Discussion sessions  
Parallel discussion sessions are intended to provide an informal opportunity for round table discussions of SOLAS-related topics with the aim of furthering collaborations and research.

Three parallel sessions will take place in the afternoon from 14:30 - 16:00.

Discussion session program
Monday, 22 April 2019
  • Session: The coupling of ocean, sea ice and atmospheric chemistry & biogeochemistry – a cross-disciplinary research challenge
    Co-conveners: M. Frey, P. Zieger, J. Thomas, D. Nomura, and N. Steiner
    Room: 2nd meeting venue 

    The ocean areas covered by sea ice are undergoing significant climate change. Yet many underlying chemical, biological, and physical processes and feedbacks are still poorly understood strongly motivating continued research on the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system. CATCH is an emerging activity sponsored by IGAC and SOLAS, whereas BEPSII is an initiative supported by SOLAS and CliC. Both facilitate interdisciplinary and international research on atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry with a focus on interactions between snow, ice, ocean, aerosols, and clouds in cold regions.
    The session aim is to identify uncertainties in our understanding of the coupled ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system and discuss potential SOLAS/CATCH/BEPSII collaboration strategies. Topics include: ocean-sea ice-atmosphere interactions and their impacts on atmospheric and ocean biogeochemistry; feedbacks between climate change and atmospheric chemistry mediated by changes in sea ice; production and processing of aerosol and cloud precursors above and within sea ice/polar ocean and climate impacts; modelling challenges.

  • Session: Can long term observatories be used to study the processes controlling air-sea exchange?
    C. Marandino, A. Koertzinger, T. Bell, and J. Jeong

    Room: 3

    The boundary between the ocean and atmosphere is one of the Earth’s most important interfaces. Despite the importance of this interface, the controls upon fluxes of mass and energy are not fully understood and quantified. Researchers from GEOMAR, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, and the ENEA Station for Climate Observation Roberto Sarao have varying levels of experience running integrated air-sea exchange observatories. During this discussion session, we will identify the benefits and challenges associated with the data collected at these and similar sites around the world. The goal of the workshop is to publicize ongoing activity and to encourage community interest and participation at these sites.

  • Session: Impacts of ocean plastic and microfibers on air quality and climate
    Co-conveners: S. Royer and D. Deheyn
    Room: 4

    Plastic pollution has been a growing concern recently as it is found everywhere, impacting all forms of life, including humans. While many studies have investigated the extent of plastic pollution in aquatic environments and wildlife,
    very few studies have looked at the interplay between plastics and the atmosphere. It was recently proven that greenhouse gases are emitted from plastic degradation, which may potentially affect the global budget of methane,
    and thus link plastics to climate change. Similarly, synthetic microfibers are ubiquitous in the environment, including in the oceans and the atmosphere.
    Microfibers are invisible to the naked eye given their small size, and thus we breathe, eat and drink them without being aware of it. There is clearly an urgent need for increasing our knowledge regarding plastics and synthetic microfibers in the ocean and their transfer to the atmosphere, especially in the wake of environmental and human health issues already increased by climate change.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019
  • Session: The High Resolution Measurement for the Ocean-Atmosphere Interfacial Layers
    Co-conveners: C. Chen and E. Achterberg
    2nd meeting venue 

    Ocean-atmosphere interactions (OAIs) form a dynamic and continuous natural material exchange process, and play an important role in the functioning of our earth system. Many of the mechanism of OAIs are not well understood. OAIs involve molecular activities, but the present in-situ measurements can only provide data at cm to m resolution, and cannot meet the need for OAI studies. It is necessary to improve the observation resolution for OAI layers. The temperature observation at the OAI layers with 0.6mm resolution (using the Buoyant Equipment for Skin Temperature-BEST) show that there is a strong OAI thermocline, which is just several centimeters thick on the top of ocean  with up to 5k temperature difference. The strong temperature difference in the OAI thermocline will influence exchange processes and likely impact on microbial ecosystems and their functioning. This discussion session will provide a forum for scientists and technique experts to exchange ideas on promoting the high resolution measurement for the OAI layers, including new instrument development, high resolution measurement of physical, chemical and biological parameters, and data analysis.

  • Session: SOLAS Science & Society: achievements, present status & future possibilities
    Co-conveners: E. van Doorn and C. Marandino
    Room: 3

    SOLAS has grown in recent years to include more disciplines as well as a diversity of stakeholders. It has recognised that greater efforts are needed to increase interaction between natural scientists and social scientists – especially in the light of anthropogenic influence on the ocean-atmosphere system. At the last Open Science Conference, we organised a discussion session to probe the interest in this topic. Multiple workshops have followed, focusing on bridging the gap between SOLAS science and the societal realm. SOLAS’ current Science Plan contains a cross-cutting theme on science and society. Three main topics are currently being worked on under this umbrella: valuing carbon in the ocean, air-sea interaction and policy, and ship emissions. In this discussion session, we would like to outline how SOLAS scientists can participate in deepening and widening this range of topics.

