Home / Products / Newsletters / Issue n°12 - February 2009

Issue n°12 - February 2009

Issue n°12 - February 2009
banner transition NL blank short

Editorial: The first IMBER IMBIZO

Integrating biogeochemistry and ecosystems in a changing ocean


Julie Hall1, Dennis Hansell2, Gerhard Herndl3, Coleen Moloney4, Eugene Murphy5, Michael Roman6, Hiroaki Saito7, Debbie Steinberg81NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand; 2RSMAS, University of Miami, Miami, United States; 3Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Den Burg, The Netherlands; 4University of Cape Town, Zoology department, Cape Town, South Africa; 5British Antarctic Survey, NERC, Cambridge, United Kingdom ; 6University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD, United States; 7Tohoku Natl. Fish. Res. Inst., Fisheries Research Agency, Shiogama, Japan; 8Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, United States.


The first IMBER IMBIZO was held in Miami, USA, in November 2008 and designed as a set of three concurrent interacting workshops on Ecological and Biogeochemical Interactions in end to end food webs, the mesopelagic zone and the bathypelagic zone. Each workshop was structured to provide a synthesis of current knowledge and key questions for future research within IMBER. The workshops had common plenary, posters, and report back sessions.




From left to right: The IMBER International Project Office team at the registration desk; participants at one of the plenary sessions; Dr. Wajih Naqvi (IMBER Scientific Steering Committee member) and Dr. Dennis Hansell (co-chair of the bathypelagic workshop).

Ecological and Biogeochemical Interactions in End to End Food Webs
There has been an increasing recognition that analyses of biogeochemical cycles, climate impacts and the effects of exploitation in ocean ecosystems requires the development of integrated views of food web function.  With this focus on integration a new term has developed to describe the activity analysing the end to end operation of food webs. This term encompasses the concept of linking food web operation from microbial systems that dominate the carbon flows in marine systems, through to the highest trophic level species that may also be subject to exploitation. Attempts to define the end to end food web, or e2e for short, have led to broad definitions that are equivalent to the definition of an ecosystem. At this stage the term e2e has become most useful in meaning the development of integrated analyses of food webs and biogeochemistry that take account of the complexity of the interactions involved. Complexity emerged as a key issue early in the workshop, alongside a recognition that dealing with this complexity was probably the central challenge we face. This highlighted the importance of considering the emergent properties of food webs generated through complex interactions at a wide range of scales. The workshop also demonstrated that many of the major issues faced in e2e analyses are already being tackled by groups working on a range of regional systems. The major scientific task now is one of integration, building on previous and ongoing regional and detailed process studies. Comparative studies between regional systems such as the Arctic-Antarctic and Benguela-Humboldt are also emerging and global comparisons of ecosystem structure and function are being developed. At the same time, generic models (e.g. based on size or simplified functional groups representation) are being applied globally or as standard model frameworks parameterized for different regions. The challenge for IMBER, as GLOBEC comes to an end, is to develop the interdisciplinary integration capacity, linking scientists with interest in biogeochemistry and food web operation, while accounting for the complexity of oceanic ecosystems. This emphasis on integration requires a major shift in thinking, a stronger focus on the perennial issues of ensuring iterative links between modelling and observation programmes and maintaining multidisciplinary teams. Developing a range of analysis and modelling approaches will be crucial, with a requirement for comparison based on both general ecosystem properties (e.g. size structure and patterns of energy flow) as well as specific metrics (e.g. productivity, harvesting yield or stoichiometric balance).


Poster sessions at the IMBIZO. Left: Dr. Julie Hall (IMBER chair) and PhD student Susa Niiranen.

Ecological and Biogeochemical Interactions in the Mesopelagic 
The mesopelagic zone, between ~100-1000m, is a zone of significant decomposition, recycling, and repackaging of particulate and dissolved organic matter. The interplay between biological and geochemical processes in this zone has significant effects on the magnitude of the biological pump, which regulates in part atmospheric CO2 and hence can impact climate. While important processes regulating organic matter transformations and remineralisation in the mesopelagic can be tightly coupled with the euphotic zone, the time and space scales of these processes are different in the mesopelagic, which is critical to predicting the ability of the biological pump to sequester carbon in the deep ocean. 
The aim of the mesopelagic workshop was to identify the current state of our knowledge about mesopelagic food web processes, particle flux and dynamics, and biogeochemical cycling, and to identify gaps in our knowledge to be pursued in future research programs. The mesopelagic workshop addressed the following topics: mesopelagic particulate and dissolved organic matter (POM and DOM) distribution, characterization, and flux; planktonic food web controls on vertical transport, cycling, and composition of POM and DOM; linking microbial and metazoan diversity to function; ecological and biogeochemical approaches to estimating remineralisation rates; models; methods and new technologies; regional comparisons in food web structure and biogeochemistry; potential responses of the mesopelagic to environmental change. The workshop recommended that future research programs in the mesopelagic zone should integrate across disciplines (chemistry, microbiology, ecology, physics), and throughout water column (tie into surface processes). The location of future studies may include time-series sites, places of contrast or with strong gradients, and where effects of global change are large. It was also recommended that the focus be on key species or functional groups, with an effort not only to measure stocks, but to understand mechanisms; and characterization of physical processes is important for constraining mesopelagic carbon and nutrient budgets. Technological advances such as pressure samplers for measuring in situ respiration, neutrally buoyant sediment trap designs, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) with sampling capabilities, and Autonomous underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and floats for increased spatial coverage, and underwater observatories for long-term monitoring will help address some of the future challenges in understanding ecology and biogeochemistry of the mesopelagic zone.


From left to right: Dr. David Karl (Speaker, bathypelagic workshop) and Dr. Sharon Smith (IMBIZO Scientific Organizing Committee member); Julie Hollenbeck (local organizing committee), and students from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (volunteers team).

Ecological and Biogeochemical Interactions in the Bathypelagic
The bathypelagic is one of the great unexplored realms of the global ocean.  The biological pump connects surface processes to the deepest ocean layers, where biological processes occur at very low rates relative to the upper ocean. With deep ocean residences times at centennial to millennial scales in time and global scales in space, the system is only slowly ventilated and circulated.  Biogeochemical signals in the deep ocean are integrative of processes occurring over very long periods. Biological processes in the deepest ocean layers are intimately tied to particle dynamics and microbial food webs, many of which are still only poorly characterized. 
The central aim of the workshop was to identify and pursue outstanding uncertainties. The cross section of disciplines required to advance our understanding in the bathypelagic includes biogeochemistry, organic geochemistry, microbial dynamics, trace element and isotope geochemistry, genomics, particle flux and dynamics, and modelling; each of these disciplines was represented at the workshop.  Presentations at the workshop were given in two categories: biogeochemistry of organic matter and microbial dynamics. The biogeochemistry of organic matter covered composition, structure, distribution, fluxes, reactivity, etc., while microbial dynamics considered the turnover of the organic matter, processes controlling microbial abundance, as well as deep autotrophic production. Three synthesis papers are under development as a result of the workshop. One that will synthesize our understanding of deep-sea microbial dynamics; the second is a synthesis on the biogeochemistry of organic matter. These two syntheses will consider the same deep-ocean system, but from the unique perspectives of biogeochemistry and microbes. The third will be a synthesis of deep-ocean metabolism, keying on the relative roles of autotrophic and heterotrophic processes.  


