SO GLOBEC Description


The primary science questions that are the focus for Southern Ocean GLOBEC are:

  • What key factors affect the successful reproduction of krill between seasons?
  • What key physical processes influence krill larval survival and subsequent recruitment to the adult population between seasons?
  • What are krillís seasonal food requirements in respect to energetic needs and distribution and type of food?
  • What are the geographical variations in krill distribution in relation to the between- and within-season variability in the physical environment?
  • How does the winter distribution and foraging ecology of krill-dependent predators relate to the characteristics of the physical environment and the distribution of their prey?
  • How does summer breeding season foraging ecology relate to the abundance and distribution of the available krill population?
  • How does year-to-year variability in predator population size and breeding success relate to sea ice extent and its possible effects on krill recruitment, availability and distribution?


Several multidisciplinary field projects have been undertaken as part of SO GLOBEC and others are planned (see listing below). The completed field studies were focused around Marguerite Bay along the western Antarctic Peninsula and at 70įE. The field studies included survey and process-oriented cruises, deployment of surface drifters and moored current meter arrays, deployment of passive acoustic moored arrays for cetacean sampling, surveys of the distribution and abundance of penguins, seabirds, seals and cetaceans (via collaboration with the International Whaling Commission), deployment of satellite transmitters on seals and penguins, and numerous approaches and methods for studying Antarctic krill physiology and ecology.

A recent contribution to SO GLOBEC is ICED. ICED has been launched to develop a coordinated circumpolar and multidisciplinary approach to better understand climate interactions in the Southern Ocean, the implications for ecosystem dynamics, impacts on biogeochemical cycles and the development of sustainable management procedures. ICED has been developed with SCOR and IGBP, with support from the GLOBEC and IMBER programmes. ICED will lead and coordinate international research in partnership with the Southern Ocean System of the European Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystems Analysis (EUR-OCEANS), and the International Polar Year (IPY) consortia: ICED-IPY.


SO-GLOBEC Chairperson: Prof. Eileen Hofmann


SO GLOBEC Planning Group: