ORCHESTRA - Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transports
The Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transports (ORCHESTRA) is a £8.4 million, five year (2016-2021) research programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The aim of the research is to to advance the understanding of, and capability to predict, the Southern Ocean's impact on climate change via its uptake and storage of heat and carbon. The programme will significantly reduce uncertainties concerning how this uptake and storage by the ocean influences global climate, by conducting a series of unique fieldwork campaigns and innovative model developments.
ORCHESTRA involves scientists from many NERC Centres. This ambitious 5 year project began in spring 2016 and will use a combination of data collection, analyses and computer simulations to radically improve our ability to understand and predict the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its role in the global climate, with particular emphasis on the way that the Southern Ocean absorbs and stores heat and carbon.
The intensive 5-year observational program will involve ORCHESTRA scientists undertaking 12 expeditions on research ships in the Southern Ocean, with US collaborators performing a 13th. Ten of these expeditions will be annual north/south transects across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, to evaluate how the ocean changes from one year to the next. The other three will form ‘boxes’ around the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean so that budgets can be performed. All these data, along with historical measurements, will be combined and analysed together. The observations will be used to inform and test a range of models.