FOCUS: Future states Of the global Coastal ocean: Understanding for Solutions

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

2021-2030 is the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development aiming at "The science we need for the ocean we want" through "Transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean". In FOCUS we aim to make a significant UK contribution to the Decade through a broad body of scientific endeavour. This crosses multiple disciplines, focusing on the coastal zone and shelf seas at a global scale (the "Global Coastal Ocean") and addresses each of the seven expected Decade Outcomes: i A clean ocean ; ii A healthy and resilient ocean; iii A productive ocean; iv A predicted ocean; v A safe ocean; vi An accessible ocean; vii An inspiring and engaging ocean. The Decade works through endorsed international programmes, and NOC and PML have been involved in the co-design of several of these, notably: CoastPredict: Observing and Predicting the Global Coastal Ocean and Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability. Alongside the UN Decade, the World Climate Research Programme is currently designing "Light House Activities" and FOCUS scientists will contribute to this, particularly on Sea Level Rise in Safe Climate Landing. Alongside these global partnerships we will work with regional partnerships, such as the SE Asia Land to Ocean Network and the Network-to-Network for the Gulf of Mexico, and many research institutions and universities around the world.

Working in these partnerships, we address the fact that the global coastal ocean is under immense pressure from human instigated climate change and population growth. Climatic changes in marine temperature, circulation and acidity impact on marine ecosystems and their ability to provide 'ecosystem services' such food from fisheries and drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere. Sea level rise and increases in storminess hugely increase the risk of coastal flooding. How these climate impacts act together and relate to changes to episodic events (such as storms) is a major knowledge gap. Similarly, substantially rising human activity in the coastal zone (e.g. in growing megacities) leads to increased risk of pollution and degradation to marine environments without careful management. Many aspects, such as nutrient pollution from agriculture and sewage, have been investigated for years, but others are newly emerging, e.g. the impacts of mining waste, pollution from shipping and artificial light at night. Again, how these multiple direct human impacts act together is largely unknown. Coastal habitats, such as seagrasses, mangroves and seaweeds have the potential to draw down substantial amounts of CO2 and help stall climate change, but only if they are healthy ecosystems. Hence, understanding how the protection and restoration of these environments can improve CO2 drawdown is an important aspect in fighting climate change. Finally, to address the issues described above on a global scale requires new approaches to translating understanding from one region to another - particularly from data rich to data sparse areas. This involves developing approaches to classify the global coastal ocean, based on our understanding of oceanographic processes, and to develop ways to capture and compare the exposure of climate change risk of different sea areas. Social information can be added to this to create a whole-system view, for example, from climate to ecosystems to fisheries and to people.

In FOCUS we will bring to bear the full range of oceanographic tools to address these pressing issues, including numerical models, satellite remote sensing, field surveys and laboratory work. Extensively we will reanalyse existing data from around the world in novel and innovative ways and we will engage with scientists from many regions (such as South and South East Asia and the Caribbean), to build on existing knowledge, in a spirit of mutual respect and transparency, freely sharing methods and data.
 
Description Influence of artificial light pollution on marine ecosystems
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
 
Description COASTPREDICT: Observing and Predicting the Global Coastal Ocean 
Organisation Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NOC co-lead the COASTPREDICT Focus areas: Future Coastal Ocean climates: Earth System observing and modelling
Collaborator Contribution COASTPREDICT is programme endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science and one of the 3 Programmes co-designed with the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission's (IOC) Global Ocean ObservingSystem (GOOS).
Impact The COASTPREDICT project has sponsored several the UN decade endorsed projects, inducing NOC led Future Coastal Ocean Climates (FLAME)
Start Year 2021
 
Description COASTPREDICT: Observing and Predicting the Global Coastal Ocean 
Organisation University of Bologna
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NOC co-lead the COASTPREDICT Focus areas: Future Coastal Ocean climates: Earth System observing and modelling
Collaborator Contribution COASTPREDICT is programme endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science and one of the 3 Programmes co-designed with the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission's (IOC) Global Ocean ObservingSystem (GOOS).
Impact The COASTPREDICT project has sponsored several the UN decade endorsed projects, inducing NOC led Future Coastal Ocean Climates (FLAME)
Start Year 2021
 
Description COASTPREDICT: Observing and Predicting the Global Coastal Ocean 
Organisation University of Miami
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NOC co-lead the COASTPREDICT Focus areas: Future Coastal Ocean climates: Earth System observing and modelling
Collaborator Contribution COASTPREDICT is programme endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science and one of the 3 Programmes co-designed with the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission's (IOC) Global Ocean ObservingSystem (GOOS).
Impact The COASTPREDICT project has sponsored several the UN decade endorsed projects, inducing NOC led Future Coastal Ocean Climates (FLAME)
Start Year 2021
 
