EPOC: 1.1 Million for Marine Research

Professor Monika Rhein’s research group (Institute of Environmental Physics and MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen) has now raised 1.1 million euros in a major European research project looking into the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

What role does the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation – AMOC for short – play in our climate? Is AMOC really a continuous conveyor belt for heat and salt from the tropics to the Arctic? How important are regional interactions, and how is AMOC behaving during the climate crisis? These are just some of the questions that a consortium of 13 European institutes would like to answer as part of the EU project EPOC (Explaining and Predicting the Ocean Conveyor) over the next five years.

To ensure success, state-of-the-art climate and ocean models have to be evaluated along with observations. Monika Rhein’s research group, based at IUP and MARUM, will conduct a field study to investigate the processes that maintain or disrupt AMOC meridional connectivity as well as other research.

The first marine expedition will take place in 2023 under the direction of Dr. Christian Mertens (IUP). The voyage will aim to reach the transition zone between the subpolar and subtropical North Atlantic currents, a region where models show a breakdown of AMOC coherence. From Germany, in addition to the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Bremerhaven), Universität Hamburg, and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Hamburg) are involved.

Additional Information:


Professor Monika Rhein
University of Bremen
Institute of Environmental Physics
Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM)
Tel.: +49 421 218-62160
Email: mrheinprotect me ?!physik.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de




An inverted echo sounder with bottom pressure is being made ready for making measurements on the ocean floor. In EPOC, ten of these instruments will be used in the Bremen field study.