IMBIZO participants

The presentations from the IMBIZO can be found on the IMBIZO website home page under “What’s new”. The presentations are divided by workshop: http://www.confmanager.com/main.cfm?cid=1185.

Two special issue volumes, the DarkOcean, and End to End Food Webs will include both presented papers and synthesis papers coming from the workshop discussions.

BEER - The new name for Data Management?

Raymond Pollard, National Oceanography Center, Southampton, United Kingdom

We all pay lip service to the importance of managing our hard-won data, but we rarely do so decently. At the BEER Workshop held during the IMBER IMBIZO (Miami, Nov. 2008), Raymond Pollard, Gwen Moncoiffé and Todd O’Brien from the IMBER Data Management (DM) Committee, bolstered by Bob Groman from the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, described simple steps we can take to make data work for us, not vice versa. The most important step is to plan DM right at the start of a project, not tack it on afterwards. And any project should assign a “Data Scientist” from the start to be responsible for DM. The Data Scientist, while maybe learning on the job and gaining useful skills for a CV, can guide and help other PIs. These messages were summarized by Raymond Pollard at a well-received plenary talk. All talks may be found at  http://www.imber.info/index.php/Meetings/IMBIZO/IMBIZO-I/BEER-Workshop.

Dr. Raymond Pollard during his talk at the BEER workshop.

There are various current initiatives to make DM simpler and more attractive. The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the  International Ocean Data and Information Exchange (IODE) are investigating approaches to encourage scientist to submit their data to accepted databases, including assigning digital object identifiers (DOI) their datasets so the data originators can receive credit in publications (workshop report at http://www.scor-int.org/Publications/wr207.pdf )1. SCOR and IODE are continuing this activity on data publication.

IMBER Cookbook
Raymond, Gwen and Todd are developing the “IMBER Cookbook” with simple “recipes” to guide researchers through data collection and documentation. Please help us to improve the Cookbook by taking a look at the draft version NOW available online at http://planktondata.net/imber/. Icons at top right of the online version allow you to print or download the Cookbook to browse at leisure or take to sea. Please send comments to the IMBER Data Liaison Officer, Sophie.Beauvais@univ-brest.fr in time for us to improve and enhance the Cookbook for approval at the next IMBER SSC meeting in May 2009.

1SCOR/IODE Workshop on Data Publishing, Oostende, Belgium, 17-19 June 2008. Paris, UNESCO, 23pp. 2008. (IOC Workshop Report No. 207) (English)




banner transition NL

Science Highlight

Living dangerously: oxygen deficiency, hydrogen sulphide and marine life along the Namibian coast

Bronwen Currie1 and Kay-Christian Emeis2

1NATMIRC, Swakopmund, Namibia

2IfBM, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 



How will marine ecosystems adapt to climate change? This question is important for marine environments that are directly linked to atmospheric circulation, that are inherently variable in space and time, and whose resources are at the same time economically important. One hot spot is coastal upwelling systems (Bakun, 1990), including the northern Benguela Current. Source waters of upwelling here create suboxic environments that are further amplified by oxygen demand of sinking phytoplankton and sediments (Bailey, 1991; Mohrholz et al., 2007). Primary production fuelled by abundant nutrients is large (Brown et al., 1991) and is the basis of both a rich pelagic food web and organic-rich and sulphidic mud deposits on the central continental shelf off Namibia (Monteiro et al., 2005) (Figure 1, map). Earliest scientific surveys noted this hostile seabottom area as the “azoic zone” (Marchand, 1928), in sharp contrast to the bountiful pelagic and outer shelf waters where rich hauls of species such as sardine and hake were made. 

A spectacular and devastating consequence of the low oxygen regime are sporadic and localised “sulphur eruptions”, when hydrogen sulphide pervades the water column, creating toxic conditions for sealife and characteristic milky turquoise-coloured patches at the sea surface that are visible from space (Weeks et al., 2002, 2004). Recent research has shown that intense sulphate reduction in the surface sediment produces millimolar porewater concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (Brüchert et al., 2003) that diffuses into bubbles of biogenic methane near the muddy sediment surface (Emeis et al., 2004). Most of the time, mats of large sulphide-oxidising bacteria Beggiatoa and Thiomargarita namibiensis control the flux of hydrogen sulphide from the sediment to the water column (Schultz et al., 1999) (Figure 1A). However, methane eruption from the sediment does occur and may be an important mode of transport of H2S into the overlying water (Brüchert et al., submitted). More spectacular eruptions are indicated by large-scale (km2) but localised gas-escape structures apparent from acoustic coverage (K. Emeis, R. Endler, unpublished data) (Figure 1B). Interestingly, H2S is in most cases confined to bottom water by a consortium of chemolithotrophic bacteria that detoxify the harmful H2S to harmless sulphur and sulphate in mid-water (Lavik et al., 2008), so that these outbreaks often do not reach the sea surface and thus go unnoticed. 

This is a risky environment for biota, and investigation of animals living in this habitat is critical. Work has just begun to resolve the food web interactions of benthos associated with the sediment. What is clear is that the ubiquitous mats of Thiomargarita and Beggiatoa provide a microniche for specially adapted invertebrate fauna (L. Levin, B. Currie, unpublished data), and that the sulphidic mud is home to a physiologically adapted fish species – the bearded goby Sufflogobius barbatus – which plays a key role in the pelagic food web as diet species to seals, seabirds and predatory fish.

One observed consequence of global warming is a decrease in oxygen supply to and expansion of the intermediate-depth oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean (Stramma et al., 2006). Will H2S outbreaks thus become a regular feature in the future, because this oxygen deficit will be communicated to the shelf off Namibia via poleward-flowing bottom waters from the subtropical OMZ? Starting in March 2009, project GENUS (Geochemistry and Ecosystem Research in the Namibian Upwelling System) will investigate the possible impacts of climate change for the shelf environment and the consequences for H2S and oxygen dynamics. GENUS will employ a hierarchy of numerical models of regional climate, ocean circulation, and the entire ecosystem, to develop scenarios of ecosystem evolution on the Namibian shelf in the future.


Fig.1- Map of the continental shelf offshore central Namibia. The grey area corresponds to the extent of the soft diatomaceous mud and coincides with the "azoic zone" that marks anoxic seafloors. On the map, rectangles mark locations where crater structures have been observed with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The rectangles marked A and B refer to locations of ROV images given on the left of the figure (A; seafloors covered with bacterial mats). Insert B is a seismic profile across a gas collapse crater offshore Meob Bay.

