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  • richardmitnick 8:01 pm on June 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seeing Through the Sea", , , , Oceanography   

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet: “Seeing Through the Sea” 

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet


    Columbia U bloc
    Columbia University

    June 27, 2022
    Brian Boston

    Scrutinizing the Habitat of Slow Earthquakes in the Guerrero Gap.

    Sunlight entering the ocean will only travel about 200 meters below the surface before there is little to none left, leaving the deepest parts of our oceans in perpetual darkness. While these vast regions of our Earth might be out of sight, on R/V Langseth, they are neither out of sight nor out of mind, thanks to a multibeam echo sounder which illuminates down to the seafloor.

    This is one of the many additional geophysical datasets we are collecting while at sea that complement the controlled-source seismic portion of the expedition.

    The multibeam echo sounder is a highly sensitive instrument that is mounted to the hull of the vessel and emits a complex sound wave that travels through the water column, reflects off the seafloor, and gets recorded back at the ship — just like when you yell “echo” in a big canyon and listen for your own reply. The time it takes for the sound wave to travel through the water column is used to determine the depth of the seafloor. However, we need constraints on the speed of sound through the water column to more accurately determine the depth of the seafloor, and the speed at which sound travels through water is influenced by temperature. On this expedition, we have been using an expendable bathythermograph, or “XBT” for short, to measure the temperature of the water column in order to precisely constrain the depth to the seafloor.

    An inside look of an expendable bathythermograph tube, showing the small probe that helps us extract the speed of sound in the ocean to better constrain the water depth beneath R/V Langseth. Photo by Brian Boston.

    A simple sound wave would only get us one point beneath the ship, barely covering any of the seafloor, and taking significantly longer to acquire the same kind of dataset we have now. Instead, R/V Langseth’s multibeam echo sounder emits a fan-shaped acoustic wave beneath the ship and can extract directional information of the returning soundwave to produce a swath of depths with hundreds of datapoints per soundwave. Since the take-off angle of the fan is fixed at the ship, the water depth mainly determines how much of the seafloor we will spatially be able to look at. In shallower waters, the acoustic wave doesn’t have a chance to fan out as far, producing a narrower band of data points. This can be easily seen below, where we plot some of our data crossing the trench, going from about 100 meters deep near shore to more than 5,000 meters at the trench.

    A day’s work for the Langseth’s multibeam echo sounder. The color-coded plot of seafloor depth exposes a wide section of the trench with the swath area rapidly narrowing as we entered shallower waters. The scientists aboard Langseth have been looking at every ping of the multibeam data to make sure that the data is of high-quality and to remove any unwanted noise. Figure by Brian Boston.

    We use the data not only to find where the seafloor is, but to help us understand the local geological processes occurring in the region. With this depth data, we can find canyons cutting through a steep forearc, the narrow trench axis, abyssal hill fabric, and seamounts littered across the seafloor. To better demonstrate how incredible some of these seafloor features are, we can take a single profile through from the trench towards shore and compare it against a terrestrial feature, such as the Andes Mountain range:

    This is profile is extracted from the bathymetry in the previous image. It compares the trench from offshore Mexico (blue line) against the elevation of the Andes (red line) and across Mount Aconcagua, the highest point in the Americas, at a same relative starting point (grey line). Not only does our region offshore nearly match one of the biggest mountain ranges on Earth, it reaches those heights in nearly half the distance. Figure by Brian Boston.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Earth Institute is a research institute at Columbia University that was established in 1995. Its stated mission is to address complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with a focus on sustainable development. With an interdisciplinary approach, this includes research in climate change, geology, global health, economics, management, agriculture, ecosystems, urbanization, energy, hazards, and water. The Earth Institute’s activities are guided by the idea that science and technological tools that already exist could be applied to greatly improve conditions for the world’s poor, while preserving the natural systems that support life on Earth.

    The Earth Institute supports pioneering projects in the biological, engineering, social, and health sciences, while actively encouraging interdisciplinary projects—often combining natural and social sciences—in pursuit of solutions to real world problems and a sustainable planet. In its work, the Earth Institute remains mindful of the staggering disparities between rich and poor nations, and the tremendous impact that global-scale problems—such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change and extreme poverty—have on all nations.

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

  • richardmitnick 8:00 am on June 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "BGCs": biosynthetic gene clusters, "Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products", , , , , , , Ocean Microbiome, Oceanography, , Using DNA data ETH researchers have examined seawater to find not only new species of bacteria but also previously unknown natural products that may one day prove beneficial.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH): “Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    Peter Rüegg

    Using DNA data ETH researchers have examined seawater to find not only new species of bacteria but also previously unknown natural products that may one day prove beneficial.

    Marine bacteria are a significant reservoir of undiscovered chemical compounds that could be of interest to humans.
    Credit: Helena Klein.

    The oceans are teeming with countless forms of life, from the world’s largest creature – the blue whale – to miniscule microorganisms. In addition to their vast numbers, these microorganisms are also crucial for ensuring that the entire eco-​ and climate system work properly. For instance, there are photosynthetically active varieties such as cyanobacteria that produce around 50 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Moreover, by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, microorganisms help counter global warming.

