oceanic eddies which are generated off the coast of Mauritania. During these three field campaigns a novel, multi-layered observation approach combined with process models are applied to investigate eddy dynamics and their effects on the biogeochemical and biological system. 

Project duration: 01 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2021

Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Arne Körtzinger (
Project manager: Dr. Esther Rickert (

Project website:

REEBUS-related publications:
Körtzinger, A. , Andrae, A., Baschek, B., Becker, K., Behr, H.-D., Blandfort, D., Calil, P., Carrasco, R., Dengler, M. et al. (2020). Eddy Study to Understand Physical-Chemical-Biological Coupling and the Biological Carbon Pump as a Function of Eddy Type off West Africa. Cruise Report, Cruise No. M160, 23.11. - 20.12.2019, Mindelo (Cabo Verde) - Mindelo (Cabo Verde).

Sommer, S., Adam, N., Becker, K., Dale, A.,W., Hahn, J., Kampmeier, M., Paulsen, M., Katzenmeier, S., Körtzinger, A. (2020). Role of Eddies in the Carbon Pump of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems, REEBUS. Cruise Report, Cruise No. M156, 03.07. - 01.08.2019, Mindelo (Cabo Verde) - Mindelo (Cabo Verde).

Fischer, G., Romero, O., Toby, E., Iversen, M. et al. (2019). Changes in the dust‐influenced biological carbon pump in the Canary Current System: Implications from a coastal and an offshore sediment trap record off Cape Blanc, Mauritania. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33. https://doi. org/10.1029/2019GB006194

REEBUS-related meetings:
M160 Post Cruise Meeting II, online, December 17, 2020. For more details about the M160 post cruise meeting II, see here:
M160 Post Cruise Meeting I, online, June 22, 2020. For more details about the M160 post cruise meeting I, see here:

AMBIEnCE - Impact of atmospheric multi-stressors to coastal marine systems in a changing climate scenario

Endorsed since March 2019

AMBIEnCE is a National collaborative research project, which has received funding from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, in the 02/SAICT/2017 – Scientific Research & Technological Development Projects Call.

AMBIEnCE project aims at assessing the impact of atmospheric organic aerosol (OA) deposition on the molecular composition and reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in different coastal marine systems. AMBIEnCE also aims at exploring how the intrinsic chemical features of both OA and DOM drive the solubility and bioavailability of atmospheric-derived trace metals (TM) in seawater. Air particles deposition is an important source of new organic and inorganic nutrients, and potentially toxic TM to seawater. These atmospheric multi-stressors are delivered in very different chemical forms and amounts, impacting the marine DOM pump in ways still poorly understood. The extent to which OA and DOM modify the solubility/bioavailability of atmospheric TM are also unknown due to practical difficulties in studying post-depositional processes.

AMBIEnCE is a high-risk/high-gain project that offers a unique approach to assess the impact of atmospheric organic and inorganic particles deposition on the functioning of two coastal marine systems which are influenced by different atmospheric inputs, variable in time and intensity: Ria de Aveiro and Tagus Estuary. The first stage entails the collection of air particles and seawater at both sites in order to unravel the structural features of OA and marine DOM, and TM content in aerosols and seawater. Afterwards, aerosol seeding experiments in lab-made microcosms will be carried out aiming at mimic natural and anthropogenic OA inputs to surface seawater. This aims at capturing changes in OA composition settling through water column and their effect on marine DOM and TM composition/persistent. These trials will be used to assess the effect of two estuarine species (juvenile seabass & polychaetes) on marine DOM and TM content and composition, and evaluate the distribution and toxicity effects of atmospheric TM in the selected species.

