The Indian Ocean: recent research and questions for the future

Greg Cowie (Edinburgh),  Ursula Witte (Aberdeen),  Stephen Hall (NOC) and  Meric Srokosz (NOC) 

The Indian Ocean region is home to oceanic, atmospheric and geological phenomena that are of far-reaching significance to global climate and biogeochemical cycles, and impact directly on the > ¼ of the Earth's human population that live in its rim nations. In the 50 years since the first International Indian Ocean Expedition (1959-1965), much has been learned about these phenomena, but the Indian Ocean as a whole remains the least studied of the world's oceans. 

With the launch of the SCOR- and IOC-sponsored 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition in December 2015, which will serve as a platform for diverse and multi-disciplinary Indian Ocean research over the next 5+ years, there is a need to take stock of recent research and to identify key questions for future study. 

Thus, the session will provide a forum to highlight results of recent physical, biogeochemical, ecological, atmospheric, modelling and palaeoceanographic studies from all regions of the Indian Ocean - coastal and open-ocean, in the water-column and on the sea floor. It will permit a review of our current understanding of the unique features of the Indian Ocean system, and help to identify outstanding challenges and the new approaches required to address them.