01. Summary of the project

The CATARINA project proposes an innovative research to study the ocean perturbation and its consequences in response to the rise in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities. This issue will be thoroughly studied from different temporal scales: interannual to decadal variability in today climate and paleo changes (centennial, submillennial and millennial). The goal of the CATARINA project is to quantify the Meridional Overturning Circulation and water mass ventilation changes and their effect
on the changes in the anthropogenic carbon ocean uptake and storage capacity. The estimation of this variability is essential to evaluate the future scenarios of climate changes.

Other aim in CATARINA is to evaluate the effect of present CO2 emissions and past atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the production and preservation of CaCO3 in the North Atlantic as well as the potential impact of future ocean acidification in calcareous organisms (benthic foraminifera) by means of culture experiments. The objectives of the CATARINA project are organized in two main activities: i) Circulation and anthropogenic CO2, and ii) Past and recent acidification impacts. These activities offer complementary view of both the CO2 oceanic budget and the ocean acidification. The CATARINA project is part of a decadal experiment that started in 1997 and where the sampling along the A25 Greenland-Portugal hydrography/geochemistry section is repeated every two other years since 2002 within the OVIDE project. The CATARINA cruise will be carried out in June-July 2012. This cruise embraces the different activities, giving multidisciplinary consistency to this project.

This project also proposes innovative laboratory controlled experiments to study the effect of the seawater carbonate system on calcareous benthic foraminifera.