The Earth system has complex dynamics, characterized by feedbacks among biophysical processes occurring at a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. Disentangling these complex feedbacks is at the core of our capacity to predict climate change scenarios at high accuracy. This knowledge forms also the base for planning effective adaptation and mitigation strategies, as well as sustainable environmental policies, in particular over the decadal timescale. Due to their size, the fine scales (i.e. mesoscale and smaller, spatial scales of 1–100 km) are not resolved in most Earth System Models and provide a major challenge for global observing systems. Nevertheless, they play a pivotal role in climate dynamics, by storing and directing the flow of energy across the ocean scales, and by strongly modulating the ocean biogeochemical cycles as well as air-sea and ice-sea interactions. The fine scales affect the distribution and behavior of marine biota, forming the skeleton of the open ocean seascape where major conservation programs are planned in the incoming years under international initiatives like “Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction” and “High Ambition Coalition”. Understanding these dynamics is also critically important in the early phase of marine pollution accidents, during which the fate of the pollutants is controlled by horizontal stirring. The workshop “From filaments to climate change: recent advancements and future challenges in finescale ocean dynamics” aims at understanding the role of fine scale ocean dynamics on feedbacks among biophysical processes, increasing accuracy of climate predictions, assisting in improving Earth System Models, and discussing how knowledge of the finescale can be integrated in managing and conservation efforts. The workshop will bring together scientists from different disciplines in oceanography – geophysical fluid dynamics, biophysical interactions, model parameterization, observational oceanography, climate modeling – and societal applications. Special emphasis will be given to the synergies between models and observations, with a focus on emerging inversion/assimilation techniques, Lagrangian methods, and on the opportunities opened by next-generation in situ and remote sensing finescale platforms, like the incoming SWOT satellite mission.

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