BIOPOLE (Biogeochemical processes and ecosystem function in a changing polar system) investigates a fundamental aspect of the earth system – how nutrients in polar waters drive the global carbon cycle and primary productivity in oceans.
The oceans play a vital role in absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, mitigating large amounts of human-made carbon emissions. However, this part of the global carbon cycle relies on an adequate supply of nutrients to drive the marine processes that absorb the carbon. Much of these nutrients are exported from the polar regions. BIOPOLE will improve our ability to quantify this export and identify its sensitivity to climate change.
The project will thus provide a step change in the knowledge and predictive capability concerning how polar ecosystems regulate the chemical balance of the world’s oceans and, through it, their effect on global fish stocks and carbon storage.
BIOPOLE is a £9 million collaborative project led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and funded by the NERC National Capability Multi-Centre Science programme, which aims to enable ambitious, integrated approaches to large-scale research challenges.