Biogeochemistry and maritime resources

During the last 20 years, chemistry of atmosphere has advanced with the development of the weather forecasting systems. Today, the biochemistry is booming thanks to new systems like Mercator Ocean systems. Biochemistry modeling is modeling of the living, and that's not a trivial operation.

One day, these models will be able to forecast biochemistry variables (phytoplancton concentration, primary productivity...) as physical variables (temperature, salinity...).

Mercator Ocean is a partner of a project called Mercator Vert (Green Mercator) : Mercator Ocean products are coupled with biogeochemistry models.

Use case

Tara Oceans, a unique expedition

 The oceans produce half of the oxygen that we breathe. Prairies of plankton and other micro-organisms constitute, via their photosynthetic activity, an enormous oxygen pump. But these marine organisms are also a major carbon dioxide sink. As a result, the future depends on saving the oceans. On the 5th of September 2009, the boat ‘Tara’ set sail from Lorient in France on a 2.5-year expedition across the world to study oceanic ecosystems, for a better understanding of the threats faced by them and thus enable better protection of the oceans’ ecosystems. It will attempt to provide answers to climate issues, and in particular to deepen our knowledge on marine biodiversity.
Our Oceans’ ecosystem remains one of the least-explored fields of oceanography and therefore the least wellknown to man, despite its extensive and rich biodiversity. But, today, this marine life is threatened by the major
ecological upheavals of climate change and pollution. Will marine ecosystems survive to these disruptions? Are we going towards a transformation of oceanic life?
Tara Oceans is an exceptional expedition that cruises the seas of the Globe. The urgency of the situation, as well as the scope and the characteristics of the expedition will make it an extraordinary voyage around the planet, to help understand its origins, evaluate its present state and to preserve its future. More than 12 fields of research are involved in the project, which will bring together an international team of oceanographers, ecologists, biologists, geneticists, and physicists from prestigious laboratories headed by Eric Karsenti of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

More informations : www.taraexpeditions.org

(Photo licence : Mercator Océan)