Project overview

Susan Leadbetter (left) and Rhiannon Mather (right) taking samples of water on the RRS Charles Darwin.
Susan Leadbetter (left) and Rhiannon Mather (right) taking samples of water on the RRS Charles Darwin. ©

The 36 North programme aims to investigate and understand the influences on global climate regulation, with a focus on the current role of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre — a large, permanent, circular rotation of surface ocean water.

This project brings together scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), the University of Liverpool, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The main aims include

  • To examine how nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon bugets are closed.
  • To examine how nutrient and carbon budgets are controlled.
  • To assess the heat flux across the 36N section (and poleward using World Climate Circulation Experiment (WOCE) data).

This will be achieved by

  • A detailed, hydrographic survey along 36N with a complete biogeochemical analysis of data collected during RRS Charles Darwin cruise 1 May – 15 June 2005 (CD171).
  • The development and application of inverse and coupled biogeochemical, isopycnic circulation models.
  • Comparison with historical data collected by RRS Discovery during 4 April – 10 May 2004 (D279).
  • Comparison with three additional North Atlantic cruises undertaken in 2004/2005, funded under the Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) and Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programmes.

The project will run from 1 October 2004 to 30 September 2008 and is funded by a Natural Environment Research Council consortium grant (NER/O/S/2003/00628).

BODC is responsible for the long-term stewardship of the data resulting from the project. The data will be stored in our databases and will eventually become a part of a pool of data available to anyone interested in oceanographic research.

36 North