This paper describes challenges around the direct measurement of CO2 in the ocean using ocean gliders. We discuss our method of using multiple sensor platforms as test beds to carry out observing experiments and highlight the implications of our study for future glider missions. We also show high-resolution measurements and discuss challenges and lessons learned in the context of future ocean gas measurements.
A large percentage of global ocean plastic enters the Indian Ocean through rivers, but the fate of these plastics is generally unknown. In this paper, we use computer simulations to show that floating plastics beach and end up on coastlines throughout the Indian Ocean. Coastlines where a lot of plastic enters the ocean are heavily affected by beaching plastic, but plastics can also beach far from the source on remote islands and countries that contribute little plastic pollution of their own.
The dynamical balance of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and its implications on the functioning of the world ocean are not fully understood and poorly represented in global circulation models. In this study, the sensitivities of an idealized Southern Ocean (SO) storm track are explored with a set of eddy-rich numerical simulations. We show that the classical partition between barotropic and baroclinic modes is sensitive to current–topography interactions in the mesoscale range of 10–100 km.
Ekman's (1905) solution for how wind affects ocean surface currents is revisited and extended analytically for a piecewise-constant profile of vertical diffusion. This allows a comprehensive understanding of how the surface current deflection angle relative to the wind direction varies with the profile of vertical diffusion.
The region south of Cape Farewell (SCF) is recognized as a deep convection site. Convection deeper than 1300 m occurred SCF in 2015 and persisted during three additional winters. Extreme air–sea buoyancy fluxes caused the 2015 event. For the following winters, air–sea fluxes were close to the climatological average, but local cooling above 800 m and the advection below 1200 m of a fresh anomaly from the Labrador Sea decreased stratification and allowed for the persistence of deep convection.
In December 2002 and January 2003 satellite observations of chlorophyll showed a wavelike pattern with a wavelength of about 750 km south-west of the Cape Verde Peninsula. Such a pattern suggests the existence of a locally generated Rossby wave which slowly propagated westward. To verify this hypothesis a numerical study based on a simple model has been conducted. The numerical results are completed by an analytical study which evaluates the potential impact of the coastline shape.
Diatoms are a group of phytoplankton species responsible for ~ 25 % of primary production on Earth. Ocean acidification (OA) could influence diatoms but the key question is if they become more or less important within marine food webs. We synthesize OA experiments with natural communities and found that diatoms are more likely to be positively than negatively affected by high CO2 and larger species may profit in particular. This has important implications for ecosystem services diatoms provide.
Methane seepage from the seafloor west of Svalbard was investigated with a fast-response membrane inlet laser spectrometer. The acquired data were in good agreement with traditional sparse discrete water sampling, subsequent gas chromatography, and with a new 2-D model based on echo-sounder data. However, the acquired high-resolution data revealed unprecedented details of the methane distribution, which highlights the need for high-resolution measurements for future climate studies.
In this study, we assessed the impacts of the world’s largest dam, the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), on tide–river dynamics and concluded that the strongest impacts occurred during autumn and winter due to the TGD's operation. The results obtained will hopefully enhance our understanding of the impacts of large-scale human interventions on estuarine hydrodynamics and guide effective and sustainable water management in the Yangtze River estuary and other estuaries with substantial freshwater discharge.
Use of CFCs as oceanic transient tracers is difficult for recently ventilated water masses as their atmospheric mole fractions have been decreasing. To explore novel tracers, we synthesized consistent annual mean atmospheric histories of HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 (CF4) and PFC-116 in both hemispheres and reconstructed their solubility functions in water and seawater. This work is also potentially useful for tracer studies in a range of natural waters.
This paper describes a feasibility study carried out to determine if information gathered for one discipline could be repurposed to provide insight in another. Data gathered during a study of bird distribution were used to investigate whether these same data could be used to measure tidal current velocities and direction. The paper concludes that there is potential to use GPS-tagged birds as drifters of opportunity and that interdisciplinary sharing of data can provide additional insight.
Claudine Hauri, Seth Danielson, Andrew M. P. McDonnell, Russell R. Hopcroft, Peter Winsor, Peter Shipton, Catherine Lalande, Kathleen M. Stafford, John K. Horne, Lee W. Cooper, Jacqueline M. Grebmeier, Andrew Mahoney, Klara Maisch, Molly McCammon, Hank Statscewich, Andy Sybrandy, and Thomas Weingartner
The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. In order to track these changes, we developed and deployed a long-term marine ecosystem observatory in the Chukchi Sea. It helps us to better understand currents, waves, sea ice, salinity, temperature, nutrient and carbon concentrations, oxygen, phytoplankton blooms and export, zooplankton abundance and vertical migration, and the occurrence of fish and marine mammals throughout the year, even during the ice covered winter months.
The new gridded WOCE-Argo Global Hydrographic Climatology (WAGHC) is described and compared with the NOAA WOA13 atlas. The monthly fields of temperature and salinity for 65 depth levels have a 1/4° spatial resolution. Two versions of the climatology were produced and differ with respect to the spatial interpolation performed on isobaric or isopycnal surfaces, respectively. The climatology characterizes the thermohaline state of the world ocean for the time period from 2008 to 2012.