Description Future Coastal Ocean Climates project endorsed by UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 
Organisation Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Department CSIRO Hobart
Country Australia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NOC leads this partnership
Collaborator Contribution During the UN Ocean Decade, FLAME aims to establish a Global Coastal Ocean Model Intercomparison Programme (CO-MIP) that will provide climate change impacts and hazard assessments to the next and future IPCC reports. While climate change is increasingly better understood and modelled on global scales, climate impacts are most acutely felt across the coastal ocean, where rapidly expanding human populations are reliant upon coastal ecosystem resources and services and where they are most vulnerable to coastal hazards. Downscaling global and regional climate models to reliably project change in the coastal ocean however, where the land, ocean and human populations are intimately connected, is challenging. FLAME provides a set of high-level objectives and a framework within which the international research community can work together to improve high-resolution projections of the global coastal oceans responses to future climate, on decadal to centennial scales, and strengthen understanding of the impacts that this will have on coastal ecosystems, hazards and services.
Impact Successful workshop in Feb 2023 involving about 60 participants from over 15 counties.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Future Coastal Ocean Climates project endorsed by UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 
Organisation Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC)
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution NOC leads this partnership
Collaborator Contribution During the UN Ocean Decade, FLAME aims to establish a Global Coastal Ocean Model Intercomparison Programme (CO-MIP) that will provide climate change impacts and hazard assessments to the next and future IPCC reports. While climate change is increasingly better understood and modelled on global scales, climate impacts are most acutely felt across the coastal ocean, where rapidly expanding human populations are reliant upon coastal ecosystem resources and services and where they are most vulnerable to coastal hazards. Downscaling global and regional climate models to reliably project change in the coastal ocean however, where the land, ocean and human populations are intimately connected, is challenging. FLAME provides a set of high-level objectives and a framework within which the international research community can work together to improve high-resolution projections of the global coastal oceans responses to future climate, on decadal to centennial scales, and strengthen understanding of the impacts that this will have on coastal ecosystems, hazards and services.
Impact Successful workshop in Feb 2023 involving about 60 participants from over 15 counties.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Future Coastal Ocean Climates project endorsed by UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 
Organisation University of Alberta
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NOC leads this partnership
Collaborator Contribution During the UN Ocean Decade, FLAME aims to establish a Global Coastal Ocean Model Intercomparison Programme (CO-MIP) that will provide climate change impacts and hazard assessments to the next and future IPCC reports. While climate change is increasingly better understood and modelled on global scales, climate impacts are most acutely felt across the coastal ocean, where rapidly expanding human populations are reliant upon coastal ecosystem resources and services and where they are most vulnerable to coastal hazards. Downscaling global and regional climate models to reliably project change in the coastal ocean however, where the land, ocean and human populations are intimately connected, is challenging. FLAME provides a set of high-level objectives and a framework within which the international research community can work together to improve high-resolution projections of the global coastal oceans responses to future climate, on decadal to centennial scales, and strengthen understanding of the impacts that this will have on coastal ecosystems, hazards and services.
Impact Successful workshop in Feb 2023 involving about 60 participants from over 15 counties.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Future Coastal Ocean Climates project endorsed by UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 
Organisation University of Bologna
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NOC leads this partnership
Collaborator Contribution During the UN Ocean Decade, FLAME aims to establish a Global Coastal Ocean Model Intercomparison Programme (CO-MIP) that will provide climate change impacts and hazard assessments to the next and future IPCC reports. While climate change is increasingly better understood and modelled on global scales, climate impacts are most acutely felt across the coastal ocean, where rapidly expanding human populations are reliant upon coastal ecosystem resources and services and where they are most vulnerable to coastal hazards. Downscaling global and regional climate models to reliably project change in the coastal ocean however, where the land, ocean and human populations are intimately connected, is challenging. FLAME provides a set of high-level objectives and a framework within which the international research community can work together to improve high-resolution projections of the global coastal oceans responses to future climate, on decadal to centennial scales, and strengthen understanding of the impacts that this will have on coastal ecosystems, hazards and services.
Impact Successful workshop in Feb 2023 involving about 60 participants from over 15 counties.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Future Coastal Ocean Climates project endorsed by UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 
Organisation University of Calabria
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NOC leads this partnership
Collaborator Contribution During the UN Ocean Decade, FLAME aims to establish a Global Coastal Ocean Model Intercomparison Programme (CO-MIP) that will provide climate change impacts and hazard assessments to the next and future IPCC reports. While climate change is increasingly better understood and modelled on global scales, climate impacts are most acutely felt across the coastal ocean, where rapidly expanding human populations are reliant upon coastal ecosystem resources and services and where they are most vulnerable to coastal hazards. Downscaling global and regional climate models to reliably project change in the coastal ocean however, where the land, ocean and human populations are intimately connected, is challenging. FLAME provides a set of high-level objectives and a framework within which the international research community can work together to improve high-resolution projections of the global coastal oceans responses to future climate, on decadal to centennial scales, and strengthen understanding of the impacts that this will have on coastal ecosystems, hazards and services.
Impact Successful workshop in Feb 2023 involving about 60 participants from over 15 counties.
Start Year 2022
 
Description International collaboration between University of Sao Paulo and the National Oceanography Centre: NERC-FAPESP co-funded project within the NERC call Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund 2022. FAPESP-EHMPRES is a 24 months international collaboration project that will involve 4 PIs/Co-Is from National Oceanography Centre (NOC) Southampton and the Institute of Energy and Environment of the University of São Paulo (IEE/USP). This project will develop novel capabilities for identifying CO2-induced geo 
Organisation Universidade de São Paulo
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution None to date
Collaborator Contribution None to date
Impact None to date
Start Year 2022