Put the ocean on the climate agenda

Oceans produce 50% of the oxygen we breathe and capture approximately 25% of CO2 emissions. On Earth, two billion people live within 100 km of the coast and one billion are directly dependent on ocean resources. Better understanding how the ocean helps regulate the climate is therefore fundamental and a major issue for future generations.
 

Scientific advances have enabled us better understand the role of oceans in climate regulation.

The data collected during the Tara Oceans expedition is a unique resource for the understanding of the ocean. The thousands of samples collected allowed a detailed mapping of plankton biodiversity to be established for the first time. In a way, we established a sort of genome of the seas thanks to this data!

This means that we can now study the interaction between micro-organisms that were previously unknown. More importantly, these results will help identify the impact of environmental conditions on this microscopic ecosystem.
Our latest scientific publications have shown that water temperature is a major factor in plankton distribution. Other researchers have also been able to show that acidification, i.e. lower water pH levels which also vary today due to CO₂ emissions, also influences plankton distribution. 
All of these results therefore contribute to modeling the evolution of marine biodiversity in future climate conditions and understanding a previously unknown world.

 

A platform to hear the voice of the Ocean

For Tara, it is essential to enable policy makers to better understand the ocean's role in climate regulation and convince them that higher the impact on the ocean the less it will be able to play this role.
A long time ago, we undertook to make sure the voice of the ocean was heard in discussions on the climate. We created, in co-operation with other organizations, the Ocean & Climate Platform which brings together approximately sixty partners. Together, we launched The Ocean's call for the Climate during World Oceans Day at UNESCO on June 8, 2015. In response, a first commitment of the French government will allow a day to be devoted to the ocean during COP21.

 

Tara, the ocean's Ambassador in Paris

During COP21, the “Tara-Ocean & Climate" Platform will be moored under the Pont Alexandre III on the Seine's banks.  We will be organizing debates, conferences, educational workshops, as well as discussions with NGOs and scientists next to the schooner to foster civil society's involvement in this issue. Among the scientists, Françoise Gaill from CNRS will gather around 30 researchers including Eric Karsenti, Scientific Director of Tara Oceans, and other members of our team. These will be strong words and Tara will be playing a catalytic role to ensure that all stakeholders work together to get the voice of the ocean heard at last!