    Despite this significant role, research into the diversity of microorganisms found in the ocean has thus far been only rudimentary. So, a group of researchers led by Shinichi Sunagawa, Professor of Microbiome Research, is working closely with Jörn Piel’s group to investigate this diversity. Both groups are at the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zürich.

    To detect new natural products made by bacteria, Sunagawa and his team examined publicly available DNA data from 1,000 water samples collected at different depths from every ocean region in the world. The data came from such sources as ocean expeditions and observation platforms positioned out at sea.

    Thanks to modern technologies like environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis, it has become easier to search for new species and discover which known organisms can be found where. But what is hardly known at all is what special effects the marine microorganisms offer – in other words, what chemical compounds they make that are important for interactions between organisms. In the best-​case scenario, such compounds would benefit humans as well. Underpinning the research is the assumption that the ocean microbiome harbours great potential for natural products that could prove beneficial, for instance for their antibiotic properties.

    The extracted eDNA present in the samples was sequenced by the original researchers of the various expeditions. By reconstructing entire genomes on the computer, the scientists succeeded in decrypting the encoded information – the blueprints for proteins. Finally, they consolidated this new data together with the existing 8,500 genome data sets for marine microorganisms in a single database.

    This gave them 35,000 genomes to draw on when searching for new microbial species and, in particular, for promising biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). A BGC is a group of genes that provide the synthetic pathway for a natural product.

    New species and new molecules discovered

    In this genome data, the researchers detected not only many potentially useful BGCs – some 40,000 in all – but also previously undiscovered species of bacteria belonging to the phylum Eremiobacterota. This group of bacteria had been known to exist only in terrestrial environments and didn’t exhibit any special biosynthetic diversity.

    Sunagawa and his team named a new family of these bacteria as Eudoremicrobiaceae, and also were able to demonstrate that these bacteria are common and widespread: one species belonging to this family, Eudoremicrobium malaspinii, accounts for up to 6 percent of all bacteria present in certain areas of the ocean.

    “The relatives in the ocean possess what for bacteria is a giant genome. Fully decrypting it was technically challenging because the organisms had not been cultivated before,” Sunagawa says. Moreover, the new bacteria turned out to belong to the group of microorganisms that boasts the highest BGC diversity of all the samples examined. “As things stand, they are the most biosynthetically diverse family in the oceanic water column,” he says.

    The researchers looked at two Eudoremicrobiaceae BGCs in detail. One was a gene cluster containing the genetic code for enzymes that, according to Sunagawa, have never been found in this constellation in a bacterial BGC before. The other examined example was a bioactive natural product that inhibits a proteolytic enzyme.

    Validating experiments led to a surprise

    In collaboration with the group led by Jörn Piel, the researchers used experiments to validate the structure and function of both natural products. Since E. malaspinii could not be cultivated, Piel’s team had to graft genes into a model bacterium so they would act as blueprints for the natural products. This bacterium then produced the corresponding substances. Lastly, the researchers isolated the molecules from the cells, determined the structure and validated the biological activity.

    This was necessary because in one case, the enzymatic activity predicted by computer programs did not tally with the results of the experiments. “Computer predictions for what chemical reactions an enzyme will trigger have their limitations,” Sunagawa says. “This is why such predictions have to be validated in the lab if there’s any doubt.”

    Doing so is an expensive and time-​consuming endeavour that’s simply not viable for a database of 40,000 potential natural products. “However, our database has plenty to offer, and it’s accessible to all researchers who wish to use it,” Sunagawa says.

    Beyond the continued collaboration with Piel’s group to discover new natural products, Sunagawa wants to investigate unresolved questions in the evolution and ecology of oceanic microorganisms. These include how microorganisms are dispersed in the ocean given that they can spread over great distances only passively. He also wants to discover what ecological or evolutionary benefits certain genes create for microbes. Sunagawa suspects the BGCs may play a major role.

    Science paper:

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

  • richardmitnick 10:34 am on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Engineers explore innovative ways to improve resilience of coastal structures", , How to strengthen coastal buildings and seawalls in the face of climate change., Investigating how ultra-high-performance concrete and glass fiber reinforced polymers can help make seawalls better equipped to withstand erosion and cracking from seawater and waves and storm surge., , Oceanography,   

    From The University of Miami-Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science: “Engineers explore innovative ways to improve resilience of coastal structures” 


    From The University of Miami-Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science


    The University of Miami (FL)

    Janette Neuwahl Tannen

    From left, assistant professor of engineering Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, along with associate professor of practice Esber Andiroglu, and assistant professor Prannoy Suraneni display some of their coastal resilience research project at the eMerge Americas conference in April. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami.

    University of Miami engineering and ocean sciences faculty members received federal research funding recently to delve into how they can strengthen coastal buildings and seawalls in the face of climate change.

    Faculty members from the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science were recently awarded a pair of grants from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to explore novel ways to fortify structures that border our coastline.

    The two grants—which amount to nearly $800,000 over three years—are part of a larger $7.6 million investment by the National Science Foundation and NIST to support research that expands on our nation’s knowledge of community and infrastructure resilience to hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural hazards.

    The awards came just months after the creation of the University’s Climate Resilience Academy, launched this spring to incite more collaboration between faculty, industry, and government to find innovative remedies to issues related to the climate crisis, sustainability, and resilience.