The novelty of AMBIEnCE lies on the use of microcosms to accurately study over time, the effect of potential internal (estuarine species) and external (OA inputs) drivers on DOM and TM composition using real biogeochemical assemblages. Results of this project will provide in-depth knowledge on the chemical features and sources of OA and TM arriving at the marine sites, and explain how these atmospheric multi-stressors impact DOM composition and TM solubility/bioavailability. At long term, innovation created by AMBIEnCE will be maximized in a roadmap so that dissemination of foreground results to society can be optimized. To attain its goals, AMBIEnCE brings together a multidisciplinary team of analytical & environmental chemists and geochemists, with expertise in advanced analytical techniques for profiling complex matrices, and biologists with expertise in environmental toxicology, all from University of Aveiro, and a biochemist from NOVA.ID.FCT with expertise in environmental proteomics.

Principle Investigator: Regina Duarte (

Project website:


AMBIEnCE-related publications:

Ventura, A., Simões, E.F.C., Almeida, A.S., et al., (2021). Deposition of aerosols onto upper ocean and their impacts on marine biota. Atmosphere, 12, 684.

Simões, E.F.C., Almeida, A.S., Duarte, A.C., Duarte, R.M.B.O., (2021). Assessing reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in atmospheric and aquatic environments: analytical challenges and opportunities. TrAC – Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 135, 116149.

Duarte, R.M.B.O., Matos, J.T.V., Duarte, A.C., (2021). Multidimensional Analytical Characterization of Water-Soluble Organic Aerosols: Challenges and New Perspectives. Applied Sciences 11, 2539.

Duarte, R.M.B.O.,  Duarte, A.C., (2020). Urban atmospheric aerosols: Sources, analysis, and effects. Atmosphere 11(11), 1221.

Duarte, R.M.B.O., Duan, P., Mao, J., et al., (2020). Exploring water-soluble organic aerosols structures in urban atmosphere using advanced solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy. Atmospheric Environment 230, 117503.

Published books:
Duarte, R.M.B.O. and Duarte, A.C. (Ed.) (2021). Urban Atmospheric Aerosols: Sources, Analysis, and Effects. In: Atmosphere, MDPI, February 2021, edited by Duarte, R.M.B.O., Duarte, A.C., ISBN: 978-3-03943-931-7 (Hbk), ISBN: 978-3-03943-932-4 (PDF), book available at: Urban Atmospheric Aerosols | MDPI Books

Duarte, R.M.B.O. and Duarte, A.C. (2020). Multidimensional analytical techniques in environmental research: Evolution of concepts. In: Multidimensional Analytical Techniques for Advancing Environmental Research, Elsevier, June 2020, edited by Duarte, R.M.B.O., Duarte, A.C., ISBN: 9780128188965.

PICCOLO - Processes Influencing Carbon Cycling: Observations of the Lower limb of the Antarctic Overturning

Endorsed since October 2017

Our deficient understanding of Southern Ocean carbon uptake means that projections of future climate change are hindered. This is because net carbon uptake is determined by poorly understood biogeochemical and biological processes in the lower limb of Antarctic overturning circulation.

PICCOLO is an ambitious multi-disciplinary project that will make ground-breaking over-winter observations and use cutting-edge autonomous technologies to elucidate these processes. Multi-season observations in the deep Weddell Gyre, on the continental shelf and under sea ice will quantify rates of carbon uptake, transformation and export as water interacts with the atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere and then sinks off the shelf into the abyss.

PICCOLO will provide a comprehensive understanding of lower limb carbon processes, and will provide the key biogeochemical information needed to improve future Earth System models.

Principal Investigators:
Karen Heywood (
Tom Bell (

Project website:

Surface Ocean CO₂ Atlas (SOCAT)

Endorsed since April 2007

The Surface Ocean CO₂ Atlas (SOCAT) is a synthesis activity for quality-controlled, surface ocean fCO₂ (fugacity of carbon dioxide) observations by the international marine carbon research community (>100 contributors).

SOCAT data is publicly available, discoverable and citable.

SOCAT enables quantification of the ocean carbon sink and ocean acidification and evaluation of ocean biogeochemical models. SOCAT, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, represents a milestone in biogeochemical and climate research and in informing policy.


