U.S. JGOFS Synthesis and Modeling Project

Status and Future Directions

(updated 28 July 2000)


As of July 2000, the US JGOFS Synthesis and Modeling Project comprises 50 research projects (and some 100 Principal Investigators) funded by

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean-Atmosphere Carbon Exchange Study (NOAA - OACES)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • These projects comprise a broad spectrum of research designed to utilize existing JGOFS data sets (and others) and include both data synthesis and modeling at local, regional and global scales. We anticipate that additional funding for the Synthesis and Modeling Project will be made available in the fiscal year 2001, and have identified important areas for future research below.

    Future Directions

    As the U.S. JGOFS Synthesis and Modeling Project nears completion, the foci for the program are being refined to highlight emerging new scientific directions as well as remaining unresolved elements of the original implementation plan. To address the overall objectives of the project, a major emphasis for this funding round will be on the global-scale ocean carbon cycle. Synthesis and modeling efforts that integrate across individual data sets, processes, and geographic regimes and that effectively combine field data sets and regional- to global-scale models are encouraged.

    Careful attention must be devoted to completing the main SMP objectives within the limited amount of time and resources remaining.  In particular, the SMP strives to encapsulate the improved understanding gained from the JGOFS field programs into a series of validated regional and global ocean carbon cycle models. The SMP PIs and Working Groups have identified several community model development and data-based evaluation activities along this line including food web synthesis/modeling, regional 1-D model test-beds, and global coupled ecosystem/biogeochemistry modeling.  Experience shows that these integrative, community efforts will not be accomplished without explicit multi-investigator funding and are crucial for the overall JGOFS synthesis of the ocean carbon cycle. Highest priority, therefore, should be given to such system level synthesis/modeling projects.  The following topics have also been identified as areas of importance:

    1. Development, evaluation and incorporation of mechanistically based, biological models for global carbon cycle simulations.
    2. Data based evaluation of coupled global physical/biogeochemical models.
    3. Response of ocean biogeochemistry to past and future climate change
    4. Spatial and temporal extrapolation of biogeochemical flux estimates (e.g. export production) from local to basin and global scales.
    5. Synthesis and modeling studies of the Arabian Sea, Southern Ocean, North Atlantic, ocean margins (with respect to role in basin to global-scale carbon cycle), and the set of U.S. and international time-series stations data.
    6. Primary production, new production, export production and elemental composition (both particulate and dissolved).
    7. Biogeochemical effects of trace metal cycling.
    8. Controls and distributions of calcium carbonate and silicate production, transport and remineralization.
    9. Mechanisms and rates of mid to deep water particle flux and remineralization as well as sediment diagenesis.
    10. Applications of remote sensing data to the ocean carbon cycle.