-Contributed by Martin Vancoppenolle, Jacqueline Stefels, Lisa Miller and Bruno Delille
BEPSII stands for “Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at the Sea Ice Interfaces”. Behind this great acronym hides a group of researchers in sea ice biogeochemistry that started in 2010 and was formalized into a Scientific Committee on Oceanic research (SCOR) working group in 2012. BEPSII serves as a unique forum to put this community of both modellers and field scientists together, whereas nothing was existing before. BEPSII also actually does things and has three tasks group, formalizing our actions: 1) improve observation methods, 2) build large-scale databases and 3) upscale processes with models.
As usual, good things come to an end, and the SCOR funding source is expected to dry out in 2016. The activities of the group are not completed, though. Besides, the forum is seen by many as pretty useful. Therefore, means to maintain BEPSII are being sought and under the sun of Tuscany in March 2015, the idea of a joint Surface Ocean Law Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)-CliC forum has emerged as a potentially good basis for future activities. SOLAS for biogeochemistry. And CliC for sea ice.
The format and the terms of reference of this future thing are still to be discussed and conceived by the community, which was the goal of a discussion session at the SOLAS conference in Kiel, on September 8, 2015. The attendance, slightly more than 30 people, welcomed the effort. Networking possibilities with other organizations were suggested. The extension from pure sea ice biogeochemistry to the pelagic sea ice zone and to upper trophic levels of ecosystems was also suggested as a worthwile evolution. In this respect, we will explore whether the Integrated Marion Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) is interested to become a third party.
Next steps for this fall are to formalize this into forum proposals, and we all look forward not only to benefit from CliC’s networking possibilities and expertise, but also to provide CliC with a new field of expertise.