Bailey, G.W., 1991. The Geological Society special publication, pp. 171-183.
Bakun, A., 1990. Science, 247: 198-201.
Brüchert, V. et al.,2003. Geochim. cosmochim. acta, 67: 4505-4518.
Brüchert, V. et al., 2008. submitted, under review.
Emeis, K.-C. et al., 2004. Cont. Shelf Research, 24(6): 627-647.
Lavik, G. et al., 2008. Nature doi:10.1038/nature 07588: 1-4.
Marchand, J.M. 1928. Special Report: Report No.6, Fisheries and Marine Biological Survey, Union of South Africa 
Mohrholz, V.et al., 2008. Cont. Shelf Res.
Monteiro, P.M.S. et al., 2005. Cont. Shelf Res., 25: 1864-1876.
Schultz, H.N. et al., 1999. Science, 284: 493-495.
Stramma, L.et al., 2006. Science, 320: 655-658.
Weeks, S. et al., 2002. Nature, 415: 493-494.
Weeks, S. et al., 2004. Deep-Sea Res. Part I, 51(2): 153-172.

banner 2nd transition NL

Microbial carbon metabolism in the mesopelagic ocean: Insights form radiocarbon analyses

Roberta L. Hansman*
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

Microorganisms mediate the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and many other important elements in the marine environment, though many questions remain regarding the specifics of their roles. For example, while the microbial loop in surface waters is fuelled by phytoplankton fixing inorganic carbon into biomass using energy from light through photosynthesis, which sources of carbon are utilized by the microbial community (including both bacteria and archaea) in the dark ocean? Is it fresh dissolved organic carbon (DOC) released from sinking particles? Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC)? Ambient DOC? We can use natural variations in the abundance of the radioactive isotope of carbon (∆14C) in different carbon reservoirs, including DNA of microorganisms isolated from the deep ocean, to differentiate between the three major carbon pools that are available to prokaryotes in the mesopelagic ocean: fresh DOC released from sinking particles (∆14C > +50‰), ambient DIC (∆14C ~ -200 to -100 ‰), and aged bulk DOC (∆14C = -525‰ in the deep Pacific). In this study, a method for extracting microbial DNA from large volumes of seawater suitable for radiocarbon analysis was developed and applied to the water column off the coast of the Island of Hawaii. This technique represents a direct method by which to evaluate carbon metabolism in situ
Using natural abundance radiocarbon measurements, our results indicate that carbon derived from sinking POC and ambient DIC fuels the microbial loop of the deep ocean to different extents. At 670 m depth, carbon derived from the ambient DIC pool supported ~95% of the free-living microbial community. More fresh carbon from sinking particles (up to 64%) was utilized by free-living microbes at 915 m. The extent of total community DIC utilization was correlated with Crenarchaeota 16S rRNA and archaeal amoA gene abundances, as determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR). Both isotopic analyses and molecular biological techniques such as qPCR reflected distinct differences between free-living and particle-attached microbial communities. Additionally, ambient DOC did not appear to be a major source of carbon to the microbial population of the subsurface ocean at the site examined. 
Recent studies have demonstrated that the autotrophic fixation of inorganic carbon by marine Crenarchaeota can be fuelled by ammonia oxidation (Francis et al., 2005; Könneke et al., 2005), which would make archaea important players in the marine nitrogen cycle as nitrifiers (Wuchter et al., 2006). If this is the case in the deep ocean, then both heterotrophy (for carbon) and autotrophy (for reduced nitrogen) require fresh organic material delivered presumably from sinking particles – but it is not yet known whether enough reduced nitrogen is being delivered to the deep sea to sustain estimated carbon fixation rates. Expanding on Ingalls et al. (2006),our findings stress the importance of constraining particle-derived carbon and nitrogen flux to the deep ocean. Future research efforts should be focused on accurately quantifying particle flux and gaining a better understanding of microbial physiology, including in situ growth rates, in the subsurface marine environment.

*Sheila Griffin (University of California at Irvine), Jordan T. Watson (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD), Ellen R.M. Druffel (University of California at Irvine), Anitra E. Ingalls (University of Washington), Ann Pearson (Harvard University), and Lihini I. Aluwihare (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD) were all contributing authors to this research.

Francis et al., 2005. PNAS, 102:14683-14688. 
Ingalls et al., 2006. PNAS, 103:6442-6447.
Könneke et al., 2005. Nature, 437:543-546. 
Wuchter et al., 2006. PNAS, 103:12317-12322. 

banner transition NL

New IMBER SSC members

Kenneth Drinkwater
Institute for Marine Research, Bergen, Norway

Ken’s expertise is in physical oceanography, climate change and the impact of physical forcing on marine ecosystems. He graduated with an M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in Canada in 1973 and began work at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) where he undertook physical oceanographic research on coastal and shelf seas as well as the effects of physical oceanography on fisheries. In 1987 he obtained his Ph.D. from Dalhousie University in Halifax while continuing to work at the BIO. In 2003 he moved to the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway, where he is leading several projects investigating the effects of climate variability and change on marine ecosystems. Ken is a former chair of the GLOBEC Cod and Climate Change Programme and presently is co-chair of the GLOBEC Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic Seas (ESSAS) Regional Programme and head of the IPY consortium Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Regions (ESSAR).


Eugene Murphy
British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Eugene’s expertise is in analysis and modelling of oceanic ecosystem processes. Eugene earned his PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool in 1986. Since then he has worked for the British Antarctic Survey studying the operation of Southern Ocean ecosystems. Eugene has led the BAS interdisciplinary ocean ecosystem research programme for the last decade.   He has served as a member of working groups of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and groups in the GLOBEC programme and the European EUR-OCEANS Network. He co-led the development of the ICED programme; Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean. Eugene is a Visiting Professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and recently became the Science Leader for the BAS Ecosystems programme. His interests are in biological-physical interactions, controls on ecosystem structure, large-scale ecosystem operation and the response of organisms and ecosystems to fishery and climate-related change.


Hiroshi Ogawa
Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroshi’s expertise is in marine biogeochemistry, especially organic matter dynamics. He obtained his MSc (1989) and PhD (1992) in Environmental Science from Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology (Japan). Hiroshi worked at National Institute of Environment and Resource (Japan) as a postdoctoral research fellow (1992-1993), and moved to the Ocean Research Institute at the University Tokyo in 1993 as an assistant professor of marine biogeochemistry group. From 2001 he has worked as an associate professor there. In 1997-1998 Hiroshi was a visiting research scholar at School of Oceanography, University of Washington for eight months and at Marine Science Institute, University of Texas at Austin for four months. His main interest is the dynamics of dissolved organic matter (DOM), including the distribution of dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, the chemical characterization of DOM, its bacterial and photochemical degradation and alteration, and the production of the refractory component.

OGAWA Hiroshi

Katja Philippart
Department of Marine Ecology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, The Netherlands

Katja is a marine ecologist at Department of Marine Ecology of NIOZ. She earned her PhD in 1994 on the effects of eutrophication on seagrass at the Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Katja's present research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of long-term dynamics within shallow marine coastal communities, particularly understanding the role of human influences within these ecosystems in regulating primary and secondary producers. She has been coordinating several national and European research programmes in which long-term dynamics of marine ecosystems were studied. In the last 5 years, she has been a member of several national and international scientific and advisory committees. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sea Research and leading author of Climate Change Impacts on the European Marine and Coastal Environment (ESF-Marine Board, 2007, Strasbourg). Katja coordinates a national project IN PLACE (2009-2013) which includes the setup, maintenance, and exploitation of a coastal monitoring network to study primary production.


Alberto R. Piola
Servicio de Hidrografía Naval Dept of Oceanography, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Alberto R. Piola graduated in oceanography at Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently Research Director at Servicio de Hidrografía Naval and Professor of Oceanography at Buenos Aires University. Alberto's main research interest is to understand the physical mechanisms causing variability of water mass properties, ocean stratification and currents, and how they impact on the marine environment. He is currently studying highly productive frontal regions of the western South Atlantic Ocean.

