ICED (Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean) was formally launched in 2008 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 the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), with support from the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) and Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) programmes. ICED has its own programme website at http://www.iced.ac.uk
ICED consists of three core areas of activity: development of integrated ecosystem models, data synthesis and collation of historical data, and coordination and development of field studies, all of which will be guided by close collaboration with relevant programmes and groups operating throughout the Southern Ocean. ICED brings together ecologists, climatologists, oceanographers, biogeochemists and fisheries scientists to address three globally important issues:
- To understand the structure and dynamics of ecosystems in the Southern Ocean and how they are affected by, and feedback on, climate processes;
- To understand how ecosystem structure and dynamics interact with biogeochemical cycles in the Southern Ocean;
- To determine how ecosystem structure and dynamics should be incorporated into management approaches for sustainable exploitation of living resources in the Southern Ocean.
ICED is a natural descendant of recent global programmes with a Southern Ocean dimension:
- the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS)
- the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE)
- a number of programmes of CCAMLR; and
- the completed Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks (BIOMASS) programme.
The ICED Science Plan and Implementation Strategy sets out an ambitious programme to address not only the significant scientific challenges of integrating Southern Ocean ecosystem, climate and biogeochemic.al research at a circumpolar level, but also the challenge of bringing together a multidisciplinary group of international scientists to ensure effective cooperation and communication in addressing the objectives of ICED.