The main goal of the Changing Arctic Ocean Programme is to understand how the Arctic Ocean functions in a quantitative way. This information feeds into models that determine how the Arctic Ocean will react to change. These future projections are important because they help refine decision-making processes.
The Arctic Ocean is a vastly complex system with poorly understood interactions between the physical environment, defined by the presence of sea-ice and extreme annual seasonal cycles, and the ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles. To model this system in any meaningful way necessitates a solid understanding of key aspects of the ecosystem and the biogeochemical cycles that operate in the Arctic Ocean. This is an inherent component of the four large projects in the Programme, which are generating the data to test and develop the computer models further.
More information about the models applied in the individual projects is available below.