Global change from anthropogenic forcing will have significant impacts at regional and coastal scales on marine systems and dependent socioeconomic systems and ecosystem services. A capacity to understand and predict these impacts on regional seas and coasts is essential for developing robust strategies for adaptation and mitigation and therefore for the EUs fulfilment of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Traditionally, projections of climate and ocean change have been delivered at global or basin scales using Earth System Models. However, there is increasing recognition that such models may not be able to provide the necessary resolution to deliver the required accuracy in climate projections. CE2COAST is thus designed to provide improved scientific understanding and more realistic/accurate local projections of ocean service pressures for regional seas and coastal areas on timescales of near-term to end-of-century climate change.
Importantly, the project adopts a co-production approach, incorporating stakeholder input and local observations into climate science that can provide improved and better-focused knowledge and management of ocean pressures and services at appropriate scales in European seas, and facilitate scientific dissemination.
At the core of the project is the coordinated assemblage and analysis of observational and modelling data to deliver state, trends and variability of pressures on ocean services resulting from ocean and coastal climate and biogeochemical change at the European and global scale.
The project has undertaken multiple stakeholder meetings incorporating local, national and international priorities for targeted climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. These stakeholder discussions have motivated the CE2COAST observational strategy and prioritized regions for model development and analysis.
New observations have been integrated with historical datasets and analysed to identify trends in key coastal stressors. At the co-agreed study sites, there are significant changes underway including ocean warming, ocean acidification and coastal darkening. As hypothesized by the project, the degree of change is very regional. These observational datasets are also now being used to determine the skill of Earth System and regional models. In anticipation of the final modelling results, research is underway to identify likely response of site-specific organisms, ecosystems and other services to single and multiple stressors. These are also site and system specific and are being developed through a combination of coastal observations, experimental results and expert opinions.
The project is being promoted, following the completion of the communication strategy, through the website (ce2coast.com), Twitter (@JPI_CE2COAST) and through scientific and policymaker workshops.
At the core of the project is the coordinated assemblage and analysis of observational and modelling data to deliver state, trends and variability of pressures on ocean services resulting from ocean and coastal climate and biogeochemical change at the European and global scale. The primary novelty of CE2COAST will be an observation-driven synthesis of statistical and dynamical downscaling methodology to provide better process resolution and system representations that are tailored to regional/coastal domains and their associated pressures/services. Key novelties include an ambition to evaluate the capacity of observations, earth system and regional models to capture trends in statistical variability/extreme events as well as mean states/fluxes, the use of state-of-the-art bias correction techniques for both ESMs and downscaling models, and a co-production approach that attempts to enhance scientific output and relevance through the project-long incorporation of stakeholder input and local observations . The proof-of-concept approach, where the sensitivity of ocean service pressure projections to scaling, will enable Europe to prioritise research efforts towards delivering crucial new science-based knowledge of high relevance for adaption, protection and investment in bioeconomies.