NACO - Project description

1. Vision and scientific goals

The vision of the Norwegian Atlantic Current Observatory is to bridge existing and new homogeneous single point time series of climate and environmental variability in the pathway from the Atlantic to the Arctic with forward-looking modern and efficient methods for continuous observations in larger areas. A major challenge in this work is to establish within a limited time period novel methods which demonstrably provide geographic coverage of the entire Atlantic domain from the Norwegian shelf to the Polar Front, and can also provide continuity from the existing 60 year single point time series of deep ocean hydrography and the decadal scale time series of currents from moored current meters in the area.

Impact on the international research agenda occurs through provision of cross-validated and quality controlled long time series underpinning models for interannual climate variability predictions as well as centennial time scale climate change scenario development. It will also occur through development of proven technology for monitoring, suitable for combination with satellite technology and multidisciplinary sea and seafloor observatories in the future. International cooperation is inherent in the activity both at present and in the future implementation. The research infrastructure provides means for Norwegian scientists to contribute to the international research frontier in oceanography and climate science and underpin global research programmes.

Expected outcome in research and innovation:
Material for research on climate variability and change and the Atlantic influence on the climate of the Arctic are made available for the national and international research community. Innovative development and combination of technologies for multi-parameter measurements on new platforms and for analysis of space-time variability will be an expected outcome. The research infrastructure provides science projects with tools for obtaining a new type of measurements and stimulate topical process-oriented projects as well as participation in large internationally coordinated programmes.