    “Of just eight grants awarded by NIST for this disaster resilience research, two came to the University of Miami,” said Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

    “This is a testament to our faculty members’ commitment to finding solutions that will help sustain our community in the face of climate change and align perfectly with our creation of the Climate Resilience Academy,” he said. “These faculty teams have built upon the University’s investment in climate-related research and give us a wider platform to share our expertise with the rest of the nation. We could not be prouder of our faculty leadership in this area.”

    One of the two principal researchers is Prannoy Suraneni, Knight Career Development assistant professor of engineering, who is leading a team to investigate how innovative building materials like ultra-high-performance concrete and glass fiber reinforced polymers can help make seawalls better equipped to withstand erosion and cracking from seawater, waves, and storm surge.

    In addition, for the second grant, engineering assistant professor Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos is working with ocean sciences professor Brian Haus at the Rosenstiel School to quantify the coupled action of hurricane wind, storm surge, and waves on structures in coastal locations like Miami.

    “Ultimately, our hope for these projects is to change the way engineers think about designing structures, not just for strength but also for resilience,” Suraneni said. “We also hope that this research will change the way people choose materials in the building industry.”

    Both Rhode-Barbarigos and Suraneni have been engaged in coastal resilience research for the past four years with the University’s Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK), a program that offers seed funding to interdisciplinary faculty teams to investigate complex societal problems, such as climate change. Ideally, these teams can garner external funding to expand and continue their research, which is one goal of the U-LINK program. Rhode-Barbarigos and Suraneni consider the NIST projects an extension of work done with previous U-LINK teams.

    “I’ve been studying seawalls and other coastal defenses as part of U-LINK grants, and the University’s support significantly helped us strengthen our application for the NIST funding,” Suraneni said.

    As part of the NIST projects, both teams will be doing physical testing in the Alfred C. Glassell Jr. SUSTAIN laboratory at the Rosenstiel School, along with testing in other University labs and field testing. At the SUSTAIN facility, Suraneni and Rhode-Barbarigos will be able to simulate hurricane conditions to test the performance of new materials and measure the forces they would be up against in a strong tropical storm or hurricane.

    This will be especially critical for Rhode-Barbarigos’ project, which hopes to make buildings along the coast less vulnerable with the possibility of more intense hurricanes and tropical storms on the horizon. Currently, engineers design structures using separate load models for wind, waves, and storm surge that they later combine, Rhode-Barbarigos said. However, during a storm, wind, waves, and storm surge are always linked. Therefore, as part of this research, he wants to create new load models for structural engineers that account for combined action of wind, storm surge, and waves.

    “We want to develop an understanding of how wind, storm surge, and waves interact at high wind speeds, to assess their combined effect on the structures,” said Rhode-Barbarigos.

    Suraneni, an expert in cement chemistry, is looking forward to testing the performance of glass-fiber-polymer-reinforced, ultra-high-performance concrete. This is an alternative to the traditional steel-reinforced concrete, but one that aims to avoid corrosion that often causes concrete structures in saltwater environments to degrade. His team will also be evaluating the ability of these materials to create more sustainable seawalls, which could prove extremely useful in coastal communities. The team includes Rhode-Barbarigos; Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering; Esber Andiroglu, engineering associate professor of practice; and Haus.

    Both projects will offer insight about how South Florida and other coastal communities can better protect themselves for future storms, noted Haus, a trained coastal engineer who directs the SUSTAIN facility.

    “These projects will be important for a lot of applications in the field, where you can use these new loads to revamp building codes. Or in the case of the materials, they could be used in coastal construction,” said Haus, who leads the University’s Department of Ocean Sciences and is a co-investigator on both projects.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is an academic and research institution for the study of oceanography and the atmospheric sciences within the University of Miami. It is located on a 16-acre (65,000 m^²) campus on Virginia Key in Miami, Florida. It is the only subtropical applied and basic marine and atmospheric research institute in the continental United States.

    Up until 2008, RSMAS was solely a graduate school within the University of Miami, while it jointly administrated an undergraduate program with UM’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, the Rosenstiel School has taken over administrative responsibilities for the undergraduate program, granting Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science (BSMAS) and Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs (BAMA) baccalaureate degree. Master’s, including a Master of Professional Science degree, and doctorates are also awarded to RSMAS students by the UM Graduate School.

    The Rosenstiel School’s research includes the study of marine life, particularly Aplysia and coral; climate change; air-sea interactions; coastal ecology; and admiralty law. The school operates a marine research laboratory ship, and has a research site at an inland sinkhole. Research also includes the use of data from weather satellites and the school operates its own satellite downlink facility. The school is home to the world’s largest hurricane simulation tank.

    The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, The University of Miami is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.