Endorsed Projects - completed

The Great Barrier Reef as a significant source of climatically relevant aerosol particles

Endorsed since September 2016

Understanding the role of clouds in the warming and cooling of the planet, and how that role changes in a warming world is one of the biggest uncertainties climate change researchers face. A key feature in this regard is the influence on cloud properties of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), the very small atmospheric aerosol particles necessary for the nucleation of every single cloud droplet. The anthropogenic contribution to CCN is known to be large in some regions; however, the natural processes that regulate CCN over large parts of the globe are less well understood, and particularly in the Great Barrier Reef. The production of new aerosol particles from biogenic sources (forests, marine biota, etc) is a frequent phenomenon capable of affecting aerosol concentrations, and therefore CCN, on both regional and global scales. The biogenic aerosol particles therefore have a major influence on cloud properties and hence climate and the hydrological cycle. Determining the magnitude and drivers of biogenic aerosol production in different ecosystems is therefore crucial for the future development of climate models.

Stretching over 2600 km, along the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is one of the largest and most important ecosystems in Australia. This project will aim to determine the magnitude and drivers of biogenic aerosol production from the GBR.

The fundamental questions that this study will address are:

  1. What is the significance of this ecosystem as a natural source of aerosol particles?
  2. How strong is this source at the regional level?
  3. What is the mechanism of particle production over the GBR?

Measurements will be made via two platforms. The first is Australia’s RV Investigator which will spend 30 days at sea in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The second is the new Australian AIR-BOX, a portable laboratory containing cutting edge atmospheric monitoring equipment which will be deployed downwind of the reef at Misson Beach during the voyage.

CSIRO chemical transport modelling (CTM)  will be used to explore the influence of different sources (marine and terrestrial), meteorology and transport on the reactive gases and aerosols observed over the reef. CTM will also be used to explore the vertical distribution of aerosols and CCN in the MBL to determine the influence of both local and distant sources to CCN at cloud height. The data set produced will be used to test and validate aerosol production mechanisms in GLOMAP (Global Model of Aerosol Processes), which will ensure accurate representation of aerosol processes in ACCESS (Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator).

Principal Investigator: Zoran Ristovski (

NAAMES - North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study

Endorsed since November 2015

The North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) is a five year investigation to resolve key processes controlling ocean system function, their influences on atmospheric aerosols and clouds and their implications for climate.

Observations obtained during four, targeted ship and aircraft measurement campaigns, combined with the continuous satellite and in situ ocean sensor records, will enable improved predictive capabilities of Earth system processes and will inform ocean management and assessment of ecosystem change.

Principal Investigator: Mike Behrenfeld (

Project Manager: Mary Kleb (

Project website:

NAAMES overview paper:
NETCARE - Network on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments

Endorsed since October 2013

To improve the accuracy of climate predictions, the direct radiative effects of aerosol and the impacts of aerosol on clouds and precipitation have to be comprehensively addressed; it is well recognized that they represent the largest uncertainties in radiative forcing estimates. Moreover, in contrast to urban regions where extensive work has been conducted, remote regions (e.g., the Canadian Arctic) remain comparatively unstudied despite the need to establish a baseline against which future change can be evaluated. With naturally low aerosol levels, such regions are particularly sensitive to anthropogenic input. According to the Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone by UNEP and WMO in 2011, reductions in black carbon emissions would substantially reduce Arctic warming over the next several decades. However, current models vary greatly in their ability to characterize aerosol in these remote regions. This leads to little confidence in our predictions of climate response to changing levels of short-lived forcing agents, such as black carbon, as regulations evolve in Asia, and as shipping and industry increase in the Arctic. Likewise, enhanced global warming will drive feedbacks in the Earth system whereby Arctic Ocean waters will open to a greater degree, thus increasing rates of DMS emission and biogenically-driven aerosol formation. Also, the predicted increase in boreal forest fires in a warmer climate may lead to more black carbon transport to remote regions. Additional uncertainties in climate predictions arise from a fundamental lack of understanding of aerosol sources, sinks, optical properties, and cloud impacts; for example, the mechanisms and impacts of ice cloud formation, an important mechanism for precipitation, are especially poorly quantified. This complexity requires a concerted approach to better define the mechanisms at play and to establish their role in the present and future climate system.

