Coinciding with the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference, the next generation of oceanographers will receive training in the skills required to investigate ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions. Twenty-five international post-graduate scholars selected from a total of 212 applicants will be departing from Bremerhaven, Germany on 12th November, heading south along the west African coast to complete the transect in Cape Town, South Africa on 12th December. Known as the North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT), the programme is a joint cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), the Nippon Foundation (NF) and the European Commission-funded project AtlantOS.

The research vessel “Polarstern” will be the platform on which the young scientists will be learning ship-board methods for sampling and analysing waters ranging from the shallow shelf waters of the North Sea through the deep waters of the Canary Islands and the highly productive waters of the upwelling areas off the coast of Namibia. During the transit, postgraduate students will be trained in the principles of oceanographic and atmospheric interactions and their impacts on climate. The oceanographic observations that will be made will acquire further data contributing to the understanding of climate processes. These observations are pertinent to the Paris Agreement which has been ratified by enough countries that produce a significant proportion of the world’s greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force. The Paris Agreement takes effect today, 4 November 2016 ahead of the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference.

POGO and its capacity building partner the Nippon  Foundation is committed to furthering ocean observing capacity in the oceans and together will be sponsoring 11 of the scholars, all of whom are from developing countries. Prof. Karen Wiltshire, Chair of POGO and Deputy Director of AWI commented: “In the context of a rapidly changing climate, it is imperative that we have a pool of experts in oceanography in the generations to come. The oceans are the lifeline to our planet and it is essential make the measurements to show how human activities impact on the oceans and the climate to be able to advise on how to minimise and reduce these effects.”

FS Polarstern auf dem Weg zur Neumayer-Station III in die Antarktis
FS Polarstern auf dem Weg zur Neumayer-Station III in die Antarktis

Image Credit: The Research Vessel Polarstern ©Folke Mehrtens/Alfred-Wegener-Institut

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