GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
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Although they only cover just under two per cent of the surface area of the oceans, the large coastal upwelling areas on the eastern edges of the Pacific and the Atlantic are among the most biologically productive marine areas of all. They provide 20 per cent of the world's fishery yields and are thus of enormous importance for the neighbouring countries as well as for the entire world food supply. The area around the Humboldt Current off the coast of Peru is particularly productive. There, the GEOMAR research project CUSCO is investigating the question of how exactly the upwelling of deep water in the region influences life at the surface and how the ecosystem reacts when the upwelling changes due to climate change.
In addition to CUSCO, two other research projects investigate upwelling areas in the tropics. The REEBUS project focuses on the role of eddies for the carbon pump in upwelling areas off West Africa. It is based on the observation that oceanic eddies play a central role in the physical, biogeochemical and biological properties of these systems. The third project coordinated at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde (IOW) is called EVAR and deals with the upwelling system of the Benguela Current off Southwest Africa.