Building a sustainable future for Canada, mitigating the harm of climate change and meeting our
carbon targets, requires continued investment in ocean research.
Oceans cover more than two thirds of Earth’s surface. They are vital regulators of global temperature and weather patterns. They are home to much of the planet’s biodiversity and biomass. And they are indispensable silos for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Our oceans are thus particularly vulnerable to climate change, but better understanding of the complex marine environment also holds the potential to revolutionize our approach to climate action.
In Atlantic Canada, the Ocean Frontier Institute—a partnership led by Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Prince Edward Island—is leading the way in the innovative ocean research that will guide Canada’s path to achieving our nation’s ambitious climate goals.
Founded in 2016, the Ocean Frontier Institute’s mandate is to conduct research that advances policy decisions and leads to strategic and effective solutions applicable both locally and globally. Ocean Frontier Institute research projects like the Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump are exploring the mechanisms and systems behind the ocean’s incredible ability to regulate the planet’s climate through the storage of enormous amounts of heat and carbon. Without these processes, environmental carbon dioxide concentrations would be nearly double what they are today.
Simultaneously, initiatives like the BEcoME seafloor ecosystem mapping project are working, in collaboration with Indigenous groups, to expand our understanding of how climate change could impact vulnerable marine life. As goes the ocean, so go we all. The climate crisis puts the ocean at risk, but the ocean can equally be a critical resource in our search for sustainability and resilience. Only research can fully unlock that potential.
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