The scientific project is divided into three main work packages (WP) and two transversal work packages. The originality of our approach is that both short- and long-term time scales will be considered: history is often a key in understanding the present as well as in predicting the future.


The knowledge gained from all WPs will be applied for better management of ecosystems, for conservation and for the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services.

A transversal WP (TWP) coordinates the observation systems and the databases necessary to collect these observations; a second one will target an important final product of OT-Med, an integrated model extending from the climate system to the socio-economic agents.


WP1 is devoted to the study of climatic and anthropogenic changes and natural hazards. This includes : 

  • sea: thermohaline circulation, mesoscale processes, air-sea interactions, impact of contaminations on the sea,
  • aquifers, Lake Chad, catchment areas: evolution, salinisation, water resources,
  • forest ecosystems: climate-fire-management interactions, 
  • long time-scales: paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleoseismology, archeology,
  • morphogenesis, seismic risk, coastline changes, landslides.

More info on WP1


WP2 aims to understand the impact of climate and socio-economic changes on ecosystems with a focus on the ecosystem services, in particular related to :

  • biodiversity: databases, conservation, management, services, evolution, 
  • soils: impacts of land use and climate, quality indicators, modelling, management, 
  • agriculture and forestry: modelling and scenarios, 
  • ​marine ecosystems: functioning, resources, trophic webs, artificial reefs, marine protected areas.

More info on WP2

WP3. Human-environmental interaction: perception, adaptation and mitigation

WP3 will analyse human-environment interactions, looking at the perception of hazards, adaptation and mitigation.

  • modelling decision making in the context of risks, 
  • co-evolution of climate and societies, adaptation to climate change, 
  • comparison of international gouvernance regimes for climate and biodiversity, 
  • improved management of ecosystems for conservation and sustainable delivery of ecosystems.

More info on WP3

TWP1. The observation systems and databases

TWP2. Toward an integrated modelling of the Mediterranean systems

The goal of TWP2 is to develop integrated model for the Mediterranean based on several major coupled components: 

  • Complex general circulation models (GCM) (ex. IPSL and intermediate complexity models to make joint climate simulations ex. LOVECLIM
  • Downscaling using statistical models and meso-scale models (collaborations with labex L-IPSL) 
  • Ecosystem models to simulate the natural vegetation and water budget at the scale of the catchment basin: LPJ-GUESS, LPJmL 
  • Agro-ecosystem model LPJ-managed Lands (LPJmL) Collaboration will be also developed with the LABEX BACS around the model IPSL-ORCHIDEE. 
  • Marine model, OT-Med partners are developing their own codes for 3D physical-biogeochemical coupled models, coupled to hydrodynamical models developed in by other collaborating institutes (e.g. Eco3M). 
  • Modelling of societal behaviour in the face of changing climate will be based on multi-agent socio-economic models.

More info on TWP2