CUPIDO addresses two main scientific questions:
- What is the role of zooplankton in promoting the transport of plastic in the ocean?;
- How may this plastic transport interfere with the ability of zooplankton to store carbon in the deep ocean?
The central hypothesis of CUPIDO is that the pathway of plastic from the ocean surface to the depth, when incorporated into zooplankton (named the Zooplankton Plastic Pump), will reduce the capability of the ocean to regulate atmospheric CO2 emissions.