PIOLA Alberto

Sinjae Yoo
Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute, Ansan, South Korea

Sinjae is a research scientist with KORDI (Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute) and is based in Ansan, Korea. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Oceanography from the Seoul National University, and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the StateUniversity of New York at Stony Brook. Sinjae regularly lectures at various universities and has been involved in many research projects including the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem. He was a panel member of IOCCG and Coastal-GOOS.  Sinjae now serves PICES (North Pacific Marine Science Organization) as vice-chair of the Science Board. His scientific interests include long-term change in primary production and phytoplankton dynamics in various marine environments.

YOO Sinjae
banner transition NL

IMBER/GLOBEC Transition task team report

John G.Field
Chair of the IMBER -GLOBEC Transition task team, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The Transition Task Team (TTT) was set up to recommend to SCOR and IGBP how the second phase of the IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) programme should proceed to accommodate new developments in marine ecosystem research that need addressing after the completion of the GLOBEC Research programme at the end of 2009. The Task Team met in Reading, UK from 30 July – 1 August, and in Washington D.C. from 15-17 December 2008. 

The terms of reference are summarised as:
To make recommendations to SCOR and IGBP for a second phase of IMBER after 2009, bearing in mind:

  1. Key new scientific questions arising from GLOBEC
  2. Scientific results of IMBER to date
  3. New developments in marine ecosystem science
  4. Projects currently within GLOBEC that are planned to continue after 2009 (esp. CLIOTOP, ESSAS)
  5. Recommendations for mechanisms to facilitate the transition, including representation in programmatic structures

The TTT decided that its report should include a draft Implementation Strategy for its second phase (2010-2014) and is seen as an Appendix to theIMBER Science Plan and Implementation Strategy (SPIS) published by the IGBP in 2005. The Appendix is built upon the IMBER Science Plan, and is intended to advance the existing Implementation Strategy (pp 47-56) by incorporating the plans described there plus new insights from the GLOBEC programme and the general marine scientific community. It is not a detailed implementation plan; rather these have been, or will be, developed by the regional programmes or topical working groups. It is noted that several potential regional programmes of IMBER are only just starting and most are planned as 10-year programmes running well after the present projected life of IMBER.  Thus there may be a need for a follow-on SCOR/IGBP ocean research programmes after IMBER ends in 2014. 
With accelerating global change the urgency of achieving the IMBER vision and goal is even more apparent five years after the IMBER Science Planwas written and will build on the IMBER activities to date. The TTT identified areas that need new or renewed emphasis so that IMBER Phase II will achieve its scientific vision and goal.  These areas include:

  • integrating human dimensions into marine global change research
  • regional research programmes
  • comparative studies within and across regional programmes, including ecosystem models that incorporate the human dimension incorporation of emerging scientific themes

The report lists IMBER activities to date, outlines some GLOBEC science highlights (taken from the GLOBEC synthesis book Global Change in Marine Ecosystems which will be published in 2009) and lists some emerging scientific issues such as CO2 enrichment and ocean acidification, new metabolic and biochemical pathways, the role of viruses, thresholds and surprises, and coupled biogeochemical-ecosystem model projections and the characterization of uncertainty.

The main recommendations include a number of research approaches that could be adopted in the second phase of IMBER:

  1. Innovative approaches
  2. Innovative technologies
  3. Process studies
  4. Sustained observations
  5. Palaeo-oceanography
  6. Molecular genetics and functional groups
  7. Integration of human dimensions in ecosystem models
  8. Comparative approach between ecosystems
  9. Synthesis and modelling

IMBER II will have regional programmes that were not established when the IMBER implementation strategy was written.  The research approaches listed above have been adopted in several of the regional programmes. In order to achieve global coverage, we strongly recommend that seven regional programmes be incorporated into IMBER II, provided that they agree on terms of reference with the IMBER SSC. These include *ICED (Southern Ocean), SIBER (Indian Ocean), CLIOTOP (Focus on top predators in the open ocean), ESSAS (Subarctic Ecosystems), SPACC (Small Pelagic fish And Climate Change, upwelling regions), BASIN (Proposed North Atlantic comparative studies) and FUTURE (Proposed PICES North Pacific Programme).

* Formally accepted as a regional programme of IMBER

Recommendations are also made with regard to funding, potential sponsors, data management, implementing mechanisms, and a timetable.

Timetable for transition:
1 March 2009: Community comments to TTT15 March 2009:  Revised report to sponsors and principals for review 
30 May 2009: Reviews to TTT 
24-26 June 2009: Presentation of report to GLOBEC OSM 
27 June 2009: Possible 1-day final meeting of TTT, only if major edits required by sponsors 
September - October 2009: Final report considered by sponsors 
January 2010: Commencement of IMBER-II.

TTT Members:
From left to right: Olivier Maury (top left), Ken Drinkwater, Qisheng Tang, Roger Harris, Kathleen Miller, John Field (chair), Eileen Hofmann, Hugh Ducklow and Mike Roman.

banner transition NL

Meeting reports

GODAE FINAL SYMPOSIUM "The revolution in global ocean forecasting GODAE: 10 years of achievement"

Nicolas Gruber
ETH Zurich, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, Zurich, Switzerland

The GODAE final symposium brought together more than 200 scientists for 3 days in Nice, France, from 12-14 November 2008. GODAE, short for Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment, is an initiative that aims to make ocean monitoring, analysis, and prediction a routine activity akin to Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) analysis and weather forecasting. Its vision is a global system of observations, modelling, and assimilation that will deliver regular, comprehensive information on the state of the oceans that will have wide utility for the public good. GODAE started in 1997 and was brought to an official close in 2008.
The goal of the symposium was to (i) highlight the accomplishments achieved over the duration of GODAE, and (ii) to lay forward a path for the future. The symposium consisted of plenary talks and a large poster session. The plenary talks had the aim to provide broad overviews of the respective topics and were based on community-written white papers that were solicited before the symposium (final versions are available athttp://www.godae.org/Final-GODAE-Symposium.html). The symposium was organized around 6 themes, covering broad topics ranging from technology to applications.