NETCARE is comprised of the leading scientists in the Canadian climate-aerosol community. The central impetus within the network is that the key uncertainties in this field must be addressed by multidisciplinary studies of interacting components of the Earth system, particularly the ocean, atmosphere, and cryosphere. As well, a range of techniques, extending from satellite and in situ field measurements, lab studies, and models including the Canadian Global Climate Model (GCM), is required to move forward. It is only through detailed field studies supported by process-level modeling that we can develop confidence in larger scale parameterizations within climate models. Similarly, measurements across a range of domains that extend from the surface through the atmosphere are needed to complement remote sensing measurements at single sites. While the fundamental understanding to be gained is widely applicable, the network will focus on the Arctic and Western Canada so as to have maximum impact. Observations will extend across the Arctic from land stations, an icebreaker, and research aircraft. As well, we will assess anthropogenic, biomass burning, and marine aerosol input to Western Canada given the potential for significant effects arising from changing Asian emissions and forest fire activity.

Principle investigator: Jon Abbatt (

NETCARE overview paper:
MERMEX - Marine ecosystems response in the Mediterranean experiment

Endorsed since August 2011

The Mediterranean Sea, which has been identified as a “hotspot” for climate change, is therefore expected to experience environmental impacts that are considerably greater than those in many other places around the world. These natural pressures interact with the increasing demographic and economic developments occurring heterogeneously in the coastal zone, making the Mediterranean even more sensitive.

MERMEX aims at studying the response of Mediterranean ecosystems to climate change and anthropogenic pressures, and combines integrated observation / experimental / modeling approaches.

There are still considerable uncertainties in our understanding of the complex interactions between the different forcings and their impacts on Mediterranean ecosystems. There is therefore a strong need to reach a mechanistic understanding of the relevant processes in order to predict changes in ecosystems. The most relevant issues for the future of marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean constitute the main research axes that MERMEX propose to tackle in the next 10 years.

Project website:

DONUT - Dependence of dissolved organic matter cycling on atmospheric inputs of nutrients

Endorsed since March 2013

The main goal of DONUT is to assess how and to which extent the response of heterotrophic prokaryotes to atmospheric inputs of nutrients shape the DOM pool and modify its bioavailability. There are recent evidences of the preferential uptake of dust- derived nutrients by heterotrophic prokaryotes resulting in heterotrophic processes being more stimulated by dust pulses compared to autotrophic processes. How can we go further on our understanding of the consequences of these results on C cycling? The stimulation of bacterial respiration by dust pulses during the stratification period would decrease the amount of carbon susceptible to be exported to depth through winter mixing. Nevertheless, the efficiency of the Microbial Carbon Pump depends not only on the amount of carbon in the dissolved pool but also on the characteristics of the DOM which may modify its residence time in the water column. How and to what extent dust pulses can, through the stimulation of Hprok activity, shape the surface DOM pool remains totally unexplored and constitute one bottleneck to our advances to understand the role of atmospheric deposition on marine C cycle. The DONUT strategy is based on the experimental assessment of the transformation of DOM during bacterial degradation under simulated dust inputs.

BIOACID - Biological impacts of ocean acidification

Endorsed since November 2009

The growing evidence of potential biological impacts of ocean acidification affirms that this global change phenomenon may pose a serious threat to marine organisms and ecosystems. Despite a wealth of knowledge on specific effects of acidification and the related changes in seawater chemistry on the physiology of individual marine taxa, many uncertainties still remain. Because the majority of studies are based on single species experiments, little is presently known about possible impacts on natural communities, food webs and ecosystems. Moreover, few studies have addressed possible interacting effects of environmental changes occurring in parallel, such as ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation and changes in surface layer stratification and nutrient supply. Almost completely unknown at present is the potential for evolutionary adaptation to ocean acidification.

