“There are very obvious shifts and variations in marine ecosystems, partly driven by climatic changes, but also by human pressures like fisheries,” says Noel Keenlyside, professor at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.
Keenlyside is the coordinator of the project TRIATLAS, aimed to develop climate-based ecosystem predictions for the Tropical and South Atlantic Ocean.
“It’s a big challenge to understand how environmental changes will influence marine ecosystems. We’re dealing with a problem that extends across disciplinary boundaries and also towards societal aspects,” he continues.
The project team is highly international, consisting of researchers from more than thirty institutes in Europe, South America and Africa.
“Most of the societal challenges and the scientific challenges we are facing to support society, are above the scale of the nation. We need to work as a community across nations to tackle this,” says Roland Séférian from Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, in Toulouse.
Both physical oceanographers and marine biologists are involved, as well as researchers working to enable policy makers to tackle socioeconomic challenges. A major goal is to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
“You can’t manage fish, right? Fish are not black cattle that you can put in a pasture and there’s a fence around it. We have to manage people’s behavior in our marine systems,” says Louise Gammage, a specialist in marine sustainability from the University of Cape Town.
Learn more about TRIATLAS in the video below.