    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation. Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of The National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus. The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

  • richardmitnick 7:33 am on June 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "AGWs": acoustic-gravity waves, "Scientists provide explanation for exceptional Tonga tsunami", A single AGW can stretch tens or hundreds of kilometers., A single AGW can travel at depths of hundreds or thousands of meters below the ocean surface transferring energy from the upper surface to the seafloor and across the oceans., AGWs are produced by volcanic eruptions or earthquakes., AGWs are very long sound waves travelling under the effects of gravity., , , , , , , Oceanography, The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on 15 January 2022 was the largest volcanic eruption of the 21st century and the largest eruption since Krakatoa in 1883., The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai tsunami propagated directly into the Caribbean and the Atlantic without having to travel around the South American landmass.,   

    From Cardiff University [Prifysgol Caerdydd] (WLS) : “Scientists provide explanation for exceptional Tonga tsunami” 

    From Cardiff University [Prifysgol Caerdydd] (WLS)

    13 June 2022


    Scientists say they have identified the exact mechanism responsible for the exceptional tsunami that spread quickly across the world after the colossal eruption of the Tonga volcano earlier this year.

    In a new paper published today in Nature, an international team including researchers from Cardiff University say the exceptional event was caused by acoustic-gravity waves (AGWs) triggered by the powerful volcanic blast, which travelled into the atmosphere and across the ocean as the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted.

    As these waves converged with each other, energy was continuously pumped into the tsunami which caused it to grow bigger, travel much further, much quicker and for much longer.

    The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on 15 January 2022 was the largest volcanic eruption of the 21st century and the largest eruption since Krakatoa in 1883.

    It’s been described as the biggest explosion ever recorded in the atmosphere and was hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

    The eruption was the source of both atmospheric disturbances and an exceptionally fast-travelling tsunami that were recorded worldwide, puzzling earth, atmospheric and ocean scientists alike.

    “The idea that tsunamis could be generated by atmospheric waves triggered by volcanic eruptions is not new, but this event was the first recorded by modern, worldwide dense instrumentation, allowing us to finally unravel the exact mechanism behind these unusual phenomena,” said co-author of the study Dr Ricardo Ramalho, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    AGWs are very long sound waves travelling under the effects of gravity. They can cut through a medium such as the deep ocean or the atmosphere at the speed of sound and are produced by volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, among other violent sources.

    A single AGW can stretch tens or hundreds of kilometers, and travel at depths of hundreds or thousands of meters below the ocean surface transferring energy from the upper surface to the seafloor and across the oceans.

    “In addition to travelling across the ocean, AGWs can also propagate into the atmosphere after violent events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes,” said co-author of the study Dr Usama Kadri, from Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics.

    “The Tonga eruption was in an ideal location below the surface, in shallow water, which caused energy being released into the atmosphere in a mushroom-shape close to the water surface. Thus, the interaction of energetic AGWs with the water surface was inevitable.”

    Using sea-level, atmospheric and satellite data from across the globe at the time of the volcanic eruption, the team has shown that the tsunami was driven by AGWs that were triggered by the eruption, travelling fast into the atmosphere and, in turn, were continuously ‘pumping’ energy back into the ocean.

    A comparison of atmospheric and sea-level data showed a direct correlation between the first sign of air disturbance caused by AGWs and the onset of a tsunami in many locations around the world.

    The team say the transfer of energy back into the ocean was caused by a phenomenon known as nonlinear resonance, where the AGWs interact with the tsunami they generated, causing the latter to be amplified.

    In the new study, they estimate that the tsunami travelled 1.5 to 2.5 times faster than a volcano-triggered tsunami would, crossing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans in less than 20 hours at speeds of around 1000 km/h.

    “Moreover, because the tsunami was driven by a fast atmospheric source, it propagated directly into the Caribbean and the Atlantic, without having to travel around the South American landmass, as a ‘normal’ tsunami would. This explains why the Tonga tsunami arrived at the Atlantic shores almost 10 hours before what was expected by a ‘normal’ tsunami,” added Dr Ramalho.

    “The Tonga tsunami has provided us with a unique opportunity to study the physical mechanism of formation and amplification of global tsunamis via resonance with acoustic-gravity waves. Such a resonance at this scale allows us to move beyond ‘proof of concept’ of the mechanism, and the development of more accurate forecasting models and real-time warning systems, into the potential of developing a new energy harnessing technology,” Dr Kadri concluded.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Cardiff Unversity [Prifysgol Caerdydd] (WLS) is a public research university in Cardiff, Wales. Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (University College Cardiff from 1972), it became a founding college of the University of Wales in 1893. It merged with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST) in 1988 to form the University of Wales College, Cardiff (University of Wales, Cardiff from 1996). In 1997 it received its own degree-awarding powers, but held them in abeyance. The college adopted the public name Cardiff University in 1999; in 2005 this became its legal name, when it became an independent university and began awarding its own degrees.

    Cardiff University is the third oldest university in Wales and contains three colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering. It is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities. In 2018–2019, Cardiff had a turnover of £537.1 million, including £116.0 million in research grants and contracts. It has an undergraduate enrolment of 23,960 and a total enrolment of 33,190 (according to HESA data for 2018/19) making it one of the ten largest UK universities. The Cardiff University Students’ Union works to promote student interests in the university and further afield.

    Discussions on the founding of a university college in South Wales began in 1879, when a group of Welsh and English MPs urged the government to consider the poor provision of higher and intermediate education in Wales and “the best means of assisting any local effort which may be made for supplying such deficiency.”

