The overall aim of PETRA (Pathways and Emissions of climate-relevant TRace gases in a changing Arctic Ocean) is to investigate the role of (multiple) stressors for future trace gas (i.e. N2O, CH4, DMS and CO) cycling in the Arctic Ocean. This project will provide unique insight into the dependence of Arctic Ocean trace gas cycling on three environmental stressors (high temperature, ocean acidification and high UV-light). The legacy of PETRA will benefit a number of stakeholders and academic communities.

The media and the public

PETRA researchers are very involved in promoting a good public understanding of science, particularly ocean acidification and the impact of climate change on the carbon cycle. The work of PETRA will serve as a basis for supporting active discussions on what to do about climate change, and how the earth and particularly the Arctic Ocean is responding to it. Through our involvement with and PETRA sponsorship of schools involvement we will engage directly with key stage 3 to 5 students, and will produce web-based material for teaching purposes. This will be directed to communicate the expeditionary and state of the art nature of this project, to instil the excitement of discovery based science, whilst providing a unique learning experience with respect to the significance of climate change to marine ecosystems.


National and international policymakers will benefit from results of PETRA to inform policy on climate change. PETRA will provide information on the Arctic contribution to cumulative trace gases. This information is relevant to determine what CO2 emissions pathways are realistic for given climate targets, and the risks associated with these pathways.

The IPCC, UNFCCC and Arctic Council

PETRA will provide key information on the anthropogenic influence on oceanic fluxes of climatically active, including greenhouse gases (N2O, CH4, CO) (1) over the historical period informing the understanding of trace gas balance that the IPCC tries to achieve, and (2) projected for various levels of CO2 and climate change, informing the cumulative CO2-equivalent budget associated with climate targets. This will contribute to decision making associated with the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, by helping to assess which climate target is achievable and how, and what is the difference between various levels of climate change which will influence the revisions of Nationally Determined Contributions.