The overarching focus of BIOACID II will be to address and better understand the chain from biological mechanisms, through individual organism responses, through food web and ecosystem effects, to economic impacts.

The second phase of BIOACID began in September 2012 and will last three years. The third phase of BIOACID started in October 2015.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project that is coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel with 8.77 million Euros.


Air-Sea Lab - Climate-air pollution interaction in coastal environment

Ended in 2017

Air-Sea Lab is an Italia-Ireland bilateral project funded by CNR. The main objective of the joint Lab is to study the interactions between air pollution and climate in the coastal environment, with particular focus on aerosol physico-chemical properties, aerosol-cloud interactions and near coastal boundary layer structure and dynamics.

Air-Sea Lab directly addresses the following science issues from the International SOLAS Science Plan and Implementation Strategy:

Focus 1: Biogeochemical Interactions and Feedbacks Between Ocean and Atmosphere
Activity 1.1 – Marine Particle Emissions
Activity 1.2 – Trace Gas Emissions
Activity 1.3 – Dimethylsulphide & climate
Activity 1.4 – Iron and Marine Productivity
Activity 1.5 – Ocean-Atmosphere Cycling of Nitrogen

Focus 2: Exchange Processes at the Air-Sea Interface and the Role of Transport and Transformation in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Boundary Layers
Activity 2.1 – Air-Sea Interface
Activity 2.2 – Oceanic Boundary Layer
Activity 2.3 – Atmospheric Boundary Layer

Project coordinators are Maria Cristina Facchini ( and Colin O’Dowd (

OASIS - Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Snowpack

The Ocean - Atmosphere - Sea Ice - Snowpack (OASIS) program was created in 2004 as an international multidisciplinary group focused on studying chemical and physical exchange processes among the title reservoirs. The main themes of OASIS are the interrelationships between climate and tropospheric chemistry as well as surface/biosphere feedbacks in the Arctic. Sea ice is undergoing rapid change in the Arctic, transitioning from a perennial or mutli-year ice (MYI) pack to a thinner, seasonal first-year ice (FYI) pack, thereby transforming into a more Antarctic -like system. Such changes in critical snow, ice. and atmospheric interfaces will likely have large impacts system wide - from habitat loss to dramatic changes in heat and water vapor fluxes to changes in atmospheric chemistry. OASIS scientists are deeply involved in studies aimed at understanding interactions among components of the Ocean - Atmosphere - Sea Ice - Snowpack system and potential feedbacks at their most fundamental levels.

A more detailed description of OASIS and future needs for Polar research can be found in:

Shepson, P.B., Ariya, P.B., Deal, C., Donaldson, D.J., Douglas, T.A., Maksym, T., Matrai, P.A., Russell, L.M., Saenz, B., Stefels, J., and Steiner, N. (2012) OASIS: Brining Scientists together from multiple disciplines to study changes and feedbacks in the polar environments. Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 93(11), 117-124.

ADEPT - Aerosol deposition and ocean plankton dynamics

Ended in 2014

ADEPT addresses the study of the effect of atmospheric aerosol deposition on the dynamics of a marine LNLC (low nutrient low chlorophyll) system, namely the Mediterranean. To achieve its goal, ADEPT uses a multiscale and complementary approach. Relationships between atmospheric deposition and ocean nutrient and plankton dynamics are studied at a coastal scale and at the Mediterranean basin scale. Laboratory experiments focus to understand some of the underlying mechanisms.

ADEPT is a scientific project (CTM2011-23458) funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation).

