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The publication in September 2019 of the Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) have unequivocally documented the dramatic changes occurring in all the ocean components and recognized the critical role of the ocean in the climate system. ...

The publication in September 2019 of the Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) have unequivocally documented the dramatic changes occurring in all the ocean components and recognized the critical role of the ocean in the climate system. The declaration of the U.N. Ocean Decade, to be held from 2021 to 2030, is the effect of the emergence of the important role the ocean plays in the climate system. In addition, the state of the ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere are key elements of a sustainable future as reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also necessary to get a deeper understanding of the role of the ocean in the multi-scale dynamics of the climate system to enhance the skill of climate prediction.
The ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere are continuously interacting with other components of the climate system, primarily the atmosphere, through global exchange of water, energy, and carbon. The ocean has a larger inertia and heat capacity than the other components of the Earth system and its responses to human-induced greenhouse gas emissions have implications on the climate system on time scales from decades to millennia. Further understanding in the mechanism of uptake and redistribution of natural and anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) (ocean carbon sink) and heat by the ocean will improve the understanding and quantification of the ocean uptake and the induced changes in its physical (e.g. reduced ventilation, increased stratification, etc.) and ecosystem (e.g. acidification, deoxygenation) state. In addition, understanding of the marine biosphere variability is critical for its sustainability and to support the blue economy of the coastal countries- e.g. fisheries, tourism, and transport.
Knowledge of ocean and marine ecosystem variability is crucial for understanding the evolution of our climate system and better predict its future. However, the sparseness and inhomogeneous distribution of observations make this challenging, so that one merely relies on reanalyses or objectives analyses to provides 4-dimensional historical reconstructions of the past. Reanalyses are produced by using data assimilation to provide the best-possible state estimate based on observations, a dynamical model, and statistical information. Objective analyses are on the contrary solely based on observations and statistical information. Nowadays reconstructions are typically constructed based on observation of Sea Surface Temperature, altimetry, hydrographic profiles, Sea Ice fraction (recently sea ice thickness), and Ocean Colour.
With our Research Topic we want to contribute to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by i) enhancing the knowledge of the historical change of the ocean, sea ice, and biogeochemistry ii) better assess the uncertainty of such reconstruction (i.e. reliability, spurious drift and discontinuities caused by the evolution of the observation network iii) disentangle natural versus anthropogenically driven variability. A secondary objective is to allow for a robust assessment of the accuracy and reliability of available products, including the atmospheric products used to force the ocean reconstructions and to increase their confidence within the community. This would provide a foundation for their use in ecosystem-based management, policy advice to support mitigations, adaptations strategies and identify the pathways towards a sustainable ocean
This Research Topic focuses on the following Key Topics:
- Production of state-of-the-art reanalyses and observation-based products
- Methods for reanalyses: coupling, bias-correction strategies, optimization of sparse observational networks, etc.
Quality assessment
- General and fit-for-purpose assessment and validation
- Intercomparison of reconstruction products
Earth’s climate-oriented applications (including cryosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere)
- Improving our understanding of the multi-time scale interaction of the climate system
- Regional studies and/or downscaling of global products
- Budget studies under anthropogenic stress (global and regional)
Climate reconstructions as part of climate services: downstream applications and end-users
- Coupling with dispersion models (e.g. plastics, etc.)
- Use of reanalyses in the industrial sectors (e.g. energy, etc.)

Keywords: Climate Reconstructions, Ocean cryosphere and biosphere in the Earth System, Downstream applications

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