The Future Ocean – Phase II

Future Ocean’s Mission is to use the results of multidisciplinary scientific research on the past and present ocean to predict the future of the Earth’s marine environment. This includes understanding changes to the past, on-going and future ocean as well as the interaction between society and the ocean in regard to marine resources, services and risks. This Mission carries with it an obligation to develop and assess scientifically-based global and regional ocean governance options, including their legal, economic and ethical aspects. The Cluster uses innovative and suitable means to share its findings with the international scientific community, stakeholders, decision makers, civil society and the public at large.


The oceans host our planet’s largest ecosystem and exert a dominating influence on global climate. The oceans play a growing role as a source of essential living and non-living resources, coastal regions are home to the majority of the world’s population and the open seas are key to global trade and security. In short, the oceans are vital for human welfare now and will be in the future. However, the oceans are also a source of major natural hazards, and increasingly affected by human actions including anthropogenic CO2 emission, non-sustainable fishery, large scale waste disposal and other pollution.

The motivation for continued and increased Future Ocean research results from recognizing mankind’s increasing dependency on the oceans and our increasing power to alter them. These two factors demand a better understanding of the ocean system if we are to more certainly predict its future evolution as a prerequisite to sustainable ocean management and responsibility practice. They also indicate a need to educate experts and civil societies alike, so that the next generation is more aware of the need for responsible and sustainable use of the ocean, understands the need for behavioral and transformative changes and is prepared to adapt to those changes that we have already set in motion.