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Motivation & Objectives



  • Investigation and evaluation of the sensitivity and resilience of different carbon stores in the North and Baltic Seas
  • Prediction of the future development of carbon stores under different scenarios of climate change and anthropogenic changes
  • Identification of mechanisms for storing carbon in the oceans Mechanisms should be identified with the help of the mechanistic and quantitative understanding of the processes involved in carbon storage and their vulnerability and serve as ways to negative CO2 emissions
  • Support the decision-making of regulatory and government bodies concerned with mitigating climate change Support through the provision of instruments with which scientific knowledge can be translated into management options
  • The inhalation of organic material under aerobic conditions The inhalation of organic material (OM) under aerobic conditions leads to an increase in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The respiration of autochthonous OM leads to a neutral carbon balance for the coastal ocean, while the respiration of allochthonous OM leads to net CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. These typically occur on short, daily to weekly time scales with no carbon depletion from the atmosphere, unless the released CO2 is exported to deeper ocean layers.
  • Anaerobic metabolic conditions Since most of the metabolic activities take place in shallow sediments, the oxygen is quickly consumed, so that the anaerobic metabolic activities have the appropriate sequence and sequence of terminal electron receptors such as NO3-, Fe3+/Mn4+, SO42-. In such cases, alkalinity is released parallel to DIC, which enables both a gross increase in the DIC pool and a net uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. When upward diffusing methane (CH4) is oxidized near the sediment-water interface, the metabolic pathway controls the relative formation of TA vs. DIC. These metabolic processes are usually seasonally controlled (by primary production), the release of alkalinity is usually irreversible.
  • Refractory dissolved organic carbon Refractory dissolved organic carbon arises as a by-product of primary production and other (primary) metabolic activities in coastal and shelf seas. This can be exported to the open ocean. Carbon storage occurs on time scales ranging from hundreds to thousands of years.
  • Long-term burial of sunken particulate organic material in sediments This results in a net withdrawal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Marine carbonates (biogenic and autigenic) as mineral stores would also fall into this category. Permanent burial enables sequestered carbon to be stored over geological time periods.
 Key questionsAffiliation to work package
F1How do changes in terrestrial nutrient inputs change the importance of the sequential redox pathways in coastal and near-shore sediments, in absolute and relative terms, in relation to OM? What is the consequence for the respective TA formation as carbon storage?2, 3
F2How does the balance between terrestrial and oceanic nutrient inputs develop under conditions of the climate and anthropogenic changes?1
F3How do sea level rise and changes in wind patterns change the production and respiration of OM and the respective carbon storage pathways (e.g. SO4 = and NO3 reduction)?1, 3
F4How does OM quality affect the efficiency and pathways of respiratory activities, carbonate dissolution and carbon storage through TA and authigenic carbonate formation?1, 2
F5How does the benthic sulfur cycle affect DOM sulfurization and the formation and stability of refractory dissolved organic matter (RDOM) as carbon storages?1, 2, 3
F6How do reactive processes between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea affect carbon storage in the open North Sea?1, 2, 3
F7How do processes of climate change affect the export of TA and RDOM to the North Atlantic and their exchange between the Baltic and North Sea?1, 3
F8How do changed pH and TA conditions affect the mobilization of trace elements (e.g. Cu2 +), and what is the catalytic effect on carbon metabolism and storage?2, 3
F9Which internal or external sources can explain the observed TA increase in the Baltic Sea and how sensitive are these sources to climate and anthropogenic changes?1, 2, 3
F10Which information is relevant for which decision-makers at which level in a multi-level governance system?4
F11What formats can be used to provide this information to be effective?4
F12What are the relevant regional, European and international legal frameworks for the treatment or regulation of marine carbon storage? Can these be improved or changed in light of the COP21 requirements? Are there ways of balancing the seemingly contradicting aspects of SDGs # 2, # 13 and # 14?4

CARBOSTORE lies in the area of ​​tension between three relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations - SDG # 2, SDG # 13 and SDG # 14. The various and sometimes contradicting target descriptions of the SDGs are conscientiously examined and embedded in the project (especially in WP 4), at the end of which there is practical knowledge that enables a balanced and sustainable joint implementation of the three goals.

SDG #2 - Zero Hunger

Within CARBOSTORE, the SDG “Zero Hunger” plays an important role with regards to increasing food needs and related usage the coastal environment for aquaculture to meet those needs. Moreover, there are impacts of agriculture on the marine environment through river discharge and nutrient input into the oceans. The aims of this SDG encompass the implementation of resilient agricultural systems, the maintenance of ecosystems as well as strategies for climate change adaptation.

SDG #13 - Climate action

CARBOSTORE addresses all the goals of the SDG “Climate Action”. In addition to adapting to the effects of climate change, strengthening resilience and reducing effects are central components. In addition, the work with stakeholders and decision-makers within CARBOSTORE is aimed at integrating climate change measures into national policies. To this end, the goals of SDG # 13 must be brought into line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, as the latter requires increased bioenergy production (through the inevitable use of fertilizers), which in turn leads to eutrophication, oxygen depletion and land use problems.

SDG #14 - Life below water

The following aims of the SDG “Life below water” are addressed within CARBOSTORE: reduction of nutrient pollution, sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems (e.g. resilience) as well as addressing the impacts of ocean acidification.