Umwelt-, Ressourcen- und Ökologische Ökonomik

PREFACE - Enhancing prediction of Tropical Atlantic climate and its impacts

[01.11.2013 - 31.10.2017] 

Tropical Atlantic climate recently experienced shifts of great socio-economic importance.
The oceanic changes were largest in the eastern boundary upwelling systems, globally important regions for marine productivity and climate. African countries bordering the Atlantic depend upon their ocean-societal development, fisheries, and tourism. They were strongly affected by these changes and will face important adaptation challenges associated with global warming.
Paradoxically, the Tropical Atlantic is a region of key uncertainty in the earth-climate system: state-of-the-art climate models exhibit large systematic error, climate change projections are highly uncertain, and it is largely unknown how climate change will impact marine ecosystems.
PREFACE takes on the challenge to redress this situation through the first comprehensive assessment of the Tropical Atlantic. Together European and African expertise will combine regional and global scale modelling capabilities, field experiments and observation systems to achieve this.


PREFACE Objectives

  • To reduce uncertainties in our knowledge of the functioning of Tropical Atlantic climate, particularly of climate-related ocean processes (including stratification) and dynamics, coupled ocean, atmosphere, and land interactions; and internal and externally forced climate variability.
  • To better understand the impact of model systematic error and its reduction on seasonal-to-decadal climate predictions and on climate change projections.
  • To improve the simulation and prediction of Tropical Atlantic climate on seasonal, and longer time scales, and contribute to better quantification of climate change impacts in the region.
  • To improve understanding of the cumulative effects of the multiple stressors of climate variability, greenhouse induced climate change (including warming and deoxygenation), and fisheries on marine ecosystems, functional diversity, and ecosystem services (e.g., Fisheries) in the Tropical Atlantic.
  • To assess the socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate the resilience of the welfare of West African fishing communities to climate-driven ecosystem shifts and global markets.