Tara in London: On the road to Paris Climate 2015

After Greenland, Stockholm and before Paris, the French scientific research vessel Tara will arrive in London on September 9th for a five-day stay.

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"The schooner TARA (Port Lay, Île de Groix, 2009)" by Yohann.cordelle - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0

Three years after her last call in London, Tara continues her mission as sentinel of the Ocean and provides the first complete overview of the ocean’s plankton ecosystem. On the road to the next Climate Conference of the United Nations, the schooner is on course to alert the public, influencers and policy makers of the rapid changes in the oceans due to global warming.

From 9 to 14th September, Tara’s team will report recent scientific results from the Tara Oceans expedition for the first time in the UK. The uniqueness of the Tara Oceans approach is to have sampled the world’s oceans systematically across all domains of life, from viruses to animals, and including a rich variety of environmental data. The data generated sets a baseline, on a global scale, to evaluate the impact of climate change on oceanic ecosystems in the future.

Is plankton affected by climate change ?

Results from the last mission Tara Oceans provide a map of the biodiversity of a wide range of planktonic organisms, exploring their interactions - mainly parasitic, and how they impact and are affected by their environment, primarily by temperature.

"The finding that temperature shapes which species are present, for instance, is especially relevant in the context of climate change, but to some extent this is just the beginning," says Chris Bowler, from CNRS. "The resources we’ve generated will allow us and others to delve even deeper, and finally begin to really understand the workings of this invisible world."

Based on a portion of the 35000 samples collected from all the world’s oceans during the 2009-2013 expedition on board the schooner TARA, this data provides the scientific community with unprecedented resources, including a catalogue of several million new genes, that will transform how we study the oceans and assess climate change.

The ocean is absent from negotiations, despite it’s major role in climate

When we think about rich ecosystems that are vital for life on Earth, we tend to think of rainforests, but ocean plankton are actually just as crucial. But the ocean is notably absent from negotiations despite playing a major role in climate regulation. The Tara Foundation aims to share knowledge with the general public and policy makers to give the oceans a voice in the future United Nations global climate negotiations.

"Beyond the cutting-edge science, this adventure is also about showing people all over the world how important the ocean is for our own well-being," says Eric Karsenti, director of Tara Oceans, from EMBL and CNRS. The climate system needs an ocean that is healthy and full of life to function properly.

Let’s give the Ocean a voice #OceanForClimate

TARA will welcome aboard the general public on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September. The crew and scientists will present the recent scientific discoveries of the project as well as the Ocean’s Call for Climate, launched with UNESCO. The Ocean’s Call will be sponsored by Tara - via the Ocean & Climate Platform - until the end of the year, when it will be presented at the international Conference on Climate (COP21) held in Paris. Objective: give the Ocean a voice during the discussions on climate change.


Thursday, September 10th at 3pm
Aboard Tara moored at Thames Quay in West India Dock
South Quay Station - London


  • Etienne Bourgois, President of Tara Expeditions,
  • Eric Karsenti, Scientific Director of Tara Oceans (EMBL)
  • Chris Bowler, Scientific co-coordinator of Tara Oceans (CNRS)
  • André Abreu, Head for Environment & Climate of Tara Expeditions
  • Martin Hertau, Captain of the schooner Tara

In the presence of Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador of France in UK

Researchers and team will be available for interviews until 5pm.

- Tara Expeditions : Marc Domingos, London stopover coordinator marc@taraexpeditions.org + 33 6 60 80 50 37
- agnès b. : Emma Brunn press@agnesbuk.co.uk 020 7520 6910

Published on 17/09/2015

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