The biologically productive North Sea impacts the global climate through exchange of carbon and nutrients with the Atlantic Ocean. The North Sea is a very productive coastal sea. A lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be taken up through physical, biological, and sedimentological processes. But much is still unknown about the exact fate of the carbon. Dutch scientists will investigate how big the role of the North Sea really is in the uptake of carbon.
Coastal seas make up only a small part of the ocean's surface (less than 10%). But because they connect land to the open ocean, they are disproportionately important in global carbon and nutrient cycles. In the NoSE project, a multidisciplinary consortium (NIOZ, TUD, RUG, UU) will determine the past, present, and future role of the North Sea and link it to the larger biogeochemical system of the Atlantic Ocean. This will be done by determining the exchange of carbon and other essential nutrients between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This exchange will be studied in the Norwegian Trench, the main outflow route to the Atlantic Ocean and the main place where sediments accumulate in the North Sea.