Coastal Ocean Processes subgroup
Shelf seas – the shallow seas closest to our continents – are a vital component of the ocean system since they account for over 80% of fisheries productivity and are relied upon by society for transport, energy and leisure.
The Coastal Ocean Processes (COP) subgroup studies all processes and fundamental interactions operating on the continental shelf including the shelf edge, the air-sea interface and the sea bed. The team works closely with modellers to provide a complete description of the physics, chemistry and biology of shelf seas within computer models. Shelf sea scientists use a broad range of measurement techniques, including gliders and other autonomous underwater vehicles, to better part shelf seas have to play in climate. This helps to provide predictions of the impacts of climate change, and to supply suitable models and monitoring systems to meet political directives regarding Good Environmental Status (GES). The group also focuses on physical processes controlling exchange of material at the shelf edge (e.g. as part of the global carbon cycle), and the effect of shelf edge processes on larger scale ocean circulation.