The project investigators and project partners will form the core of i-MarNet, which will be complemented by an open call to members from a range of disciplines.

Network members are invited to participate in the following three workshops and to contribute to the assessment of candidate models and the vision statement for the next generation OBM model:  


ACITES - i-MarNet joint workshop

7th - 8th May 2014, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Background: The atmosphere and ocean are integral parts of Earth System models, linking together via exchanges of heat, water and biogeochemical tracers including carbon. Both systems include circulation fields and therefore require an appreciation of model resolution and the parameterisation of physical mixing and transports. Both involve complex underlying dynamics, e.g. the representation of clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere, and biological processes associated with carbon export and sequestration in the ocean. Computing resources are finite and decisions have to be made as to how best allocate them, choosing between investment in resolution, complexity and ensemble runs. Choosing between resolution and complexity is far from straightforward because while in principle extra complexity provides realism to enable accurate predictions, complexity comes at a price. Potential difficulties include poor understanding of underlying processes, inadequate data for validation, difficulty of aggregating a complex world into appropriate state variables and sensitivity of emergent outcomes to chosen formulations and parameterisation.

The aim of the workshop is to share experience and expertise, cross-discipline atmospheric and marine, in dealing with the resolution versus complexity debate, with a view to identifying the most profitable and synergistic avenues for future model development and research.

Topics for discussion include:

  • The benefits of high resolution
  • Performance of complex and simple models. Strengths and weaknesses
  • Parameterisation and validation of complex models
  • Complexity science: sensitivity of emergent outcomes to model formulation
  • Resolution vs complexity: where to invest
  • Cross-discipline comparison of the above topics

Registration is now open – please contact Christina Bradley
Travel and accommodation will be paid for by i-MarNet; we have space for up to 30 participants.

Final Workshop:

Workshop on Defining a roadmap for the Next Generation Ocean Biogeochemistry Model.

10th - 12th March 2014, Oakley Court Hotel nr Windsor

A specific goal of i-MarNet is define a vision statement for developing the next generation of ocean biogeochemistry models and a strategy by which this vision can be realised.  The purpose of the workshop was to bring together the wider UK marine ecosystem research community to help define and develop a vision. The vision should, take account of the future requirements for ESM, climate impact assessment in shelf seas, operational oceanography, alternative and innovative (even ‘radical’) ecosystem modelling approaches, embracing the state of the art in for example experimental biology, molecular ecology, ocean biogeochemistry and computing. Consideration should be given to exploring parameter uncertainty either by allowing adaptive parameters to change in response to the environment, an ensemble approach running lots of parallel parameters, or running with multiple parameters in the same model. The roadmap must also consider experimental designs that address the issue of traceability of the OBM models to reality in the presence of uncertainty in their parameters and physical drivers. The roadmap will identify requirements for a common software infrastructure to deliver the required research and development effectively in the long term.


Workshop on the assessment of candidate models

(This first workshop took place on the 19th & 20th November 2012 at the Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor)

This initial workshop focused on identifying and prioritising the marine biogeochemical scientific questions that can feasibly be tackled by the next generation of Earth System Models. Second, it evaluated the candidate modelling approaches and their a priori strengths and limitations providing an assessment of their biological fidelity as well as their ability (or potential ability) to address a range of critical ESM questions. The outcomes of the workshop will feed into a report prepared by Prof Peter Cox (Exeter) which makes recommendations as to which model should be used.

Click here to read more about the first workshop and view the presentations


Workshop on model skill assessment
7th & 8th March 2013 at the Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor

This workshop aimed to identify both datasets appropriate for the validation of global-scale ocean biogeochemistry models, and methodologies and metrics for the inter-comparison of observational data and models to evaluate the suitability of the candidate models for tackling the priority scientific questions. A key topic was “best practice” for validation along the axis of model complexity.

Click here to download the workshop Agenda