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Animations

The Multimedia Gallery displays the best EUR-OCEANS visual material

Earth-thermal machine

The Earth is a thermal machine that receives energy from the sun. Over an annual cycle the Earth surface releases all these energy back into space. However, this reemission is not evenly distributed. The Equatorial regions receive more heat than they release, whilst in the Polar Regions the situation is reversed. Similar to essential heating system, heat that accumulates in the lower latitudes around the Equator moves towards the North Atlantic carried by surface oceanic currents and winds.

Ocean conveyor belt

The Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift are part of a giant ocean circulation pattern. They move huge amounts of water representing several dozen times the flow rate of all the rivers in the world.
The flow of these water masses around the globe can take 1000 to 2000 years. It is often compared to a Conveyer belt where warm oceanic currents circulate the surface and cold currents move at depth.

Upwelling formation

The South Africa coastal waters have a particularly high level of productivity. Strong and generally seasonal winds in this region, combined with the topography of the seabed drag the warm surface waters away from the coast, thus causing the rise of cold nutrient-rich deep waters. This phenomenon is known as Upwelling.

Artificial iron enrichment experiment

Artificial Iron addition stimulates the photosynthetic activity of the algae and causes a spectacular capture of CO2. But this is not without consequences on the ecosystem. The composition of the phytoplankton community is affected, and zooplankton attracted by this algal bloom multiplies. Experiments show however, that only a small fraction of this newly produced organic matter is exported towards the deep to be sequested on long time scales.

Deep Ocean CO2 storage – part 1

Several technologies are necessary to be able to use the huge oceanic reservoir for storing CO2. First of all, the carbon dioxide must be captured where it's generated; at industrial sites fossil-fuel fired power stations or cement works. It must then be liquefied, transported and finally injected directly into the deep ocean. Although this may seem easy, it is a technological challenge and is expensive to carry out!

These options are still in the experimental phase and need to be evaluated through pilot studies and numerical modelling, before they might be utilised.

Deep Ocean CO2 storage – part 2

Several industrial companies are currently testing or carrying out projects to store CO2 in geological reservoirs. Problems are mainly related to the stability of storage and the absence of leakage.

Marine biological pump

The biological pump is a process that brings CO2 from the atmosphere into the deep ocean, via the algae activity (photosynthesis).
The tiny algae (phytoplankton) from the surface waters of the ocean capture CO2 for their growth. When they die, they fall down into the deep sea and bringing down carbon into the depths where it can be store for centuries.

Marine physical pump

The physical pump represents the process by which the CO2 dissolves in cold water which is sinking down into the deep sea. The cold oceans act as a sink for CO2, whereas the warm/tropical oceans are a source.

Studied systems

EUR-OCEANS Network of Excellence works on seven subsystems: the Artic Seas, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic, the North Atlantic Shelves, Southern Ocean and Coastly upwelling areas especially in the Eastern Atlantic - Europe and Africa.