The main objective of BICEP is to exploit the latest advances in satellite Earth observation, novel in situ data, and new theoretical analyses, to provide the best possible characterisation and understanding of the global ocean biological carbon pump, its variability in space and time, and its interactions with the Earth system.

Specifically, BICEP will address the following objectives (see figure for further information):
  • Implement a novel research plan that will significantly advance our understanding of the ocean biological carbon pump. The plan will build on recommendations from the CLEO workshop, 3rd Carbon from Space workshop, and the CEOS strategy for carbon observations from space. It will build on previous ESA projects (POCO, PPP, MAPPS, SynSenPFT, and OC-CCI) and other international efforts (e.g. Simons Foundation CBIOMES project https://cbiomes.org/, NASA EXPORTS).
  • Generate a consistent Product Portfolio of EO-based global data. This will be based principally on datasets from the ESA Climate Change Initiatives (e.g. OC-CCI and SST-CCI), which span over two decades, and Salinity-CCI with a shorter span, and will make use of recently available data from Sentinel 3.
  • Perform a thorough validation of the derived carbon products for 5 regions of interest that span a wide range of conditions in the global ocean.
  • Generate the best possible description of the ocean biological carbon pump using the generated products. These results will be thoroughly compared with current estimates from existing data meta-analysis and ocean models.
  • Perform a scientific analysis both globally and for our 5 regions of interest, of temporal and spatial variability in the various components of the ocean biological carbon pump, and decadal trends, making use of long-term climate quality CCI datasets.
  • Organise an Ocean Carbon from Space Workshop, building on previous efforts with CLEO. The aim of this workshop will be to bring the international community together, to showcase results from the project and gather recommendations for future work.
  • Develop a scientific roadmap in the form of a peer-reviewed (or white) paper, posing questions and challenges that need to be addressed by 2025, laying the foundation for future scientific research. This roadmap will bring ESA activities (e.g. BICEP, Ocean-SODA and Ocean-GHG), and other international efforts, together under a holistic framework with the vision of deriving a satellite-based carbon budget for the ocean.
  • Coordinate and promote international collaboration.
  • Undertake cross-cutting promotion, communication, and education activities, and through peer-reviewed publications.
  • In line with ESA requirements, BICEP will be an Open Science project, where data, knowledge and results will be shared freely. Datasets and publications will be open access with full transparency, methodologies and source code will be shared openly with team members and external partners.