The plenary presentations as well as the poster session highlighted the substantial progress made over the 10-year period of the programme. While the assimilation of oceanic observations was mostly at the conceptual state in the late 1990s, there are now several operational efforts up-and-running that routinely assimilate observations from satellite (primarily sea-surface height and sea-surface temperature), and from in situsystems (such as the data stemming from the Argo programme). Today, the GODAE operational centres provide daily updates of the global-scale distribution of currents, temperature and salinity at eddy-resolving scales. Some systems also provide regular forecasts. With GODAE being a programme originating out of the operational community, the identification and development of products for particular user communities was especially important. The presentations from the user community revealed how broadly the applications have grown. They include a group as diverse as shipping operations, maritime search and rescue missions, meteorological forecasting centres, and ecosystem managers.Fundamental research was less of a driver for GODAE. In addition, the focus of GODAE was on short time scales, that is, order of days to weeks, while climate-scale, long-range questions were less relevant. Nevertheless, basic research profited substantially as well. Perhaps most important for IMBER-relevant research are the substantial investments made in model development, leading to many improvements of a number of critical processes. By pushing the resolution down to the eddy-resolving scales, global-scale models have begun to routinely resolve a scale that hitherto was not generally well considered, despite the fact that many ecological and biogeochemical processes occur at this scale. A second large achievement of the last decade was the deployment and successful operation of the Argo float array. GODAE acted as one of the sponsors, and as one of the primary customers for its data, and substantially contributed to the sustainability of this programme.During the past ten years, GODAE also established links with the marine biogeochemical and ecological research community in order (i) to assess the usability of GODAE products for biogeochemical/ecological questions and (ii) to investigate the potential for assimilating biogeochemical/ecological observations. In one of the invited paper contributions to the symposium, Brasseur et al. (http://www.godae.org/5.7-PB-abstract.html) analysed and synthesized the current status of the interactions between GODAE and IMBER related science and elucidated also the needs for further research. A short version of this analysis is currently being prepared for a special issue of Oceanography magazine. Brasseur et al. were already able to identify a large number of biogeochemical/ecological studies that made use of GODAE products, while the number of attempts to assimilate biogeochemical/ecological data was found to be relatively limited. Nevertheless, the operational centres are very interested in pursuing this further. As an example of the present efforts, Figure 2 shows recent results from the U.K. Met Office using a pre-operational coupled physical/biogeochemistry model on the basis of FOAM (Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model) and HadOCC (Hadley Centre Ocean Carbon Cycle Model). The assimilation of SeaWiFS observations resulted in a substantial improvement of the model-simulated chlorophyll levels.While the first feasibility studies show great promise, the Brasseur et al. analysis also revealed substantial needs for improvements for the GODAE products in order to fully realize their potential for biogeochemical/ecological research.  The most important needs are an increased focus on the study of upper ocean processes, especially boundary layer mixing and vertical velocities, and an increased attention to tracer conservation requirements for biogeochemical data assimilation. Finally, Brasseur et al. also emphasize that current efforts for biogeochemical/ecological data assimilation tend to be data limited, requiring a substantial effort to develop and deploy methods that permit the routine collection of high-quality data across the global ocean. Autonomous systems and new satellite measurements are likely the two most promising approaches to fulfil this need. It is now the task of the biogeochemical/ecological research community to take up this challenge.




Fig 2 - Chlorophyll concentration (log scale) on 1st July 2003, as derived from: SeaWiFS measurements (upper panel), the coupled model without assimilation (bottom left), and the coupled model with assimilation (bottom right). (Barciela et al., personal communication)

banner transition NL

National activities

Population Outbreak of Marine Life (POMAL): IMBER-JAPAN Project


Hiroaki Saito
Tohoku Natl. Fish. Res. Inst., Fisheries Research Agency, Shiogama, Japan

Human society is dependent on the stability of ecosystem services. These expectations are usually fulfilled by the resiliency of ecosystem to perturbation. However when external forcings cross a threshold the ecosystem can change drastically and may shift from one state to another state abruptly. The unexpected ecosystem regime shift is still a “surprise” for us because of our limited understanding of the mechanisms inducing the regime shift and our inability to forecast these changes. 
The ecosystem regime shift results in changes in ecosystem components and structure, and may result in outbreaks of specific organisms. One of the examples of the ecosystem regime shift is fish species alternation from sardine to anchovy induced by natural forcing. A jellyfish bloom is the other example induced by anthropogenic forcing (Fig. 3). The unpredictable fish species alternation, which has happened with bidecadal to pentadecadal intervals, causes instability of the fisheries industry and also makes it difficult to develop fisheries management strategies. Jellyfish blooms degrade the local fisheries and also influence recreation and cultural activities based on the original state of the ecosystem.

Fig. 3 - Giant jellyfish occurred in the Sea of Japan off Honshu (a) and the moon jellyfish bloom in the Inland Sea of Japan (b). The giant jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai, max weight >200 kg) from the Bohai Sea-Yellow Sea are transported to the coastal region of Korea and Japan impacting fisheries and inducing anoxia by the accumulation of carcasses.

POMAL (Population Outbreak of Marine Life) is a research programme of IMBER-JAPAN funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The goal of POMAL is to understand the mechanisms of marine food web responses to natural and anthropogenic forcings, and to develop the forecasting and control technologies related to outbreaks of marine life. POMAL has two main studies. One is the SUPRFISH (Study on prediction and application of fish species alternation), investigating pelagic fish species alternation induced by natural climate variability. The target region is the Kuroshio Extension region in which the drastic change in physical properties in 1988 and 1989 induced successive failure of the recruitment of Japanese sardine and the subsequent increase of Japanese anchovy. In spring 2008, SUPRFISH carried out a multi-vessel field campaign in the Kuroshio Extension region and used various remote sensing equipment, such as Argo+Chl, Argo-O2, and GLIDER (Fig. 4). The other study is STOPJELLY (Studies on prediction and control of JELLYFISH outbreaks). The target species of the STOPJELLY is moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), which forms intense bloom in Japanese coastal waters. It is expected that the understanding of biology and ecology of the moon jelly is also useful to understand the mechanism of the outbreak of  giant jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai, Fig. 3b) in the Bohai Sea-Yellow Sea. 

Fig. 4 -  SUPRFISH field campaign 2008. Multi-vessel observations were carried out during April-June, 2008, in the Kuroshio Extension region with deployment of Argo+Chl and Argo+O2 floats. Red symbols indicate sampling stations. The positions of the Argo float deployment and the last data obtained are represented as yellow and violet Argos, respectively. Arrows indicate surface geostrophic current.

More than 90 scientists from various scientific disciplines, including climatology, physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine biology, and marine policy, gather under POMAL and started a 5-year study in spring 2007. POMAL will also contribute to FUTURE, which is a 10-year interdisciplinary science programme of PICES that will be launched in 2009. 
For more details, see the web page: http://tnfri.fra.affrc.go.jp/kaiyo/POMALweb/e-pomal.html

banner 2nd transition NL

Developing IMBER science in the U.K.

Carol Robinson
University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Seventy-four marine scientists from 21 UK research establishments met in Plymouth on 8-9 January 2009 to learn about current and proposed IMBER science projects, and to develop IMBER-related proposals for the future. One day of oral presentations covered five of the IMBER research themes that are of particular relevance to UK researchers: Remineralisation in the mesopelagic layer and exchange between the seafloor and water column; Effects of speciation of carbon, nutrients and trace metals and susceptibility/adaptability of organisms; Effects of change in inputs, distribution and stoichiometry of nutrients and increases in hypoxia; Impacts of harvesting marine resources; and Relationships between marine biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems and human society. The second day involved parallel discussion sessions for each of the 5 themes, with the remit to produce a 2-page report giving an overview of current research in the theme, and suggesting the scientific questions to address next with potential funding mechanisms. 
The meeting highlighted the challenges facing IMBER in terms of linking scientists of different disciplines with different vocabularies and time and space perspectives – modellers and experimentalists, natural scientists and social scientists, biologists and geochemists, microbial ecologists and benthic biologists – but also catalysed some exciting collaborations, with at least 2 scientific groupings taking forward ideas to proposal stage.
The meeting was sponsored by the NERC Strategic Ocean Funding Initiative (SOFI), The Royal Society and the Plymouth Marine Science Partnership. Oral presentations and theme discussion reports will be available from the website http://www.imber-uk.org/ by the end of January.

imber poster prize plymouth

Student poster prize giving

banner transition NL

Endorsed projects

The BIOSOPE (BIogeochemistry and Optics SOuth Pacific Experiment) special issue is out in Biogeosciences

Hervé Claustre
Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, Villefranche-sur-mer, France

In 2001, after a whole decade of intensive field observations in various oceanic provinces as part of the JGOFS programme, Daneri and Quinones wrote a contribution in the U.S. JGOFS newsletter with a title clearly summarizing their concerns “Under-sampled ocean systems: a plea for an international study of biogeochemical cycles in the Southern Pacific Gyre and its boundaries”. The BIOSOPE (BIogeochemistry and Optics SOuth Pacific Experiment) programme, jointly endorsed by the IMBER and SOLAS projects and funded by several agencies (CNRS, IFREMER, CNES, NASA, ESA) has addressed this plea. Its overall goal was to explore and describe the biological, biogeochemical and optical characteristics of the South East Pacific (SEP). Using core measurements (consistent with the former JGOFS core parameters) as well as new ones (e.g. based on the use of molecular biology and isotopic techniques, novel optical devices), two major goals were set.

