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Lecture on "Coastal Oceans, CO2 and Climate - Example: the North Sea"
DateandTime: 2018-05-24 10:02:13

Speaker: Helmuth Thomas, Professor, Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Date: May 25, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: E113, Zhensheng Academy, Qingdao Campus

Sponsor: School of Information Science and Engineering


Coastal and marine systems are major reservoirs in Earth' carbon cycle, storing many the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. As such they provide an essential service in maintaining a clement climate on Earth. Coastal systems such as mangroves and salt marshes have been reduced in area by as much as 90% through coastal development in the last century, reducing their capacity to take up atmospheric CO2. As humans' activities further perturb the Earth System through CO2 emissions and resulting temperature rise, offshore shelf and open ocean marine systems' capacity to sequester CO2 may be increasingly impacted. Whilst the physical uptake of CO2 by the ocean,driven by thermodynamics as the atmospheric concentration increases will continue in a predictable (albeit non-linear) manner, the response of key biological processes in the various mechanisms which export carbon from the atmosphere to shelf sediments and the deep ocean are difficult to predict, given the complexity of the system. The potential denudation of these carbon-removing processes has potential to significantly hamper the effort to reduce atmospheric CO2 in order to keep within the 1.5 degrees of warming agreed in the Paris convention. The considerations with respect to the Paris agreement will be preceded by a short overview about recent research activities, establishing the required scientific foundation.


Prof. Dr. Helmuth Thomas is Full Professor and former Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, Canada since October, 2004. His major achievements include realisation of major carbon cycle studies in the North Sea, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Scotian Shelf, CO2 system research in the Baltic Sea and first ever assessment of its CO2 uptake and understanding of the temporal CO2 system variability in the North Atlantic and North Sea.He has published 78 in peer reviewed journals/books (3 Science, 1 Nature Scientific Reports, etc).

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Edited by: Xing Chenyang, Song Yijun

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