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Theme 3

Theme 3

Column inventory of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean (mol m-2). Total inventory of shaded regions is 106 ± 17 PgC (Sabine et al. 2004).

Feedbacks to the Earth System

What are the role of ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems in regulating climate?


The impact of human activities on the Earth System is manifested in many ways including increasing global mean temperature, changing precipitation and ocean chemistry. The rate of these changes, and more importantly, their local and regional manifestations, depend on how the components of the Earth System respond individually and together. IMBER uses observational programmes supported by modelling and data assimilation activities to understand and predict the interactions and feedbacks between components of the Earth System.

IMBER focuses on the present and future capacity of the ocean to control the climate system via atmospheric composition and ocean heat storage.

Key issues

Issue 3.1 Oceanic Storage of Anthropogenic CO2

  • What are the spatial and temporal scales of CO2 storage in the ocean interior?
  • What is the role of the continental margins in ocean carbon storage under global change?

Issue 3.2 Ecosystem Feedback to Ocean Physics and Climate

  • How do marine food web structure and variability affect ocean and ice physics and large-scale climate and its variability, via the upper-ocean heat budget?
  • What will be the effect of global changes in oxygen minimum zones on sources, transport and outgassing of N2O?