  • To perform detailed studies in oceanic provinces of the SEP in order to quantify the variables and processes that are essential to the understanding of trophic relationships, biogeochemical cycles of carbon and related elements as well as water optical signatures. The primary motivation of BIOSOPE was to study the South Pacific Gyre, a mare incognita, expected to be the end member of oligotrophic conditions in the global ocean; however, other SEP oceanic provinces were also of interest. The water masses west of the Marquesas (local biomass enhancement visible from satellite) deserved to be investigated in the more general context of the high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) conditions associated with the subequatorial area. Similarly, the upwelling zone extending offshore the Chilean coast was of great interest because of its particular filamentous patterns.
  • To understand in detail the relationships linking optical properties of SEP waters to their biological and to biogeochemical characteristics. Besides surface Chl-a, an increasing number of biogeochemical and biological properties are beginning to be accessible from remote sensing. The bio-optical models allowing the extraction of such “new products” required validation and eventually refinement. A strong component of BIOSOPE was thus dedicated to optical and bio-optical studies. Data were collected for a complete range of trophic, biogeochemical and optical conditions that can be observed in open-ocean waters. Data were invaluable in testing and refining bio-optical models and identifying any peculiarity of the SEP with regard to other open ocean environments.

The 55-day international BIOSOPE cruise took place during austral summer of 2004 (26 October–11 December), during a moderate phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation ENSO. The 8000 km transect was investigated by 32 scientists onboard the French Research Vessel l’Atalante, starting west of the Marquesas archipelago and ending off coastal waters of Chile (Fig. 5).


Fig. 5 – Transect of the BIOSOPE cruise superimposed on a SeaWiFS composite image of Chl-a concentration in the upper layer for November–December 2004.

A BIOSOPE special issue has recently been published in Biogeosciences which presents the knowledge gained concerning the SEP based on the large dataset acquired during the BIOSOPE cruise.

Download the whole BIOSOPE volume (30 papers):
Link to Biogeosciences for downloading individual papers:
Access to the list of other papers using BIOSOPE data :
Access to Biosope data (publicly available) :
banner 2nd transition NL

Food-web structure and carbon budget in a river-influenced coastal area off Central Chile: Influence of mixotrophy and omnivory - OMMIX Project

Cristian A. Vargas1 & José Luis Iriarte2
1Laboratorio de Funcionamiento de Ecosistemas Acuáticos (LAFE), Environmental Research Center EULA Chile, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile
E-mail: crvargas@udec.cl
2Institute of Aquaculture, Universidad Austral de Chile, Puerto Montt, Chile

Classical and microbial pathways remain as a useful dichotomy for distinguishing the several fates of primary production in marine ecosystems. In coastal areas, carbon from primary production is channelled both through classical and microbial pathways. However, in most of our idealized concepts of carbon flow through pelagic food webs, we tend to differentiate between the photosynthetic primary producers and the heterotrophic organisms in the predatory food chain. This basic division is not necessarily an adequate description of reality since there are organisms known to combine nutrition types, creating problems with our usual view of the classical and microbial loop food chains. One complicating factor that is receiving increasing attention is the influence of ‘mixotrophs’, organisms that defy traditional trophic level classification by both photosynthesizing and grazing. Evidence for shifting trophic roles of various types of marine planktonic organisms and multiple levels of feeding interactions within mixotrophs and omnivore, respectively, which typically have been regarded as a single trophic level, have increased during the last decade. Here, by using field and experimental approaches in the OMMIX Project, we have tried to elucidate the potential role of ‘mixotrophy’ and ‘omnivory’ to the carbon budget of a highly productive coastal area.

For the coastal area off Central Chile (36°S), the antecedents suggest a scenario where the contribution of small cells, large algal cells, heterotrophic protozoan and mixotrophs to the carbon transfer to higher trophic levels may exhibit strong seasonal variation as a response to a very dynamic regime in this region. The important issues addressed were: (1) the size-fractioned primary production and bacterial production in river and non-river influenced continental shelves, (2) the relative contribution of mixotrophs to the carbon biomass in the nanoplankton and microplankton fraction, (3) the composition and biomass of omnivorous zooplankton, (4) the grazing and photosynthetic activity of nanoplankton mixotrophs throughout the year, (5) the grazing and photosynthetic activity by dominant heterotrophic and mixotrophic microplankton, and (6) the clearance and ingestion of omnivorous copepods on natural assemblages of heterotrophic and mixotrophic protozoan, bacteria and different fractions of phytoplankton. One of the aims of this study was to expand the classical theory to allow exploration of some of the consequence of such a double trophic strategy by mixotrophs, its trophic connection with omnivorous grazers and their implications for the dynamics and functioning of planktonic food webs. Especially in continental shelf areas where the flux of DOM from freshwater runoff may be significant, and where the bacterial biomass and production is relatively high, it is likely that microbial communities will play a major role in channelling that production to higher trophic levels. The combined results gave us valuable insights within the context of environmental factors, nutritional mode of planktonic organisms, and trophic interactions responsible for the well-known high biological productivity in coastal areas. The OMMIX Project is in the last stage of analysis until March/April 2009. A preliminary analysis of our results1 showed that both dinoflagellates and ciliates were more abundant in the less saline waters of river plume areas. Active chloroplast retention in dinoflagellates and ciliates ranged from 0 up to 6% and 2% of their total abundance, respectively. Mixotrophic behaviour was more common during winter months, especially within the river plume, when light conditions are limited. The highest grazing impact of ciliates on nanoplankton occurred during winter within the river plume (99% PP d-1). The higher abundance of potential small prey, as well as the resulting higher grazing impact of microzooplankton during winter in the river plume area, suggest and adequate environment for protozoan growth.

Recently our lab obtained resources for a 4-year project entitled: “Influences of Riverine organic matter and nutrients on the coastal ocean food web and biogeochemistry: Implications under a climate change scenario in Central Chile”. Through this grant our lab will expand its research regarding the effect of terrestrial subsidies on the food web dynamic and biogeochemical processes in nearshore areas.

