Partner universities of Joint-CRM co-organized an international workshop on climate change and ocean carbon

When Xiamen University (XMU) was celebrating its 90th anniversary, the international workshop of Climate Change and Ocean Carbon-Field Observation, Remote Sensing and Modeling was held April 3 to 6 at the Zeng Cheng Kui Building. Joint-CRM co-organized the workshop, and University of Delaware sent a delegation to commemorate the great event of XMU. This further developed a growing relationship between the institutions.

Organized by the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), and China National Basic Research Program (“973” Program) “Carbon cycling in China Seas-budget, controls and ocean acidification (CHOICE-C project)”, the workshop (http://mel.xmu.edu.cn/conference2011/General_Information.asp) brought together 150 scientists from around the world. It was co-sponsored by Xiamen University College of Oceanography and Environmental Science (COE), the Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management (Joint-CRM), and International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).

“While climate change is becoming one of the most pressing environmental issues worldwide, as a citizen living in a beautiful coastal city, I can feel the importance of studying the ocean and climate. I am very impressed by the gathering of all these top scientists here in Xiamen.” Ying Zhang, the Vice President of Xiamen University, said in his address at the workshop.

"Studying linkages between the ocean and climate is one of the most pressing topics for researchers at both CEOE and XMU," CEOE Dean Nancy Targett explained. "We were proud to come together to shape future global research on this topic and celebrate our partner institution’s 90th anniversary at the same time.

"In addition to Targett, CEOE faculty members Xiao-Hai Yan and George Luther and graduate students Autumn Kidwell and Zhaoyun Chen participated in the workshop and anniversary celebrations.

This workshop is a forward step from the successfully organized international workshops of OCCOS (Dec, 2008) and CHOICE-C (Mar, 2009). Based on the data obtained from field observation, remote sensing and modeling, frontier scientific issues on climate change and ocean carbon cycle were interpreted to provide better understanding of the earth system.Focusing on ocean phenomena such as ocean fronts, warm pool, carbon flux, hydrological cycle, ocean circulation and numerical simulation, the first two-day (OCCOS&CHOICE-C) workshop explored the role ocean plays in global climate change. Discussions were raised about the impact of typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and other physical and biogeochemical coupling process on climate change and their possible far-reaching significance. Proposals on data sharing in marine science and technology and planning for marine and climate research blueprint were also among the major topics of the discussion. On the other hand, at the last two-day (CHOICE-C) workshop, air-sea carbon dioxide exchange, biological pumping, ocean acidification, coastal dynamics, carbon transportation and modeling were hot issues. Progress in marine carbon cycle research in China Seas was reported and group discussions were held to bring forward the development proposals and planning for research. The workshop concluded that more attention should be paid to the spatial- temporal baseline and variation, field observation, integrating ocean remote sensing and numerical modeling, and to data sharing.“Participants have said that both the scientific discussion and conference organization were impressive. They hoped to maintain contacts with each other and looked forward to better cooperation in the future. The workshop was very successful, I think.” said one of the conveners, Prof. Xiao-Hai Yan of CEOE, also the Presidential Award (US) winner and guest professor of Xiamen University. “So many world leading scholars in ocean and environmental science get together in Xiamen. The discussion in the workshop is multi- and interdisciplinary; and it’s good opportunity to gain more common ground for scholars from different fields. It also helps to promote and enhance academic exchange and cooperation of the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), Xiamen University.” In his view, the ocean and climate change is already a global hot topic; there should be more scientists, government agencies and the public to participate in. He believed that the workshop turned into a successful series, and could significantly impact the climate change research.

(Edited by Xiangbai Wu & Angela Liu)