SOLAS sponsored activities and intiatives:

SOLAS/IMBER Carbon (SIC) Working Group:

In 2006 SOLAS and the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) programme launched a joint working group on Ocean Carbon. The SIC working group was divided into three subgroups: Surface Ocean System,  Interior Ocean Carbon, and Ocean Acidification, and the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) also joined as a co-sponsor. The first two subgroups, on surface and interior oceans, are currently reorganizing, combining, and redefining themselves, with support of additional organisations to form a new Carbon Think Tank. More information will be available shortly. The information on the third subgroup is as follows:

SOLAS/IMBeR Ocean Acidification (SIOA):

The tasks of this subgroup are the coordination of international research efforts and synthesis activities in ocean acidification. At its first meeting (1-3 Dec 2009 at IOC-UNESCO, Paris), the SIOA identified topics for immediate attention:

  •     Integration of the ocean acidification observing network with the ocean carbon network
  •     Promotion of international experiments
  •     Sharing experimental platforms
  •     Regular updates of the Guide for best practices on OA reserarch & data reporting
  •     Guiding principles on data sharing
  •     Training students and early career scientists
  •     Intercomparison exercises
  •     Promote international exchange of students and postdocs
  •     Promote collaboration between the natural and social sciences

Information on SIOA members see here.


Carbon Think Tank initiative:

SOLAS, in cooperation with CLIVAR, GCP, IMBeR, IOCCP, and WCRP, will work on new and integrated directions in ocean carbon research within the recently developed Carbon Think Tank initiative, which is now under the auspices of IOC.

IMBeR presented their project as well as the above mentioned working groups on a poster at the 2019 SOLAS Open Science Conference (see details here).

Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at Sea-Ice Interfaces (BEPSII):

BEPSII is aiming at identifying the feedbacks between biogeochemical and physical processes at the ocean-ice-snow-atmosphere interfaces and within the sea-ice matrix. It is co-chaired by Jacqueline Stefels (The Netherlands) and Nadja Steiner (Canada).

Cryosphere and Atmospheric Chemistry (CATCH):

The CATCH mission is to facilitate atmospheric chemistry research within the international community, with a focus on natural processes specific to cold regions of the Earth. It is co-chaired by Jennie Thomas (France), Thorsten Bartels-Rausch (Switzerland) and Markus Frey (UK).

Past activities

Asian Dust and Ocean EcoSystems (ADOES)

The goal of ADOES is to quantitatively understand the deposition flux and bioavailability of Asian dust, and its impact on biogeochemical processes and ocean ecosystem in order to provide scientific bases for the mechanism of eolian dust-ocean ecosystem-radiative gases-climate change.

The main activities of the task team fall under the following categories:

  • Physical and chemical variations of dust aerosol during its downwind transportation
  • Transport path and layer of dust and its deposition flux to northern Pacific Oceans
  • Impacts of dust on biogeochemistry and ocean ecosystem

The co-chairs are Huiwang Gao (Ocean University of China, China), Guangyu Shi (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China) and Mitsuo Uematsu (University of Tokyo, Japan).

Materials available:

ESA projects

In February 2011, the European Space Agency (ESA) opened a call "Support To Science Element (STSE)", an element of the Earth Observation Envelop Program (EOEP-3) to both public and private institutions. The SOLAS community submitted one proposal to each of the ESA call and was successful with three themes.

Sea spray aerosol production:

Acronym: OSSA (Oceanflux Sea Spray Aerosol Production)
Duration: 24 months
Total grant: 350 000 Euros
Ending date: Oct 2013
Principal Investigator and co-PI: Gerrit de Leeuw (FMI), subcontractors National Univ of Ireland Galway (NUIG: Colin O'Dowd) TNO (Astrid Manders)

Sources and sinks of climatically-active gases in the Eastern Boundary Upwelling and Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) systems:

Duration: 18 months
Total grant: 150 000 Euros
Ending date: Oct 2013
Principal Investigator and co-PI: Christoph Garbe, Véronique Garçon, André Butz, Boris Dewitte, Aurélien Paulmier, Joel Sudre, Isabelle Dadou and Hussein Yahia
Report: Activities of 2012

OceanFlux Greenhouse Gases Evolution project:

Acronym: OceanFlux GHG Evolution (Oceanflux Greenhouse Gases Evolution)
Duration: 24 months
Total grant: 300 000 Euros
Ending date: Nov 2017
Principal Investigator and co-PI: Jamie Shutler (UoE), David Woolf (HWU), Bertrand Chapron (IFREMER), Andy Watson (UoE), Phil Nightingale (PML), Jacek Piskozub (IOPAN), Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy (ERI).
Report: see website

A workshop took place 6-9 September 2016 in Brest, France, entitled 'Air-Sea Gas Flux : Progress and Future Prospects'. Poster and presentations are available at
The report is available here.

IGBP Fast Track Initiatives

In May 09, the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) launched two fast track initiatives (FTI) proposed by SOLAS and other IGBP core projects. Both FTI were in collaboration with and co-sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR).

Upper Ocean Nutrient Limitation: processes, patterns and potential for change (2009-2011)

The scientific coordinators are Mark Moore (NOCS, UK) and Matt Mills (Stanford Uni, USA). The contributing projects are GEOTRACES and IMBER.
Studies conducted during the past few decades have demonstrated that the productivity of the upper oceans is limited by the availability of a range of nutrients including nitrogen, iron and phosphorus. This, in turn, affects the storage of carbon in the oceans. However, several aspects remain to be fully understood.

FTI materials available:

Outcomes of this FTI contributes to the SOLAS Mid-Term Strategy initiative on Atmospheric control of nutrient cycling and production in the surface ocean


Megacities and the Coastal Zone: air-sea interactions (2009-2011)

The scientific coordinators are Roland von Glasow (UEA, UK), Tim Jickells (UEA, UK), Tong Zhu (Peking University, China), Ramesh Ramachandran (Institute for Ocean Management, India) and Josef Pacyna (Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Norway). The contributing projects are IGAC and LOICZ.
As the world’s population and urbanisation increase simultaneously, so does the number of cities with over 10 million inhabitants – megacities. Many megacities, such as Mumbai and Los Angeles, are located in coastal regions. This juxtaposition leads to particular environmental consequences that have a direct impact on the health and prosperity of people living in and around such cities. The environmental and ecological effects of the alteration of coastlines and input of sewage from cities have received much attention over the years. But the effect of urban atmospheric emissions on the adjacent coastal waters and that of emissions from coastal waters on urban air quality have received lesser attention.

FTI materials available:

- last update June 2019-