Project description

RACE - Regional Atlantic Circulation and Global Change

BMBF-Verbundvorhaben for climate research in the ocean

The work of 'RACE' focuses on simulating and understanding the future Atlantic circulation, and the repercussions on important social parameters. It succeeds the Verbundprojekt 'Nordatlantik', which focused on analyses and observations of the current Atlantic circulation on a basin-wide scale.

The main goal of 'RACE' is to create regional high-resolution simulations of future Atlantic circulation changes (from 10 to 100 years) as a part of global change. Another goal is to estimate the repercussions of these changes on the ocean, the climate system and the European shelf area. These investigations include enhancing the understanding of observed processes, which will help to increase the knowledge about the future ocean circulation and its changes. Through this, regional simulations can be improved. This kind of work can only be achieved by a cluster of the main oceanographic institutes in Germany and has to be established on their infrastructure.

The scientific work of the cluster focuses on the physical state of the future ocean and deals with the following topics:

The cluster includes the following aspects:

The main investigation areas are the Atlantic and northern Europe; however, future circulation changes are examined in different regions of the Atlantic. Same holds true for changing interactions between these regions. They include the western Atlantic, the subpolar Atlantic, the European shelf area, the upwelling areas along the African coast, the tropical Atlantic, as well as the Arctic.

The dependence of regional processes on large scale conditions requires a global perspective. Hence, atmospheric processes need to be included, as in coupled forecast models and used for the creation of initial conditions in the ocean.