1. Vargas, C.A. & Martinez R. Grazing impact and mixotrophic behaviour in natural populations of ciliates and dinoflagellates over a river-influenced continental shelf. Submitted to Aquatic Microbial Ecology.

banner transition NL

IMBER-sponsored meetings

Symposium on Decadal Variations of the Ocean's Interior Carbon Cycle: Synthesis and Vulnerabilities

Registration for this workshop opens on February 1, 2009. Please register at http://www.up.ethz.ch/news/csf_conference

Aim of the symposium
The objective of this symposium is to bring together scientists interested in the ocean carbon cycle in order (i) to synthesize the presently available information about the decadal time-scale variability of the ocean interior carbon cycle, (ii) to assess the processes responsible for these variations, and (iii) to identify processes and regions that might be particularly sensitive to future climate change. The main sources of information are observations of ocean interior changes, particularly those obtained as a result of the international repeat hydrography programme and model-based analyses, but insights from surface ocean changes also will be needed. The results of this synthesis will provide critical inputs to the upcoming symposium OceanObs 09, to the further development of the repeat hydrography programme, and to the next (5th) assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will also form the basis of a synthesis paper that will be written for a high-level journal. A special issue of a major international journal is planned as well. The symposium will consist of plenary talks and poster sessions, but include meetings of individual working groups.

The workshop is limited to 60 people. The registration fee is CHF 400 and will cover room and board for the 4 days. Travel grants are available for scientists attending from developing countries.

The Centro Stefano Franscini (http://www.csf.ethz.ch/) is located in Southern Switzerland near the town of Ascona. With its idyllic setting, it is optimally suited to provide for a stimulating environment.

Further information can be found on the website: http://www.up.ethz.ch/news/csf_conference

Nicolas Gruber1, Arne Körtzinger2, and Richard A. Feely3
1Environmental Physics, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. 2Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany. 3National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA, USA.

Sponsors: Centro Stefano Franscini, SOLAS, IMBER, and SOLAS-IMBER Working Group on Carbon.

banner transition NL

IMBER-related meetings and conferences

Climate Change and Ocean Acidification (at the 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress) 
2-6 March 2009, Tahiti 
Co-chair: Julie Cole and Jean-Pierre Gattuso (gattuso@obs-vlfr.fr)
For more information: http://www.psi2009.pf

International Scientific Congress on Climate Change (IARU) 
10-12 March 2009, CopenhagenDenmark 
Website: http://climatecongress.ku.dk/

Gordon Research Conference on Polar Marine Science 
15-20 March 09, Il Ciocco, Luca, Italy
Information at http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2009&program=polar
Deadline for application: 22 February

Antarctic Sea Ice Workshop-IPY Cruises 
23-24 March 2009, Il Ciocco, Lucca Italy
Contact: Steve Ackley:  sackley@pol.net  and Klaus Meiners:  Klaus.meiners@acecrc.org.au

MARIANDA spring workshop
30 March-3 April 2009, MARIANDA laboratory, Kiel, Germany
Registration deadline 10 February
Contact: Dr Ludger Mintrop - info@marianda.com, www.marianda.com

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 
19–24 April 2009, ViennaAustria 
Website: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2009/
"OS8: Open session on SOLAS and sensitivity of marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles to climate change" 
Conveners: Dr. Véronique Garçon , veronique.garcon@legos.obs-mip.fr, Dr. Baris Salihoglu, baris@ims.metu.edu.tr, Dr. Christiane Lancelot

Establishing a Southern Ocean Sentinel program
20-24 April 2009, CCAMLR Headquarters, Hobart, Tasmania
For further information email sos@aad.gov.au or visit www.aad.gov.au/sentinel


OCB Scoping Workshop: Observing Biogeochemical Cycles at Global Scales with Profiling Floats and Gliders
28-30 April 2009, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA, USA
Registration deadline: March 1, 2009
OCB Scoping Workshop: New frontiers in Southern Ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystem research
8-11 June 2009, Princeton, NJ, USA 
Registration Deadline: April 15, 2009

Goldschmidt Conference 2009 
21-26 June, Davos, Switzerland
abstract deadline: 22nd February 2009 23:59 GMT
Session 11d: Polar Ocean Process Affecting Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Past and Present
Keynote speaker: J. Robbie Toggweiler, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory 
For more details see http://www.goldschmidt2009.org. If you require further information on this session, please contact the conveners: Ralph Keeling (rkeeling@ucsd.edu) and Daniel Sigman (sigman@princeton.edu)

OCB 2009 Summer Workshop
20-23 July 2009, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Scientific Assembly of IAPSO (International Association of Physical Sciences of the Oceans)
19-29 July 2009, Montreal, Canada
Information is available at: http://iamas-iapso-iacs-2009-montreal.ca/index.asp

iLEAPS Early Career Scientist Workshop 2009 and iLEAPS Science Conference 2009
20-28 August 2009, Melbourne, Australia
http://ileaps.org/science_conf_2009/ and http://www.ileaps.org/ecsw/
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 March 2009

Chapman meeting on the Biological Carbon Pump
1-4 September 2009, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Conveners: Richard Lampitt, Ken Buesseler and Richard Sanders

8th International Carbon Dioxide Conference 
13-19 September 2009, JenaGermany 
Website: www.icdc8.org, Contact: Martin Heiman 
Call for Abstracts
You are invited to submit abstracts related to one of the following topics: Theme I: Past carbon variations including the fate of fossil fuel emissions; Theme II: Process and regional studies; Theme III: Future changes and carbon management; Theme IV: Methodological advances
Deadline for Abstract Submission: April 30, 2009 
Please Submit your abstract here: http://conventus.de/icdc8-abstract-submission/
Contact and information: icdc8@conventus.de

CarboOcean Final Conference 
5-9 October 2009, Bergen, Norway 
Contact: Christoph Heinze

Carbon Cycling in Tropical Ecosystems (23rd New Phytologist Symposium) 
17–20 November 2009, Guangzhou, China 
Contact: Helen Pinfield-Wells
Website: www.newphytologist.org

banner transition NL


IGBP calls for proposals for new Fast Track Initiatives to address cross-cutting questions in Earth System science and gaps in IGBP research
Successful proposals will receive seed funding towards workshops with diverse international participation. Proposals should be submitted no later than 23 February 2009 to the IGBP Secretariat (wendy@igbp.kva.se).
More information, guidelines and an application form are attached and available from URL:

banner 2nd transition NL

Annual estimates of global CO2 sink from ocean models
The Global Carbon Project publishes every year an annual update of the global carbon budget (http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbontrends). This effort was the backbone for publications in PNAS by Canadell et al and Raupach et al in 2007, and it has received much media attention.
Global carbon cycle modellers around the world are currently trying to improve their budget estimates. Up to now, the CO2 sink was only based on results from one ocean model. For future budgets, they would like to use the average of several model estimates. The objective is to identify groups that would be interested to provide global ocean CO2 sink results for this effort.
The requirements are simple:

- the model must be published
- the model must be forced with observed CO2 and observed climate (all spurious trends removed from the results if needed) 
- estimates must start in 1959 or earlier (to be discussed if needed) 
- estimates must be provided by the month of April for the previous year 
- long-term commitment is necessary
The benefits to participate in this exercise are that you will be listed in the list of participants on the web site; you will be invited to comment on the results and to help publicize them. The carbon budget this year will be particularly important as it will come out just a few months before the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, and it covers the beginning of the financial crisis. Scientific papers may not be written, though if interesting results emerge that would be a natural thing to do.
The contacts may ask for additional experiments (to be discussed with you) if needed for the interpretation of the results.
Please contact Corinne Le Quere (c.lequere@uea.ac.uk) if you are interested to participate in this effort. They are ideally looking for ~5 modelling groups.

