BEPSII is an open network for international knowledge exchange related to Biogeochemcial Exchanges Processe at sea ice Interface. BEPSII aims to quantify the role of sea ice in polar ecosystem services – from biodiversity impacts to climate change – and communicate these globally-relevant issues. BEPSII’s work highlights sea ice in polar regions as an important medium for biogeochemical processes that can have large impacts on local and regional scales.

BEPSII is supported by the Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) and the Climate and Cryosphere program (CliC) as a long-lived activity, and received endorsement from the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 2016 as well as workshop support from the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

BEPSII press release on: “The future of Arctic sea-ice biogeochemistry and ice-associated ecosystems” Lannuzel et al. Nature Climate Change, 27 Oct. 2020

The Arctic sea-ice-scape is rapidly transforming with cascading implications for biogeochemical cycles, associated climate processes and life forms that are dependent on sea ice. This is the message of an extensive publication in the leading journal Nature Climate Change published on October 27 and the result of a team effort of the research community Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at Sea-Ice Interfaces (BEPSII).

The paper signals dramatic changes in climate processes and biodiversity, halfway the current century, that follow the rapid demise of the Arctic sea ice. These expected changes are mostly exacerbating the already ongoing warming and loss of biodiversity. The current lack of inclusion of sea-ice associated biogeochemical processes into climate models is worrying. The BEPSII scientists acknowledge that this attempt to look into the future is hardly quantitative due to a lack of data, but is the best they can do and is a plea for intensified long-term observations and inclusion of biogeochemical processes into climate models. The authors conclude that the lack of inclusion of these processes may very well provide us with a too rose-colored view of an already dark future.