CARBOCHANGE - Changes in carbon uptake and emissions by oceans in a changing climate

Ended in 2015

The overall goal is to determine the ocean’s quantitative role for uptake of human-produced carbon dioxide, and to investigate how large this uptake rate has been in the past, how it is changing at present, and how it will evolve in the future.This is essential knowledge to assess the expected consequences of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and to guide the management of CO2 emission reductions.


SOAP - Surface ocean aerosol production

The frontal regions around New Zealand are highly productive, with the Sub-Tropical Front that runs eastwards along the Chatham Rise characterised by intensive phytoplankton blooms. A preliminary survey of this region in February 2011 during a PreSOAP voyage encountered blooms of different phytoplankton groups with differing DMS & CO2 signatures.

An international team will further determine the production of aerosol precursors by phytoplankton blooms, their subsequent emissions to the atmosphere, and the production and size distribution of aerosols in the overlying marine boundary layer (MBL) during the SOAP voyage in 2012. Initial mapping of phytoplankton blooms around the productive Sub-Tropical Front along the Chatham Rise will be followed by selection of sites for focused studies.


MedSeA - Mediterranean Sea acidification

Ended in 2014

Increases in atmospheric C02 and associated decreases in seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration this century and beyond are likely to have wide impacts on marine ecosystems including those of the Mediterranean sea. Consequences of this process, ocean acidification, threaten the health of the Mediterranean, adding to the anthropogenic pressures, including those from climate change. Yet in comparison to other areas of the world ocean, there has been no concerted effort to study Mediterranean acidification, which is fundamental to the social and economic conditions of more than 400 million people living in Mediterranean countries and another 175 million who visit the region each year. The MedSeA project addresses ecologic and economic impacts from the combined influences of anthropogenic acidification and warming, while accounting for the unique characteristics of this key region.

The project was granted a 6 months extension and will end in July 2014.

CHOICE-C - Carbon cycling in China Seas - budget, controls and ocean acidification

Ended in 2013

CHOICE-C focuses on the carbon budget, controls, ecological responses and future changes in coastal ocean systems. The focal area includes, but is not limited to, the continental shelves of both the South and East China Seas.

FLATOCOA - Flux atmosphérique d'origine continentale sur l'Océan Austral

The goal is to know the amount of continental atmospheric dust deposited on the South Ocean, including determination of the bioavailable fraction. Special attention is given on Fe and other micro-nutrients, including Zn, Cd, Mn, P, Si and Co. The atmospheric total deposition flux and the atmospheric dust concentration will be measured during 2 years at Kerguelen with an integration time of two weeks. Solubility experiments will be done on collected dust to get information on bioavailability of micro-nutrients. A transportation/deposition model will be used to extrapolate at a largest scale possible. In addition, another station will run for 1 year (2010) at Crozet island to assess gradient information on a 1000 km scale.

EPOCA - European project on ocean acidification

Ended in 2012

The EU FP7 Project EPOCA was launched in May 2008 with the overall goal to advance our understanding of the biological, ecological, biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification.

DUNE - Dust experiment in a low nutrient, low chlorophyll ecosystem

Ended in 2011

The main goal of DUNE, a dust experiment in a low-nutrient, low-chlorophyll ecosystem, is to estimate the impact of atmospheric inputs on an oligotrophic ecosystem subjected to strong atmospheric inputs.

CARBOOCEAN - Marine carbon source and sink assessment

Ended in 2009

The project aimed for an accurate scientific assessment of the marine carbon sources and sinks within space and time. It focused on the Atlantic and Southern Oceans and a time interval of -200 to +200 years from now.

P2P - Precursors to particles 2006

Ended in 2008

This campaign used the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station as the major measurement platform to build on measurements already made as part of the Cape Grim Program. The Cape Grim Station is one of 23 Global Atmosphere Watch Stations and has been in continuous operation for over 30 years. Results from this project have been published as a special issue of Environmental Chemistry (Vol. 4(3), 2007).