Nordic Seas

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One degree -
four universities


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What you will learn

Programme objectives

The programme aims to give you a solid understanding of how biology, physics and chemistry are all integral components in the functioning of marine ecosystems. You will learn how to apply concepts from all these disciplines to address interdisciplinary marine problems, while still maintaining and utilizing your specialization from earlier studies in either biological or physical oceanography. You will learn how to collect and use information on marine biological systems and physical parameters in an area and to formulate potential impacts of climate changes on the system. You will also learn how to carry out oceanographic field work, and the functioning and use of the most common oceanographic equipment. Training in how to communicate knowledge in speaking and writing is an important asset throughout the programme.

Examples of interdisciplinary marine problems

Changes in ocean circulation linked to changes in phytoplankton abundance

Phytoplankton are tiny plants that float around in the upper layers of the sea, using the sun's energy to build up organic material. Fish and other animals in the ocean all live on food that has ultimately been produced by phytoplankton. The picture to the right shows satellite data of the amounts of chlorophyll in the Northern part of the North Atlantic in May 2000. High levels of chlorophyll mean high abundances of phytoplankton, and the red region south of Iceland indicates very high phytoplankton abundances there. There has been a large increase in the production in this region since 1995, and new research has linked this to changes in the ocean circulation of the North Atlantic. The new results open the possibility of predicting living conditions in this area as the climate changes through the 21st century.

Chlorophyll
Phytoplankton concentration (chlorophyll-a) in May 2000 in the surface as measured from the SeaWIFS satellite: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/SeaWiFS/

Chlorophyll

Using a numerical model to simulate phytoplankton level in the North Sea

Coupled physical-biological numerical models can be used to resolve the variability in the marine environment caused by ocean circulation, turbulence and convection. This allows spatially explicit investigation of biological processes on different trophic levels. This figure shows primary production in the Nordic Seas, from the ECOSMO model (Schrum et al. 2006).


More material on climate and climate change is available e.g. here: [BCCR hompage]

Last updated: November 2012
Webmaster: Cara Nissen
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