Two types of marine geoid exist with the first type being the average level of sea surface height if the water is at rest (classical definition), and the second type being satellite-determined with the condition that the water is usually not at rest. The associated absolute dynamic ocean topography (DOT) also has two types. Horizontal gradients of the two DOTs are different with the 1st (2nd) type representing the absolute (relative) surface geostrophic currents.
The Western Valley is one of the passages across the Iceland–Scotland Ridge through which a strong overflow of cold, dense water has been thought to feed the deep limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), but its strength has not been known. Based on a field experiment with instruments moored across the valley, we show that this overflow branch is much weaker than previously thought and that this is because it is suppressed by the warm countercurrent in the upper layers.
Results from a high-resolution ocean model show that during the strong El Niños of 1983 and 1998, transport of warm water in the equatorial Pacific was dominated by the North Equatorial Counter Current and not by equatorial Kelvin waves. The results show why the NECC fails to do this in most years and how stronger than normal annual Rossby waves near the Equator can both trigger the El Niño in the western Pacific and help to ensure that the warm water arrives off South America around Christmas.
The study finds that changes in seawater temperature due to El Niño and La Niña, anomalous warm and cold events, are in principle detectable by means of the oceanic tidally induced magnetic field. Furthermore, subsurface processes in the onset of those anomalous events lead the surface processes by several months. This causes a lead in the oceanic tidally induced magnetic field signals over sea-surface temperature signals.
The ocean surface mixed layer depth (MLD) is an important parameter within several research disciplines, as variations in the MLD influence air–sea CO2 exchange and ocean primary production. A new method is presented in which acoustic mapping of the MLD is done remotely by means of echo sounders. This method allows for observations of high-frequency variability in the MLD, as horizontal and temporal resolutions can be increased by orders of magnitude compared to traditional in situ measurements.
The Alboran Sea is a dynamically active region. The interaction between Mediterranean and Atlantic water originates a set of sub-mesoscale structures and a complex sequence of processes that entail mixing close to the thermocline. Here we present a high-resolution map of the diapycnal diffusivity around the thermocline depth obtained using acoustic data recorded with a high-resolution multichannel seismic system. The map revels a patchy thermocline, with areas of strong diapycnal mixing.
To assist in establishing the most likely location of the crash site of MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft that went missing on March 7, 2014, a drift study was conducted by means of numerical modelling. Three elements were considered: (a) the efficacy of the aerial search; (b) water temperatures along the path of the flaperon; (c) beached debris distribution. The results obtained indicate the crash site is likely located between 25.5° S and 30.5° S along the so-called seventh arc in the Indian Ocean.
We estimated spatial and temporal decorrelation scales of temperature and salinity in the Amerasian Basin in the Arctic Ocean. The estimated scales can be applied to representation error assessment in the ocean data assimilation system for the Arctic Ocean.
A coupled model has been developed to study the interaction between the ocean and the Antarctic ice sheet. Simulations for present-day climate yield realistic ice-shelf melt rates and a grounding line position close to the observed state. In a warm-water-inflow scenario, the model suggests a substantial thinning of the ice shelf and a local retreat of the grounding line. The coupled model yields a stronger increase in ice-shelf basal melt rates than a fixed-geometry control experiment.
Some places experience double high tides, where the tide starts to ebb for a short while, only to briefly flood again before finally receding. The result is a very long high tide with weak currents, and is important for navigational purposes. The existing theory for when and where double high tides occur does not always capture them, and it can only be applied to double highs occurring on a twice-daily tide. Here, the criterion has been generalized to capture all double high or low tides.
This study investigates the variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current at 34.5° S. This current carries a large part of the cold deep limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation, which is a crucial part of the ocean system and has impacts on global weather patterns. Study of this current in the South Atlantic has been limited in the past, and this new study provides insights into the strength and variability of the current as well as the causes for the observed changes.
A new method of observing ocean heat content throughout the entire ocean depth is provided. The new method is compared with simulated ocean heat content changes from climate models. The comparisons are carried out in various depth layers of the ocean waters. It is found that there is excellent agreement between the models and the observations. Furthermore, we propose that changes to ocean heat content be used as a fundamental metric to evaluate climate models.
Lee waves play a significant role in ocean mixing but are difficult to study with traditional casts, moorings, and tows due to their stationary nature and limited spatial extent. We develop a new method to estimate turbulent diffusivity from seismic data and find elevated levels of turbulence associated with lee waves in the mid-water and around the seafloor that are 5 times greater than surrounding waters and 50 times greater than open-ocean diffusivities.
Regional sea surface height (SSH) changes due to an abrupt weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) are simulated with a high- and low-resolution model. A rapid decrease of the AMOC in the high-resolution version induces shorter return times of several specific regional and coastal extremes in North Atlantic SSH than in the low-resolution version. This effect is caused by a change in main eddy pathways associated with a change in separation latitude of the Gulf Stream.