    In October 1881, William Gladstone’s government appointed a departmental committee to conduct “an enquiry into the nature and extent of intermediate and higher education in Wales”, chaired by Lord Aberdare and consisting of Viscount Emlyn, Reverend Prebendary H. G. Robinson, Henry Richard, John Rhys and Lewis Morris. The Aberdare Report, as it came to be known, took evidence from a wide range of sources and over 250 witnesses and recommended a college each for North Wales and South Wales, the latter to be located in Glamorgan and the former to be the established University College of Wales in Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University). The committee cited the unique Welsh national identity and noted that many students in Wales could not afford to travel to University in England or Scotland. It advocated a national degree-awarding university for Wales, composed of regional colleges, which should be non-sectarian in nature and exclude the teaching of theology.

    After the recommendation was published, Cardiff Corporation sought to secure the location of the college in Cardiff, and on 12 December 1881 formed a University College Committee to aid the matter. There was competition to be the site between Swansea and Cardiff. On 12 March 1883, after arbitration, a decision was made in Cardiff’s favour. This was strengthened by the need to consider the interests of Monmouthshire, at that time not legally incorporated into Wales, and the greater sum received by Cardiff in support of the college, through a public appeal that raised £37,000 and a number of private donations, notably from the Lord Bute and Lord Windsor. In April Lord Aberdare was appointed as the College’s first president. The possible locations considered included Cardiff Arms Park, Cathedral Road, and Moria Terrace, Roath, before the site of the Old Royal Infirmary buildings on Newport Road was chosen.

    The University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire opened on 24 October 1883 with courses in Biology, Chemistry, English, French, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics and Astronomy, Music, Welsh, Logic and Philosophy, and Physics. It was incorporated by Royal Charter the following year, this being the first in Wales to allow the enrollment of women, and specifically forbidding religious tests for entry. John Viriamu Jones was appointed as the University’s first Principal at the age of 27. As Cardiff was not an independent university and could not award its own degrees, it prepared its students for examinations of the University of London or for further study at Oxford or Cambridge.

    In 1888 the University College at Cardiff and that of North Wales (now Bangor University) proposed to the University College Wales at Aberystwyth joint action to gain a university charter for Wales, modelled on that of Victoria University, a confederation of new universities in Northern England. Such a charter was granted to the new University of Wales in 1893, allowing the colleges to award degrees as members. The Chancellor was set ex officio as the Prince of Wales, and the position of operational head would rotate among heads of the colleges.

    In 1885, Aberdare Hall opened as the first hall of residence, allowing women access to the university. This moved to its current site in 1895, but remains a single-sex hall. In 1904 came the appointment of the first female associate professor in the UK, Millicent Mackenzie, who in 1910 became the first female full professor at a fully chartered UK university.

    In 1901 Principal Jones persuaded Cardiff Corporation to give the college a five-acre site in Cathays Park (instead of selling it as they would have done otherwise). Soon after, in 1905, work on a new building commenced under the architect W. D. Caröe. Money ran short for the project, however. Although the side-wings were completed in the 1960s, the planned Great Hall has never been built. Caroe sought to combine the charm and elegance of his former (Trinity College, Cambridge) with the picturesque balance of many Oxford colleges. On 14 October 1909 the “New College” building in Cathays Park (now Main Building) was opened in a ceremony involving a procession from the “Old College” in Newport Road.

    In 1931, the School of Medicine, founded as part of the college in 1893 along with the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, was split off to form the Welsh National School of Medicine, which was renamed in 1984 the University of Wales College of Medicine.

    In 1972, the institution was renamed University College Cardiff.

  • richardmitnick 12:13 pm on June 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A huge Atlantic ocean current is slowing down. If it collapses La Niña could become the norm for Australia", , , , , , Oceanography,   

    From “The Conversation (AU)” : “A huge Atlantic ocean current is slowing down. If it collapses La Niña could become the norm for Australia” 

    From “The Conversation (AU)”

    June 6, 2022

    Beth Daley
    Editor and General Manager

    Matthew England
    Scientia Professor and Deputy Director of the ARC Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS), UNSW Sydney

    Andréa S. Taschetto
    Associate Professor, UNSW Sydney

    Bryam Orihuela-Pinto
    PhD Candidate, UNSW Sydney

    Credit: Shutterstock.

    Climate change is slowing down [Nature Climate Change 2015] the conveyor belt of ocean currents that brings warm water from the tropics up to the North Atlantic. Our research, published today in Nature Climate Change 2022, looks at the profound consequences to global climate if this Atlantic conveyor collapses entirely.

    We found the collapse of this system – called the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation – would shift the Earth’s climate to a more La Niña-like state. This would mean more flooding rains over eastern Australia and worse droughts and bushfire seasons over southwest United States.

    East-coast Australians know what unrelenting La Niña feels like. Climate change has loaded our atmosphere with moister air, while two summers of La Niña warmed the ocean north of Australia. Both contributed to some of the wettest conditions ever experienced, with record-breaking floods in New South Wales and Queensland.

    Meanwhile, over the southwest of North America, a record drought and severe bushfires have put a huge strain on emergency services and agriculture, with the 2021 fires alone estimated to have cost at least US$70 billion.

    Earth’s climate is dynamic, variable, and ever-changing. But our current trajectory of unabated greenhouse gas emissions is giving the whole system a giant kick that’ll have uncertain consequences – consequences that’ll rewrite our textbook description of the planet’s ocean circulation and its impact.

