Scientific and technological objectives

The SOPRAN project addresses three main aspects of ocean-atmosphere biogeochemical interaction:
  • how changingatmospheric composition affects the surface ocean;
  • how changing surface ocean processes can alter oceanic emissions to the atmosphere
  • the mechanisms and rates of ocean-atmosphere material exchanges

The primary focus is on processes operating within and close to the surface ocean, and their potential changes over the next century. The overall scientific aims of the proposed SOPRAN project are to:

  • strengthen understanding of key material emissions from the surface ocean that are important for climate as well as for the composition of the atmosphere (CO2, O2, N2O, halogenated and other reactive organic compounds);
  • assess the sensitivity of surface marine ecosystems to the effects of increasing CO2 levels;
  • assess the sensitivity of surface marine ecosystems and key biogeochemical cycles to climate-mediated changes in the input of atmospheric dust;
  • improve basic understanding of the exchange processes between surface ocean and the atmosphere;
  • improve understanding of feedback mechanism between climate change, dust input, associated biological productivity and the physical transports of the eastern North Atlantic.
  • assess the sensitivity of oceanic material emissions to future change (next 100 years) in view of current and projected human forcing;

Additional strategic aims are to:

  • make innovative and efficient use of Germany’s research infrastructur,
  • encourage collaborative research between marine scientists of all disciplines as well as atmospheric scientists, and
  • promote the training of a new generation of scientists able to tackle Earth System processes across traditional disciplinary boundaries.