  • Session: Enhanced air-sea interaction in the emerging Marginal Ice Zone
    P. Hwang and T. Toyota
    Room: 4

    Multi-decadal observations have shown significant reductions in the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice. Thinner sea ice promotes less snow accumulation on sea ice due to the loss of thicker multiyear ice and later freeze-up dates. Declining sea ice extent promotes more dynamic sea ice conditions in the emerging Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ). The expanding MIZ allows an intensification of the momentum and heat exchange between atmosphere and ocean, generates stronger ocean surface waves and enhances solar warming in the upper ocean. By contrast, intense sea ice melt in the MIZ forms a fresher surface layer and subdues the exchanges of momentum and heat between the ocean surface and the deep ocean. How do these contrasting factors affect air-sea interactions in the future Arctic Ocean? 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019
  • Session: Atmospheric deposition of iron, ocean biogeochemistry and marine emission of biological aerosols
    Co-conveners: A. Ito, W. Landing, and D. Hamilton
    2nd meeting venue

    Atmospheric deposition of aerosols to the ocean has been suggested to modulate marine primary productivity. Marine organic material has been shown to be an important source of ice-nucleating particles (INP) in high-latitude environments, and hence impacts the atmospheric energy balance. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of atmospheric inputs of labile iron (Fe) from natural and anthropogenic sources to the surface oceans. However, there are still large uncertainties regarding the relative importance of different sources of aerosols, the effects of atmospheric aerosol deposition on bioavailable Fe concentrations in the ocean and on the marine organic material and its role as INP. The discussion in this session focuses on problems and challenges in laboratory experiments and field measurements to improve the representations of trace metal biogeochemistry in atmosphere and ocean models, in particular, the two-way movement of aerosol material across the boundary between the atmosphere and ocean.

  • Session: Oceanic greenhouse gases: The present situation and future initiatives
    Co-conveners: P. Suntharalingam, G. Zhang, and A. Koertzinger
    Room: 3

    Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the most significant long lived greenhouse gases (GHGs) after water vapour. Physical and biogeochemical processes in the surface ocean play an important role in controlling the fluxes of these gases between the ocean and atmosphere. This session aims to encourage discussions about pertinent and unresolved issues relating to oceanic GHGs. For example, what are the sensitivities of the governing source and sink processes to climate and environmental change? How will GHG cycling and air-sea fluxes be influenced by factors such as increasing seawater temperatures, decreasing oxygen concentrations, ocean acidification and increasing nutrient loading? How reliably can we predict future oceanic fluxes of GHGs in in a changing earth system? We will also highlight the work of ongoing GHG related programs and initiatives such as the Global Carbon Project‘s GHG Budget syntheses, and the newly formed Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Integrated Ocean Carbon Research Working Group. This session aims to provide an overview of ongoing GHG-related activities, to highlight directions for future relevant research, and to encourage the development of new initiatives and collaborations. Participants are encouraged to contribute to this session by providing the organisers with short summaries (e.g., 1 slide) of their ongoing and planned GHG research activities.

  • Session: WHAT IS Ocean KAN?
    Co-conveners: M. Uematsu, A. Zivian, and K. Slavik
    Room: 4

    The importance of protecting the ocean is recognized in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources (LIFE BELOW WATER)”, proclaimed by the United Nations. The goal recognizes several threats to the ocean including climate change, acidification, deoxygenation, and pollution, which are closely related to SOLAS research topics. In addition, SOLAS, as a Global Research Project under Future Earth, will play a critical role in the upcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030). The Ocean Knowledge-Action Network (KAN), co-sponsored by Future Earth, WCRP, SCOR, and IOC, is a network of networks. Its mission is to bridge disciplines and draw experts together to seek action-focused solutions for challenges that require a multi-sectoral approach, international cooperation and transdisciplinary research. In that role, it can work with SOLAS to contribute directly to global sustainability efforts, in particular the SDGs, the UNFCCC, and the Decade of Ocean Science. This session will explore and outline ways that SOLAS and the Ocean KAN can work together to amplify SOLAS’s work and to connect it to the broader ocean, climate, and sustainable development communities to improve the knowledge, governance, and action needed to ensure healthy, functional oceans.
 last modified: April 2019