ARCTOS scientist present at final MERCLIM meeting
The ARCTOS scientists Tamelander, Aubert, Manno, Hop, and Wassmann participated at the final meeting of Marine Ecosystem Response to a changing CLIMate (MERCLIM), in Bergen. The Research Council of Norway through the NORKLIMA programme funded MERCLIM. The project started in January 2008 and ends in late December 2011. As many other projects MERCLIM is concerned about that the climate of the North Atlantic Oceans will undergo rapid changes over the next century. Climate influences many important ecosystem drivers that will change marine biogeochemical and ecological processes, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.
MERCLIM provided critical new understanding on the impacts of climate change on the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems by means of an assessment of the role of dominant ecosystem drivers. MERCLIM had a specific focus on nutrient stoichiometry, biogeochemical cycling, food quality and energy/carbon flow through ecosystems from inorganic chemistry through phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria to export and sedimentation, assessing consequences for food availability and quality for higher trophic levels. MERCLIM has assessed how decadal to centennial climate change will promote ecosystem modifications due to changes in marine climate (stratification, temperature, salinity, ice cover), light and UV radiation, ocean acidification, riverine inputs (nutrient inputs/eutrophication, organic loading). These drivers are hypothesised to have a significant degree of control on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. A major focus of MERCLIM, also beyond the time of the project, will be the optimisation, testing and climate-driver-scenario simulations of a predictive process model. The project has high societal relevance and will contribute significantly to national and international research and policy efforts to manage marine ecosystems.