Air-sea Gas Flux; Progress and Future Prospects

 IFREMER, Brest, France, 6-9 September 2016


The atmosphere-ocean (air-sea) exchange of climate active gases, such as CO2, N2O, CH4, DMS and CH3Br is a critical part of the climate system and a major factor in the biogeochemical function of the oceans. More accurate and higher resolution calculations of these gas fluxes are required if we are to fully understand and predict the chemistry of our atmosphere and hence future climate.This endeavour requires the maintenance of major observing systems (shipboard, satellite-borne and land-based) and a deep understanding of the transfer processes. It is a challenging task that requires interdisciplinary collaboration and cost-effective solutions.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the International Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) community came together in 2010 to support a new initiative in this area and the OceanFlux Greenhouse gas projects arose. At the same time, there have been enormous efforts internationally on collecting and collating data, strengthening and organising the measurement of dissolved gases (e.g. by LDEO and SOCAT) and exploring new methods of measuring and modelling the transfer processes and exchange coefficients.

In 2013, the first Air-sea Gas Fluxes workshop was held. The workshop was a great success and the participants identified the need for this interdisciplinary community to meet again in the future. Many advances have been made since 2013, so we now invite the community back to a second international workshop in France in September 2016 to present recent advances and identify future goals and prospects.

We invite you to join us. Progress from the most recent OceanFlux project research will be presented. Renowned international scientists and groups will present overviews and results from key initiatives. We solicit oral and poster presentations on all aspects of air-sea gas transfer of any climatically important gases, including reactive gases. We especially encourage research focusing on: Arctic and marginal ice zones, extreme winds, atmospheric modeling and inversion techniques and heat fluxes. Together we will build a picture of the existing capability in studying air-sea gas fluxes. Importantly, we will look ahead together to new challenges and opportunities. The European Space Agency and other funding agencies are setting their own priorities and strategies. This workshop is an important opportunity to rationalize and explain the priorities of the scientific community.

The ultimate aim of the workshop is to facilitate and accelerate the research and technology development necessary for an accurate evaluation of the air-sea flux of climate active gases, by identifying key challenges and opportunities and setting appropriate priorities for the scientific community and for supporting and guiding agencies (notably space agencies).

Specific aims of the workshop are:

Identifying key challenges facing the air-sea gas flux community:

  • Maintaining the ship-based observing system.
  • Maintaining the marine earth observation capability.
  • Addressing remaining gaps in fundamental knowledge.
  • Understanding and addressing the full set of uncertainties.

Identifying opportunities and setting priorities:

  • The requirements of the climate science and policy communities.
  • New Earth observation technologies and missions.
  • New measurement techniques and opportunities for more autonomous measurements.
  • New modelling and statistical techniques.
  • The rapidly expanding capacity of cloud and other computing architecture.