All things AMOC: Scientists gather in Hamburg for a week of reflection, discussion and planning

The Institute of Oceanography at Universität Hamburg was the focus of all things AMOC during the week of 18-21 July 2023, as ocean observers and modellers gathered to discuss the latest science developments and plan future work.

The week kicked off with a 2-day workshop titled ‘Meeting AMOC Observation Needs in a Changing Climate’, co-organised by the CLIVAR AMOC Task Team and the EPOC project and involving 65 in-person international participants with a further 20 joining online. The workshop took a detailed look at AMOC observing to date, with the aim of being able to quantify the value of AMOC observing, defining a collective set of observational priorities, and developing a roadmap for future AMOC observing. The primary goal of this workshop was to inform the design of a future-focused AMOC observing system that can provide continuous measurements of key variables while also remaining sustainable over multiple decades. To accomplish this, the workshop took a retrospective look at the value of the observational methods, what has been done to validate those approaches, and what questions have not yet been addressed. Discussions focused on how models and observations can be used together, so that models that faithfully simulate key processes in the observed record can be used to provide a larger spatial perspective than the existing arrays. The background for these discussions was supported by a series of webinars in the four months preceding the workshop, featuring AMOC researchers presenting their latest research results.

AMOC workshop wordcloud
Summary of outputs from the AMOC workshop discussions

The AMOC workshop was followed by a 2-day gathering of scientists from the EPOC project, meeting to mark the completion of their first year’s work, and to plan in detail their activities during the coming months. 22 researchers attended in person along with 15 online, representing all aspects of the project’s research. Among the group were three members of EPOC’s External Advisory Board, which provides advice and guidance on the strategic direction of the project.

Following a comprehensive update of progress in each area of EPOC’s work programme, a series of science update talks were presented, covering a variety of topics and research challenges and stimulating some wide-ranging discussions. A poster session allowed for more relaxed exchanges and an opportunity for project partners to get to know each other better. On Day 2, further science presentations preceded some focused group discussions on specific operational issues, as well as plenary debate on some emerging ‘hot’ topics of relevance to EPOC’s work. A final feedback and summary session wrapped up an intense and highly productive first annual EPOC project meeting.


EPOC GA 2023 group photo
EPOC project partners create their own version of the project logo in Hamburg