A workshop on Best Practices in Ocean Acidification Research and Data Reporting gathered approximately 40 scientists from 10 countries at IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany to establish an international agreement on best practices for ocean acidification research. The workshop was sponsored by the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA), the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP), the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Programme (OCB), and the Kiel "Future Ocean" Excellence Cluster. It covered seawater carbonate chemistry, experimental design of perturbation experiments, measurements of CO2-sensitive processes and data reporting and usage. The participants agreed on the recommendations that would appear in a guide, as well as on authors and timelines for drafting each section. While this first workshop was kept necessarily small, the development of the best practices guide is meant to be an open community-wide activity. We invite interested experts to visit the EPOCA web site (http://epoca-project.eu/ under "Best practices guide") to review the presentations from the meeting, the timeline for drafting and reviewing the guide, and contacts. The outline of the guide will be uploaded shortly.

Ocean Acidification Research Priorities Report and Monaco Declaration
SCOR, IOC, IAEA-MEL and IGBP are pleased to announce that The Research Priorities Report from the Ocean in a High CO2 World-II symposium and The Monaco Declaration have been released on 30 January during a press conference at the ASLO conference in Nice.
The documents can be downloaded at: www.ocean-acidification.net
Also available are press releases in English, French, and Spanish.

Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry (OCB) Ocean Acidification White Paper 
Ocean acidification is a high-priority research topic identified by OCB. The OCB-SSC has recommended the formation of an Ocean Acidification Subcommittee, co-chaired by Joan Kleypas (NCAR) and Richard Feely (NOAA/PMEL). With approval from the OCB-SSC, the Ocean Acidification subcommittee members were invited from the U.S. community of researchers. The collective expertise of the subcommittee encompasses the broad spectrum of topics relevant to ocean acidification. Recently, subcommittee members prepared a white paper that outlines a U.S. national ocean acidification research strategy. This OCB white paper will be distributed broadly to those affiliated with ongoing national and international ocean acidification programmes and activities, and will be integral to the development of a national ocean acidification research agenda.

U.S. National Research Council Study on Ocean Acidification
The U.S. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences is assembling a panel of 10-12 scientists to undertake an 18-month study to examine the impacts of ocean acidification on fisheries, marine mammals, coral reefs, and other natural resources. The committee membership will include expertise in chemical and biological oceanography, marine ecology, physiology, ocean-climate modelling, paleoceanography, and resource management and economics. Two OCB documents, the ocean acidification white paper and the ocean acidification scoping workshop report (the latter is in press and downloadable from http://www.us-ocb.org/OCB_OA_rept.pdf) will provide a strong foundation for the NRC study.

banner 2nd transition NL

New OCB Scientific Steering Committee Members Elected 
OCB just completed its election of four new Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) members: Kendra Daly (University of South Florida), Curtis Deutsch (University of California, Los Angeles), Mary Jane Perry (University of Maine) and Walker Smith (Virginia Institute of Marine Science). 
The OCB SSC—established in February 2006 jointly by NSF, NASA and NOAA—promotes, plans, and coordinates collaborative, multidisciplinary research opportunities related to carbon cycling and associated marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem processes. For more information on OCB and its current SSC, please visit www.us-ocb.org/about

You can consult the Winter 2009 issue of OCB News at http://www.us-ocb.org/publications/

banner 2nd transition NL

In preparation for OceanObs09 (http://www.oceanobs09.net/), Ute Schuster and colleagues have drafted a paper on “A global sea surface carbon observing system: assessment of sea surface CO2 and air-sea CO2 fluxes”
This paper is being coordinated with other papers addressing surface networks:
- The Voluntary Observing Ship Scheme (Elizabeth Kent and colleagues)
- Ship of Opportunity Programme (Gustavo Goni and colleagues)
- Automated Underway Oceanic and Atmospheric Measurements from Ships (Shawn Smith and colleagues)
- Multidisciplinary Observation of the Surface Ocean and Lower Atmosphere from Ship Transects (Doug Wallace and colleagues)Please contact Ute Schuster if you would like to participate in the development of this paper, and send your comments to her no later than16 February so that comments can be integrated into the document before the March deadline.
Contact: U.Schuster@uea.ac.uk, tel +44 1603 593763
Contributing authors
Pedro M.S. Monteiro, Chris Sabine, Dorothee C.E. Bakker, Taro Takahashi, Rik Wanninkhof, Bronte Tilbrook, Andrew Lenton, Yukihiro Nojiri, Maria Hood, Andrew J. Watson, Are Olsen, CARBOOCEAN team

OceanObs09 Whitepaper: “An Ocean Acidification Observational Network”
Richard Feely recently solicited input for a community white paper for the OceanObs09 Conference next fall. The white paper would contribute to two sessions at the conference: 1) Large-scale physical properties and 2) Carbon and ecosystems, and will outline a strategy for a global ocean acidification observing system in the major ocean basins and marginal seas, warm water coral reefs, coastal margins, tropical to subtropical open-ocean regions, and high-latitude regions. The white paper will include observing programme recommendations, including temporal and spatial sampling requirements, core variables, measurement methods and protocols, data sharing and release policy, data assembly and archival, data products and synthesis activities, together with a proposal for a sustained network of ocean acidification observations. Please contact Richard Feely for more information.

banner 2nd transition NL

Traineeships in Observational Oceanography
Primarily for students from developing countries but also for students from developed countries with plans to network in or with developing countries.
The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) is pleased to announce a second year of support from the Nippon Foundation for the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography. The Centre will offer a 10-month programme of study at BIOS on observational oceanography. Tentative programme dates are from 1 August 2009 to 31 May 2010. Travel and living expenses of the trainees will be covered by the NF-POGO Programme.  Full details are available at: http://www.bios.edu/education/cofe.html

banner transition NL


Recent publications

BIogeochemistry and Optics SOuth Pacific Experiment (BIOSOPE). 
Editor(s): H. Claustre, A. Sciandra, and D. Vaulot 
Biogesociences Special Issue, issue 8, Nov 2008 

Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem
Scott C. Doney, Victoria J. Fabry, Richard A. Feely, and Joan A. Kleypas 
Annual Review of Marine Science, Vol. 1: 169-192, January 2009

Contributions of Long-Term Research and Time-Series Observations to Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry
Hugh W. Ducklow, Scott C. Doney, Deborah K. Steinberg
Annual Review of Marine Science, Vol. 1: 279-302, January 2009

Ocean carbon cycling and climate impacts on marine ecosystems
Benway, H.M. and S.C. Doney, 
EOS, Trans. American Geophys. Union, 89(47), 472, 2008
Effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems
Idea: Howard I. Browman
Coordination: Alain F. Vézina, Ova Hoegh-Guldberg
MEPS 373:199-309, 2008
Implementation Plan for the U.S. GEOTRACES North Atlantic Section 
Editors: Bob Anderson, Ed Boyle, and Bill Jenkins
December 2008
ICED Science Plan and Implementation Strategy – IMBER Report #2 - 2008
Should you wish to announce a publication in the IMBER Update, please send information to elena.fily@univ-brest.fr
banner transition NL
IMBER International Project Office
Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer
Place Nicolas Copernic, 
29280 Plouzané, France
Ph: +33 2 98 49 86 72
Fax: + 33 2 98 49 86 09
Published by IMBER
Editors: IMBER IPO 
ISSN 1951-610X

If you wish to contribute to the IMBER Update, please contact Virginie Le Saout (virginie.lesaout@univ-brest.fr)


IPO sponsos 
logo IUEM
logo UBO
region bretagne
IMBER sponsors
SCOR logo