About Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study

Since 2004, the Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) project is an international research initiative aiming to understand the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere.

SOLAS Vision

To achieve quantitative understanding of the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere, and of how this coupled system affects and is affected by climate and global change.

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Achievement of this goal is important to understand and quantify the role that ocean-atmosphere interactions play in the regulation of climate and global change.

SOLAS celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2014. In the first decade, the SOLAS community has accomplished a great deal towards the goals of the original Science Plan & Implementation Strategy and Mid-term Strategy (Law et al. 2013) as highlighted by the open access synthesis book on 'Ocean Atmosphere Interactions of Gases and Particles' edited by Liss and Johnson and the synthesis article in Anthropocene from Brévière et al. 2015.

However there are still major challenges ahead that require coordinated research by ocean and atmospheric scientists. With this in mind, in 2013, SOLAS has started an effort to define research themes of importance for SOLAS research over the next decade.

These themes form the basis of a new science plan for the next phase of SOLAS 2015-2025. SOLAS being a bottom-up organisation, a process in which community consultation play a central role was adopted. After two sets of reviews by our four sponsors (SCOR, Future Earth, WCRP and iCACGP), the SOLAS 2015-2025 Science Plan and Organisation (SPO) was officially approved.

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Core Themes

The SOLAS science mission is organised around five core themes:

  • Core Theme 1: Greenhouse gases and the oceans
  • Core Theme 2: Air-sea interface and fluxes of mass and energy
  • Core Theme 3: Atmospheric deposition and ocean biogeochemistry
  • Core Theme 4: Interconnections between marine ecosystems, aerosols, and clouds
  • Core Theme 5: Ocean biogeochemical control on atmospheric chemistry

In addition, the study of these themes will be integrated in efforts to understand key environments, e.g. upwelling systems, polar oceans, and the Indian Ocean, as well as to evaluate the environmental efficacy and impacts of climate intervention proposals, policy decisions, and societal developments.

Numbers & Facts

SOLAS has structured scientific networks all over the world.

These networks include a scientific steering committee and national communities with a national contact who conduct research under the SOLAS themes. The SOLAS scientific community is composed of scientists from many disciplines, such as oceanography, ecology, biogeochemistry, physics, chemistry, and atmospheric sciences, a fundamental characteristic of SOLAS science.

Members worldwide


Nat/Reg Networks


SSC nationalities


SOLAS Conferences