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  • Details of sessions can be found below

Session 1: Ocean, weather and climate, science to the service of society

Convenors: Prof Johnny Johannessen and Dr Bjorn Backeberg

In recent years, the international strategic landscape for ocean, weather and climate research has shifted its focus towards the provisioning of high-value and actionable information in support of the sustainable economic growth in a changing climate. The ability to routinely provide timely and actionable information and data forms the basis for generating new knowledge relevant for management and policy. The capability to monitor, predict and understand ocean, weather and climate conditions in turn drive sustainable resource management, including water quality and pollution, as well as the development of renewable energy technologies such as exploiting wind and ocean energy. Since its inception, one of the core research foci of the Nansen-Tutu Centre has been the science underpinning our ability to provide accurate, high-value, actionable information. This session will include presentations on operational oceanography, real time ocean monitoring systems, weather and climate forecasting, early warning systems and climate services, supporting societal needs.

Session 2: Regional oceanography: Angola Benguela Agulhas Current systems

Convenors: Prof Juliet Hermes,  Prof Peter Brand, Prof Joke Lübbecke, Dr Pierrick Penven.

Boundary currents play an important role in the global ocean circulation transport of heat, salt oxygen and nutrients. The coasts around the southern African continent are bordered with one of the most productive Eastern boundary current system, the Angola Benguela Current system and one of the strongest Western boundary current, the greater Agulhas current system. This session will focus on the ocean current systems around Southern Africa, i.e. the Madagascar, Agulhas, Benguela, and Angola currents and the Mozambique Channel. Contributions that investigate their transport, sources, variability, coastal impact and responses to a changing climate from either an observational or modelling perspective are welcome. This also encompasses studies addressing connection between the Angola Benguela system and the tropical Atlantic Ocean as well as connections between the large-scale circulation of the Indian ocean, the East Madagascar current, the Agulhas Current and the Mozambique channel. Studies that compare with other eastern and western boundary currents and upwelling systems are also welcome.  



Session 3: Marine ecosystem and carbon cycle: change, variability and management

​Convenors:  Dr Annette Samuelsen,  Prof Peter Hagen, IMR, Norway. Dr Tarron Lamont.


Social and economic vulnerability, adaptation and resilience of Southern African countries fishing communities, especially in light of climate variability and change, are of key interest to managers and decision makers in these countries. To inform policy and be able to formulate relevant recommendations we need to understand the variability of the ecosystem bordering Africa as well as the ones the Southern Ocean. Those ecosystem have also a big impact on the CO2 cycle. It is important to integrate knowledge of key ecosystem processes driving its productivity and functioning with the human dimension, i.e. understand the impact of human activities on the ecosystem as well as the impact of changes on human well-being. A main objective of this session is to understand the effect of climate variability and change on small-scale fisheries and coastal communities and to derive an understanding of the effect of uncertainty in projections and possible implications for management. Disentangling environmental and anthropogenic pressures on pelagic fishes is essential, and in this context the analysis of changes in total biomass and spatial distribution of major food web components is relevant. Contributions combining natural and social sciences and economics related to fisheries and the marine environment are welcome.

Session 4:  Climate variability and change, meteorology and ocean atmosphere interaction.

Convenors: Prof Babadunde Abiodun, UCT, South Africa, Prof Mathieu Rouault, NTC, South Africa, Prof Noel Keenlyside, UiB, Norway, Prof Nils Gunnar Kvamstø, UiB, Norway.

The Ocean has a great impact on weather and climate of Southern Africa. The most severe droughts happen during El Nino. This gives predictability at the seasonal scale. Ocean Atmosphere interaction above the Agulhas Current have an impact on the rainfall and the surface wind field. Tropical cyclones affect the region. Surface wind drives regional current and upwelling. A better integration and parameterisation of ocean atmosphere in model will lead to better weather forecast. In turn sea surface temperature gradients can modify the wind field. This session will focus on the role of the ocean on Southern African weather and climate at all relevant scale as well as ubiquitous air sea interaction phenomenon relevant to our region. Impact of other Western Boundary current on weather and climate is also relevant as well as mechanisms linking major mode of climate variability such as ENSO and other part of the world.


Session 5: Southern Ocean

Convenors: Prof Isabelle Ansorge, Prof Marcello Vicchi.

This session will deal with Southern Ocean ocean and climate dynamics and biochemistry, observing and modelling sea ice, studies of the sub-antarctic Islands and related marine ecosystems.