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SANCOOP-South Africa - Norway research co-operation on climate, the environment og clean energy

Seasonal to decadal Changes Affecting Marine Productivity: an Interdisciplinary investigation

Alternative title: Sesong til dekade variasjoner med innvirkning på marin produktivitet: En tverrfaglig analyse

Awarded: NOK 1.4 mill.

The primary aim of the multidisciplinary SCAMPI project was to identify and analyse patterns of seasonal to decadal variability in the southern African marine environments, ecosystems and living resources. The data sources and methods were based on available in-situ measurements and satellite observations together with simulation models and a variety of analysis and statistical tools. The simulations used both atmospheric and ocean physical and biological models to explore causes of changes and ways in which dominant processes at one scale might propagate to other scales. The project execution has been divided into three connected work packages and working groups: WP1: Influence of seasonal to decadal variability on fished marine resources and their predators where Joël Durant (UiO, Norway), and Lynne Shannon (UCT, South Africa) acted as Co-PIs. In addition Coleen Moloney, Hilkka Ndjaula and Yunne Shin were members. This group also included the PhD student Nandipha Twatwa, the MSc students Moagabo Ragoasha, Eirik Walle, and Fisokuhle Mbatha and the BSc honours students James de Haast Danielle Boyd. WP2: Testing ecosystem responses to variability and change where Bjørn Backeberg (UCT/CSIR, South Africa) and Annette Samuelsen (NERSC, Norway) acted as Co-PIs. In addition Marjolaine Krug, Coleen Moloney, Lynne Shannon, Anne Treasure, Anton Korosov and Jenny Veitch were members together with MSc student Khushboo Jhugroo. WP3: Environmental drivers, interactions, indicators and variability where Johnny A. Johannessen (NERSC, Norway) and Mathieu Rouault (UCT, South Africa) acted as Co-PIs. In addition Bjørn Backeberg, Marcello Vichi, Francois Counillon, Bastien Dieppois, Issufo Halo, Noel Keenlyside, Marjolaine Krug, Morten Hansen, Anton Korosov and Frank Shillington were members. This group also included Phd students Neil Malan, Laura Braby, Arielle Stela Nkwinkwa Njouodo and Rodrigue Anicet Imbol Koungue, MSc students Kyle Cooper, Daniel Schilperoort, Karen Fosse Sivertsen, Marc de Vos, Mark Hague and Tharone Rapeti and BSc students William Middleton and Caitlin Sole. New network and multidisciplinary research cooperation between Norway and South Africa have emerged and significantly strengthened. Altogether the SCAMPI project has supported 26 postdocs and students based at University of Cape Town (4 postdocs, 9 PhD students, 8 MSc students and 5 BSc Honours students). Of the 20 South African postdocs and students 5 were black while 14 of all the students were female. In addition, there were 8 international students from three African countries (Cameroon, Mauritius, Mozambique) and 2 Norwegian students, 1 from University of Bergen and 1 from University of Oslo. Nearly 40 exchange visits have taken place. 4 MSc dissertations have been completed (2 at UCT, 1 at UiO and 1 at UiB) and 2 more are expected at UCT later in 2017. In addition 1 BSc honours has been completed at UCT. Moreover, 3 additional PhDs emerging from the project are expected to be completed later in 2017 or in early 2018. The project achievements have resulted from tight collaborations within and between the three groups and corresponding work-packages. The involvement of postdocs, PhD, MSc and BSc honours students have had significant contributions to the results including (not exclusive): The shelf water conditions are sensitive to the nature of the initial meander perturbations along the Agulhas Current inshore front. The high non-linear and complex dynamics that are present in the Agulhas Current regime limit the ability to establish reliable indicators. The seasonal and shorter-term shifts in major fish-group conditions in the region may be identified in the timing of important events. The wind forcing used to drive ocean models and reanalysis may not properly account for the intense surface speed and temperature variations in the core of the Agulhas Current. Clusters derived from Principle Component Analyses can reliably be used to characterize regional features of the phytoplankton cycle and growth in the Southern Ocean. The warm waters in the Agulhas Current influence latent heat flux and local to regional precipitation. Anomalies in the wind stress forcing in the equatorial Atlantic explain most of the origin of warm and cold events along the west coast of Southern Africa all the way to the Benguela upwelling region. Positive correlation is found between deep-water Cape hake recruitment index and summer wind speed anomalies. Evidence suggests that it might be appropriate for ecosystem-based fisheries management to monitor and manage the temporal distribution of fishing effort in relation to breeding Cape gannets. Evidence suggests that changes in species dominance of anchovy and sardine were likely caused by changes in prey availability. The project has delivered 8 scientific papers published in peer review journals, 2 papers in review, 6 papers in preparation and 26 presentations at conferences and workshops.

The project aims to use available data and a variety of analysis and statistical tools to identify seasonal to decadal patterns of variability in the marine ecosystems off South Africa and how these change in time and space. It further aims to use atmosph eric, physical and biological models to complement these observations, testing hypothesis and causes of change and the ways in which processes impacted at one scale might propagate to other scales. The main focus of the project is on processes that occur on time scales of less than one year, which includes, for example, seasonal changes and changes associated with coastal upwelling events, transient eddies and filaments. These short-term processes influence primary and secondary production, and changes in the timing, frequency and intensity of these events over the medium- to long-term can cause shifts in the structure and functioning of the marine ecosystem. The project aims to predict the likely implications of such change for biodiversity and marine li ving resources. The project is designed as an interdisciplinary collaboration among partners at the University of Cape Town, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre in Bergen, the University of Bergen and the University of Oslo. The expertise associated with the project spans the disciplines of atmospheric science, physical oceanography and marine biology, with skill sets encompassing data acquisition (especially from satellites), data analysis, statistics and modelling. The project is divide d into three connected work packages, each of which covers at least two disciplines, and which are themselves linked through exchange of data and data products. Work package 1: Influence of seasonal to decadal variability on fished marine resources and t heir predators Work package 2: Testing ecosystem responses to variability and change Work package 3: Environmental drivers, interactions, indicators and variability

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SANCOOP-South Africa - Norway research co-operation on climate, the environment og clean energy

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