The ocean is a key element in all the cycles of life on this planet, regulating the weather and climate, the concentration of gases in the atmosphere, the cycling of nutrients, and providing important food resources. A changing climate and growing human impact on the marine environment is a threat to the sustainability of ocean ecosystem services. Improving the scientific knowledge base of oceans and coastal processes is therefore a key factor in managing the human relationship with the ocean.

The Ocean Sciences programme catalyzes and coordinates oceanographic research addressing critical uncertainties for the management of marine environment and climate change, through three interactive lines of work:

  1. Oceans and Climate,
  2. Science for Ecosystems and Marine Environmental Protection, and
  3. Marine Science for Integrated Coastal Area Management. The programme has implemented activities focusing on climate research, climate change and ecosystems, Adaptation to Climate Change, marine biodiversity, harmful algal blooms, nutrients research, ocean acidification, ocean carbon, marine spatial planning, integrated coastal management, and ocean assessments.


  • Addressing Climate change and adaptation and mitigation in the coastal zones (including development of climate change scenarios for coastal zones)
  • Harmful Algal Bloom surveys
  • Implementation of Marine Spatial planning applications

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