In the early eighties, marine geochemists and biologists were concerned that a physical transport model with only an upper boundary condition would be inadequate to determine the role of the ocean in the atmospheric carbon dioxide budget and hence, the prediction of climate change in response to the atmospheric build-up of greenhouse gases would not be possible. Because the oceans contain about 50 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, small changes in the ocean carbon cycle can have large atmospheric consequences. Both physico-chemical and biological processes influence the exchange of CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere, with biological feedbacks, in particular, having the potential to amplify the chemical and physical effects. JGOFS was co-sponsored by SCOR
JGOFS improved our knowledge of the processes that control carbon exchanges between the various interfaces as well as the sensitivity of these fluxes to climate change. JGOFS was completed in 2003, the year in which it held its final Open Science Conference in Washington D.C.
The JGOFS International Project Office (IPO) was first hosted by the Institut für Meereskunde, Universität Kiel, Germany (1993-1995) and later by the University of Bergen, Norway (1996-2003) with kind support from the Research Council of Norway, the University of Bergen and the Meltzer Foundation.
The role of the Ocean Carbon Cycle in Global Change. Fasham, Michael J.R. (Ed.) Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2003, 297 pp. (A synthesis of JGOFS science).
The Changing Ocean Carbon Cycle: A midterm synthesis of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study. Hanson, R.B., Ducklow, H.W. and Field, J.G. (eds). IGBP Book Series No. 5. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2000, 520 pp.
Ocean Biogeochemistry and global change, 2001. IGBP Science no. 2 (A popular summary of JGOFS main achievements).
IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.