    What is the Atlantic overturning meridional circulation?

    The Atlantic overturning circulation comprises a massive flow of warm tropical water to the North Atlantic that helps keep European climate mild, while allowing the tropics a chance to lose excess heat. An equivalent overturning of Antarctic waters can be found in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Climate records reaching back 120,000 years reveal the Atlantic overturning circulation has switched off, or dramatically slowed, during ice ages. It switches on and placates European climate during so-called “interglacial periods”, when the Earth’s climate is warmer.

    Since human civilization began around 5,000 years ago, the Atlantic overturning has been relatively stable. But over the past few decades a slowdown has been detected, and this has scientists worried.

    The main components of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. The northward flowing upper branch (red arrow) transports warm salty waters to the North Atlantic, and forms the North Atlantic Deep Waters (NADW) at high latitudes. The southward flowing NADW lies above the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Stefano Crivellari, University of São Paulo/Research Gate.

    Why the slowdown? One unambiguous consequence of global warming is the melting of polar ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica. When these icecaps melt they dump massive amounts of freshwater into the oceans, making water more buoyant and reducing the sinking of dense water at high latitudes.

    Around Greenland alone, a massive 5 trillion tonnes of ice has melted in the past 20 years. That’s equivalent to 10,000 Sydney Harbours worth of freshwater. This melt rate is set to increase over the coming decades if global warming continues unabated.

    A collapse of the North Atlantic and Antarctic overturning circulations would profoundly alter the anatomy of the world’s oceans. It would make them fresher at depth, deplete them of oxygen, and starve the upper ocean of the upwelling of nutrients provided when deep waters resurface from the ocean abyss. The implications for marine ecosystems would be profound.

    With Greenland ice melt already well underway, scientists estimate the Atlantic overturning is at its weakest for at least the last millennium [Nature Geoscience], with predictions of a future collapse on the cards in coming centuries if greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked.

    The ramifications of a slowdown

    In our study [cited above], we used a comprehensive global model to examine what Earth’s climate would look like under such a collapse. We switched the Atlantic overturning off by applying a massive meltwater anomaly to the North Atlantic, and then compared this to an equivalent run with no meltwater applied.

    Our focus was to look beyond the well-known regional impacts around Europe and North America, and to check how Earth’s climate would change in remote locations, as far south as Antarctica.

    An Atlantic overturning shutdown would be felt as far south as Antarctica. Shutterstock.

    The first thing the model simulations revealed was that without the Atlantic overturning, a massive pile up of heat builds up just south of the Equator.

    This excess of tropical Atlantic heat pushes more warm moist air into the upper troposphere (around 10 kilometres into the atmosphere), causing dry air to descend over the east Pacific.

    The descending air then strengthens trade winds, which pushes warm water towards the Indonesian seas. And this helps put the tropical Pacific into a La Niña-like state.

    Australians may think of La Niña summers as cool and wet. But under the long-term warming trend of climate change, their worst impacts will be flooding rain, especially over the east.

    We also show an Atlantic overturning shutdown would be felt as far south as Antarctica. Rising warm air over the West Pacific would trigger wind changes that propagate south to Antarctica. This would deepen the atmospheric low pressure system over the Amundsen Sea, which sits off west Antarctica.

    This low pressure system is known to influence ice sheet and ice shelf melt, as well as ocean circulation and sea-ice extent as far west as the Ross Sea.

    While La Niña is known to bring wet weather to Australia, it brings drought and bushfire to the US southwest. AP Photo/Noah Berger, File.

    A new world order

    At no time in Earth’s history, giant meteorites and super-volcanos aside, has our climate system been jolted by changes in atmospheric gas composition like what we are imposing today by our unabated burning of fossil fuels.

    The oceans are the flywheel of Earth’s climate, slowing the pace of change by absorbing heat and carbon in vast quantities. But there is payback, with sea level rise, ice melt, and a significant slowdown of the Atlantic overturning circulation projected for this century.

    Now we know this slowdown will not just affect the North Atlantic region, but as far away as Australia and Antarctica.

    We can prevent these changes from happening by growing a new low-carbon economy. Doing so will change, for the second time in less than a century, the course of Earth’s climate history – this time for the better.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Conversation (AU) launched as a pilot project in October 2014. It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.
    Our team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.
    Access to independent, high quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation.

  • richardmitnick 8:44 am on June 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Millions of Shipwrecks Lost to The Ocean Are Changing Life in The Deep Sea", , , , Deep sea microbes living on submerged shipwrecks are positioned at the bottom of the underwater food chain., , , , , Oceanography, , Submerged wooden islands are proving a vibrant breeding ground for deep sea microbes., The team behind this latest study suggests that other human-made structures-such as oil rigs-could be having a similar impact on deep sea microbiomes., There are estimated to be around three million shipwrecks sitting on sea beds around the world.   

    From “Science Alert(AU)” : “Millions of Shipwrecks Lost to The Ocean Are Changing Life in The Deep Sea” 


    From “Science Alert(AU)”

    9 JUNE 2022

    (Rick Ayrton/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

    There are estimated to be around three million shipwrecks sitting on sea beds around the world, many of them made from wood – and these submerged wooden islands are proving a vibrant breeding ground for deep sea microbes, a new study reveals.

