The Joint Action on Climate Science for Oceans was launched as a joint venture with JPI Climate in February 2019. A call for research proposals resulted in four funded projects, kicked off in September 2020.
- MEDLEY (MixED Layer hEterogeneitY) The project aims to evaluate the spatial heterogeneity of the ocean mixed layer dynamics and improve its representation in climate modelling to improve their accuracy and consistency. Coordinator: Dr Anne Marie Tréguier, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, France.
- ROADMAP (The Role of ocean dynamics and Ocean-Atmosphere interactions in Driving cliMAte variations and future Projections of impact-relevant extreme events) This project will investigate the influence of North Atlantic and North Pacific ocean surface variability on the extratropical atmospheric circulation, with a focus on high-impact weather and climate extremes under present-day and future climate conditions. Coordinator: Dr Daniela Matei, Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Germany.
- EUREC4A-OA (Improving the representation of small-scale nonlinear ocean-atmosphere interactions in Climate Models by innovative joint observing and modelling approaches) Coordinator: Sabrina Speich; L'École normale supérieure - Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (ENS-LMD), France.
- CE2COAST (Downscaling Climate and Ocean Change to Services: Thresholds and Opportunities) Coordinator: Richard Bellerby, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway.
Oceans play a key role in the climate system and are also affected by climate change. As confirmed by the IPCC special report on ocean and cryosphere, ocean dynamics are a major modulator of weather and climate including future trends and extremes. However, there are still uncertainties in the understanding and quantification of key climate-ocean interactions and the ocean’s buffering capacities for absorbing heat and CO2. This joint call aims to address these uncertainties.
The projects are conducting research on interactions between oceans and climate by analysing model simulations and observational data, aiming to better understand upper ocean variability and dynamics and ultimately improve the performance of climate models. The results of the four projects will help inform adaptation policy to increase resilience and adaptation measures for vulnerable areas, especially in coastal and low island areas.
In December 2015, 195 countries adopted the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, which sets out a global action plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C. The Joint Call aims to address Article 7.7 of the Paris Agreement: “Parties should strengthen their cooperation on enhancing action on adaptation… incl. Strengthening scientific knowledge on climate, including research, systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making.” The Paris Agreement also recognised the importance of the ocean for climate, calling for progress on observations and modelling. Europe already makes substantial contributions at a national level to the IPCC and the World Climate Research Programme. However, addressing the grand challenges of climate science requires stronger and immediate transnational action to strengthen climate knowledge and enable informed societal transformation to mitigate and adapt to climate change.