The Arctic is the fastest changing environment on the planet, supporting diverse yet still poorly understood ecosystems. Changes in the ocean and sea-ice environment of the Arctic will generate major but unknown changes in Arctic ecosystems, affecting biological processes at every level of organisation - from genetics and physiology to food webs, biogeochemical cycles, species distribution and whole ecosystems.
NERC is investing £16 million in a five-year programme - the Changing Arctic Ocean: Implications for marine biology & biogeochemistry - over the period 2017-2022. The over-arching goal of this programme is:
"To understand how change in the physical environment (ice and ocean) will affect the large-scale ecosystem structure and biogeochemical functioning of the Arctic Ocean, the potential major impacts and provide projections for future ecosystem services."