    Scientists say these human-made structures are having an important impact on the delicate ecosystems down at the bottom of the oceans, to an extent that hasn’t really been appreciated before.

    Deep sea microbes living on submerged shipwrecks are positioned at the bottom of the underwater food chain, so changes to them could have a knock-on effect on other marine life – and, ultimately, everything living on the land as well.

    “Microbial communities are important to be aware of and understand because they provide early and clear evidence of how human activities change life in the ocean,” says molecular microbial ecologist Leila Hamdan from the University of Southern Mississippi.

    Hamdan and fellow researchers picked two 19th century shipwreck sites in the Gulf Mexico for their study. They placed pine and oak blocks around the sites, from right next to the shipwrecks to up to 200 meters (656 feet) away, and left the wood there for four months.

    The wooden blocks were then recovered and measured for bacteria, archaea, and fungi. Microbial diversity varied depending on proximity to the wreck sites, peaking around 125 meters (410 feet) away. The type of wood made a difference as well, with oak more favorable to microbial biodiversity than pine.

    Natural hard habitats – trees that have fallen into rivers and the oceans – are already well known for influencing the biodiversity of the water they tumble into. What this study shows is that shipwrecks abandoned by humans affect microbial life under the sea too.

    “These biofilms are ultimately what enable hard habitats to transform into islands of biodiversity,” says Hamdan.

    Overall, across the two sites, the presence of the shipwrecks increased microbial richness in the surrounding water, and altered the composition and dispersal patterns of the biofilms holding microbes, the researchers found.

    As expected, additional factors influencing microbial life were water depth and the closeness to other nutrient sources, such as the Mississippi River delta.

    While further research is needed to investigate the phenomenon at a broader range of sites, these initial findings are enough to show that shipwrecks are an important consideration in underwater biodiversity.

    The team behind this latest study suggests that other human-made structures-such as oil rigs-could be having a similar impact on deep sea microbiomes, and again further research is justified in attempting to find out specifics.

    “While we are aware human impacts on the seabed are increasing through the multiple economic uses, scientific discovery is not keeping pace with how this shapes the biology and chemistry of natural under sea landscapes,” says Hamdan.

    “We hope this work will begin a dialogue that leads to research on how built habitats are already changing the deep sea.”

    The research has been published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 7:21 am on June 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ocean rings’ mystery stems from shape of seafloor", , , , , Oceanography   

    From “EarthSky” : “Ocean rings’ mystery stems from shape of seafloor” 


    From “EarthSky”

    June 8, 2022
    Kelly Kizer Whitt

    Do you see the circular swirls in this view of the South Atlantic Ocean from January 5, 2021? These are ocean rings, or eddies. Image via NOAA/ NASA.

    Oceans rings and the sandpaper effect

    Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth’s surface. But there’s much we still don’t know about these vast watery stretches of our planet. This month (June 3, 2022), researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, announced new insights into the mystery of how ocean rings, or eddies – like those seen in this video – stay stable for long periods of time. They said the answer lies in the shape of the seafloor: its topography. That’s despite the fact that the average depth of the ocean – from seafloor to surface – is 2.3 miles (3.7 km)!

    The researchers – doctoral student Larry Gulliver and professor Timour Radko – said small-scale texture on the seafloor slows down deep ocean currents, improving the stability and longevity of the eddies all the way at the surface. They call this the sandpaper effect. Just as small abrasive particles can grind down larger objects – like sandpaper does on a block of wood – so can these small features on the ocean floor affect portions of the vast ocean above it.

    Their discovery, published March 9, 2022, landed them on the cover of the March 2022 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters. This was Gulliver’s first paper as a lead author. Radko said of Gulliver that he did it:

    “… on his first try. It’s like getting on the cover of Rolling Stone … You’re a rockstar.”

    Larry Gulliver and Timour Radko of the Naval Postgraduate School discovered why circular currents known as ocean rings can persist for long periods of time. Image via NPS.

    What are ocean rings?

    Ocean rings, or eddies, are circular swirls of currents that can be a couple of miles or kilometers wide. These rings can persist in the same location from months to years. Ocean rings are vital for transporting heat and nutrients throughout the ocean. These circular features can create their own weather, generate wave patterns and even impact acoustics.

    While scientists have long searched for how large vortices can be stable for long periods, previous searches disregarded ocean floor topography because they thought it was too far away to make a difference. Theoreticians don’t look at topography when considering activity on the ocean’s surface. Radko said this new finding has him questioning everything:

    “If this small-scale topography affects this vortex, it may affect currents, waves, and what not. I’m becoming skeptical of everything that assumes the bottom is smooth.”

    Piggy-backing on previous ocean ring research

    With an assumption of a smooth seafloor, the physics suggests that ocean rings should dissipate after a few weeks. Old studies on ocean rings didn’t account for the sandpaper effect. Radko and Gulliver made their model as accurate to the topography as possible. Using data from echo-sounding, or sonar systems, they made their model represent a rough bottom that mathematically represents an average seafloor. Gulliver said:

    “We borrowed this, borrowed that, borrowed the other idea, put it together and it worked! It was pretty quick, [but] I had to run a few more simulations to make sure.”

