The first Triatlas summer school on ocean, climate and marine ecosystem will be held at University of Cape Town from Tuesday 14 of January to Tuesday 21 of January 2020 and locally organized by the Nansen Tutu Center.

Gaps in our understanding of marine ecosystems and their future changes pose a major challenge for the sustainable management of human activities relying on these. The Atlantic is the world’s second largest ocean and all Atlantic nations depend heavily on its ecosystems for providing relevant services such as food, health, technology, transport, recreation and climate regulation. More than ever do we need to assess the current status of marine ecosystems and increase research on understanding and modelling climatic and human activity impacts on these, to be able to understand, predict and adapt to ecosystem changes. Only through cooperation among the Atlantic nations and across the different fields of research can we achieve this. Thus, with a focus on the Tropical and South Atlantic marine ecosystems , this summer school aims to mix students and lecturers from Europe, Africa and South America and from different fields of research.

Objectives: The impacts of global warming, fisheries, and pollution are threatening marine ecosystems all around the World. It is thus crucial to improve understanding of these impacts and to develop the capacity to predict future changes in the marine ecosystem to inform the sustainable management of human activities. The aim of this joint summer school and workshop is to initiate new interdisciplinary research needed to solve these issues for the Atlantic.

Format: Morning overview lectures will provide a common background on observations, theory, analysis and modelling techniques. Afternoon group work will provide practical introduction to interdisciplinary research. We will have around five groups comprising participants with expertise from the fields of oceanography, climate and marine ecosystems research, and with a mix of early career, PhD and masters students. Participants will have an opportunity to briefly introduce their own research topic on day#1, so that participants can get an idea of the basis of interdisciplinary group work. The groups will be challenged to explain observed marine ecosystem changes and to discuss how they may change in the future, based on analysis of observations, conceptual understanding, and simple modelling studies, and available climate change and prediction experiments. On the last day, participants will present the group projects, and we will have a group discussion on what you have learned and ways forward.

Request: (1) Please prepare to introduce yourselves on day 1 with a short 5 min presentation (2 slides maximum), based on your PDF provided for the website. (2) Please bring along observational data to be analyzed in the group work. Of particular interest are time series from marine ecosystems you are working in and want to understand during the course of your study. If you don't bring any along, we will provide some from published literature but it is always more exciting to work on your own projects.

Concrete outcomes: We envisage that these activities will continue after the workshop. To help foster this interaction we will encourage participants to collaboratively prepare a peer-reviewed publication synthesizing the challenges and priorities in this research field for the Atlantic.

Nansen Tutu Center summer school

Sea surface temperature and altimetry derived current showing the warm and swift Agulhas Current and the cold benguela upwelling system (courtesy M Krug)