#01 2023

Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems: Past, present and future

By Jennifer Veitch, Numeric Modeller, Egagasini Node, NRF-SAEON

The Open Science Conference on Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems: Past, Present and Future and the Second International Conference on the Humboldt Current System took place in Lima, Peru. 

Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems are present off the coasts of all the landmasses on the eastern edge of the North and South Indian and Atlantic Ocean Basins. Due to the specific atmospheric and ocean dynamics that characterise these regions, they are the most productive of all ocean regions, contributing significantly to the global fish catch despite making up only a small fraction of the global ocean. Given their importance in global food security, an excellent understanding of the complete ecosystem including various scales of atmospheric drivers is critical for us to consider how they may be impacted by climate change.

A close, yet complex, interaction exists between physical and biogeochemical dynamics in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems. The need for an integrated approach to understanding changes of the ecosystem is therefore crucial. To facilitate this, the conference focused on three thematic axes: Ocean physics and associated biogeochemical processes in relation to climate variability and climate change; Living resources, fisheries and adaptations to environmental variability; and Socio-ecological vulnerability to climate change and extreme events.

Dr Jennifer Veitch delivers her keynote address at the Open Science Conference on Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems: Past, Present and Future held in Lima, Peru

Keynote address

Due to her contributions to our understanding of the Benguela upwelling system, one of the world’s four major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems, Dr Jennifer Veitch was invited to present a keynote address at this event. The title of her presentation was ‘The Benguela: a short review of what we think we know and what we need to fill the gaps’, in which she highlighted the need for improved and sustained observations, optimised models and satellite processing techniques, open data policies and, above all, better connections and communication between not only scientists working on various aspects of the system, but also with stakeholders and communities who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods.