Oceans 2025

Programme overview

Oceans 2025 was NERC's coordinated marine science programme. Our seven marine research centres worked together to increase people's knowledge of the marine environment so that they are better able to protect it for future generations.

The programme ran for five years with the aim of improving our understanding of how our seas behave and how they are changing, and what that might mean not just for our oceans, but for society.

Background & objectives

Covering over three-quarters of the Earth's surface, oceans play a crucial role in regulating the global climate and are an important source of food, energy and other raw materials.

However, we live on a rapidly changing planet. By 2025 - just one generation away - human activities are expected to have had a major impact on the oceans, which could affect millions of people across the world. For example, scientists predict that global warming will cause the Arctic sea-ice extent to decrease by about 30% which will radically change marine ecosystems and possibly ocean movements.

With these pressing concerns, it is more crucial than ever that we sustainably manage the marine environment and for this to happen, we need to improve our knowledge of ocean processes.

The Oceans 2025 programme was designed to address some of the most fundamental issues in marine science and to help develop sustainable solutions to manage marine resources for future generations.