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Antarctica phase VI (2006-2010)

BELCANTO III - Integrated Study of Southern Ocean Biogeochemistry and Climate Interactions in the Anthropocene

Subject and objectives

The Southern Ocean (SO) ecosystem is crucial in global biogeochemical cycles (C, N, Si, P, Fe) and climate regulation, notably through its capacity to absorb atmospheric CO2, a major greenhouse gas. Large uncertainties surround estimate by current global ocean biogeochemical models of the contemporary SO contribution to the global oceanic CO2 sink (Watson and Orr, 2003). Such differences between model results were attributed to physical and biogeochemical processes being inadequately resolved.

The overall objective of the proposed research is to conduct targeted process studies and develop new proxies to construct and validate a realistic 3D ice-ocean biogeochemical model for the area south of latitude 30°S, based on improved understanding of factors regulating interactions between the atmosphere, ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycles and on synthesis/collection of existing/new data sets. When properly validated the model will (i) reduce uncertainty linked to the assessment of the role of SO as source/sink of atmospheric CO2 and estimate the related impact on biogeochemical cycles and (ii) improve our capability to predict the SO response to future increase of atmospheric CO2 and temperature, acidification and changes in oceanic circulation.

Complementary resources about this scientific project

Partners and Contact information

Coordinator: Frank Dehairs
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Departement Analytische Chemie (ANCH)
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 629 32 60
Fax: +32 (0)2 629 32 74

Partner 2: Christiane Lancelot
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Ecologie des Systèmes Aquatiques (ESA)
Campus de la Plaine
CP 221
Boulevard du Triomphe
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 650 59 88
Fax: +32 (0)2 650 59 93

Partner 3: Luc André
Musée royal de l’Afrique Centrale (MRAC-KMMA)
Section de Minéralogie et Pétrographie
Leuvensesteenweg 13
B-3080 Tervuren
Tel: +32 (0)2 769 54 59
Fax: +32 (0)2 759 54 32

Partner 4: Dr. Hugues Goosse
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Institut d’Astronomie et de Géophysique Georges Lemaître (ASTR)
2, chemin du Cyclotron
B-1348 Louvain-la Neuve
Tel: +32 (0)10 47 32 97
Fax: +32 (0)10 47 47 22

Partner 5: Alberto Borges
Université de Liège (ULg)
Unité d’Océanographie Chimique
Geohydrodynamics and Environmental research (GHER)
Institut de Physique, Bat. B5
17, allée du 6 août
Sart Tilman
B-4000 Liège 1
Tel: +32 (0)4 366 31 87
Fax: +32 (0)4 366 23 55

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