Integrated Assessment of Atlantic Marine Ecosystems in Space and Time (iAtlantic)
The importance of the Atlantic to the citizens, prosperity, human health, adaptation to climatic and environmental change and security of the nations that share the resource is now well-known (Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, 2013). To holistically assess the status of Atlantic ecosystems at various temporal and spatial scales, scientists need to know more about how they are connected and distributed, what functions they perform and how stable they have been over time. All this requires the collection of new data, but also innovative approaches so that observations taken at local and regional levels can be scaled up to address questions at ocean basin scale.
The UCC component of this project aims to map and acquire allogenic, environmental and benthic data from segments of the NE Atlantic that will feed into the wider project. UCC will assist in the development of newer mapping and ocean observing capabilities which will provide accurate and detailed insights into ocean circulation in the past, present and future at a range of spatial and temporal scales. The latest marine robotics and imaging technology will be used to develop predictive mapping tools to advance understanding of deep-sea habitat distribution across the ocean. Results from the combined findings will allow scientists to identify key drivers of ecosystem change and determine which areas of the Atlantic ocean are most vulnerable to the effects of sustained, increasing and multiple pressures.