    “Pretty quick” in researcher-speak equaled about four years of studying, modeling and collaboration. Their discovery will help other researchers and the Navy’s meteorology and oceanography community provide critical information to others. Radko is planning to look at how the Navy’s Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model represents eddies. He hopes their new discovery helps improve the accuracy of the model. As Radko said:

    Let’s get to the bottom of it.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.orgin 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.

  • richardmitnick 7:02 am on June 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How we’re using machine learning to detect coral-eating COTS", "Internet of Things", , , , CSIRO’s Data61, , , , Oceanography, The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most diverse and unique landscapes.   

    From CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization: “How we’re using machine learning to detect coral-eating COTS” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

    June 5th, 2022
    Alex Persley

    The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most diverse and unique landscapes. Covering more than 2,900 individual reefs, it is home to unmatched marine biodiversity. A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have been working on projects using innovative science and technology to help combat some of the threats facing our reef.

    The team have worked with a range of stakeholders, most recently joining forces with Google and the international Kaggle community to explore ways to help with the monitoring and detection of crown-of-thorns starfish.

    Meet the team and learn more about their work here.

    Dr. Brano Kusy

    Dr. Brano Kusy is an internationally respected scientist and research group leader with CSIRO’s Data61. Dr. Kusy’s work focuses on new frontiers in networked embedded systems, mobile and wearable computing, and Internet of Things. 

    Brano, tell us about your work on the Great Barrier Reef and what attracted you to it?

    My research interests are at an intersection between digital technology and the physical world. Digital technology delivers high value in land environments, however, coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs remain poorly understood. This is due to their size, that seawater hides detail from remote sensing methods in all but the shallowest marine ecosystems, and the general difficulty of operating digital technology in remote marine environments.

    I have championed a multi-pronged approach to solve reef challenges that relied on CSIRO’s in-house technologies, such as Internet of Things, robotics, machine learning, and computer vision.

    We have developed biosensors that can monitor feeding of coral trouts and physiology of oysters, a new underwater hyperspectral imaging platform, and a robust method for detecting Irukandji jellyfish based on eDNA contained in seawater.

    Can you tell us more about the machine learning technology behind the crown-of-thorns starfish surveys?

    The COTS monitoring application is the culmination of edge ML (machine learning) and imaging technologies developed over the past four years.

    It is based on a close collaboration of CSIRO computer vision and edge ML experts with Google and Kaggle and it is a shining example of ML technology helping to protect the environment.

    We have built an edge ML platform for oceans that can analyse underwater images as they are collected by marine scientists in the field and basically uncover the hidden world under the surface through an intuitive touch-screen interface.

    In the COTS monitoring use case, the ML platform processes the images in real-time and shows the survey team on the boat how many COTS have been detected and their whereabouts.

    The beauty of this approach is that it is not locked in – it generalizes too many applications and devices. We demonstrated it works amazingly well for mapping COTS on coral reefs, but the method can be adapted for sea cucumbers in a sustainable aquaculture context, seagrass biomass for carbon accounting, or surveying condition, health, and diversity of sea life on coral reefs for climate impact assessment.

    Additionally, our platform works with many different data collection technologies and supports multiple ML software frameworks, all you need is a wired or wireless connection from your data collection platform. We demonstrated the platform with in-house data collection technology, real-time GoPro camera streams, commercial Pro Squid platform, and will be adding more in the future.

    AI model detecting crown-of-thorn-starfish.

    What role can digital sciences play in ensuring the sustainability of our natural environments?

    One of our major objectives was to scale our invention to increase global impact. This was achieved by allowing fellow researchers to use our technology to explore the plethora of opportunities in this space.

    In collaboration with Google TensorFlow team, we open sourced the COTS ML model and workflows under Apache license. This allowed students, scientists, and entrepreneurs worldwide to evaluate our ML technology with their own image datasets and extend it to suit their application.

    The ML model training toolchain will be released soon to retrain the ML models for other species or object identification. By democratising ML capabilities in this space, we can make a tangible difference in ocean and marine life protection.

    How important are partnerships to this kind of work?

    It’s impossible to overstate the importance of partnerships and open sharing of scientific ideas in this line of work. In addition to our technology being inherently multi-disciplinary (designed by computer geeks like me, but used and interpreted by marine scientists), careful planning is required to deploy the technology prototypes reliably and safely at sea. Conditions can change in an instant and internet connectivity is non-existent.

    The project team needs to work as a tight-knit unit. We are very fortunate to have worked with some of the most competent and experienced crews in Australia. Shout out to University of Queensland’s Heron Island and Moreton Bay research stations, University of Sydney’s One Tree Island research station, Blue Planet Marine, and GBR Marine Park Authority.

    It was also a great privilege to work with Google Tensorflow and Kaggle teams. Having access to the latest ML expertise and hardware resources coupled with the global reach of both brands was pivotal in getting the message out. Over 2,000 international ML teams participated in the competition, the video was viewed 26 million times, and we were featured in a keynote at Google’s annual I/O conference.

    Dr Joey Crosswell

    Dr Joey Crosswell is a biogeochemist with broad research interests across oceanography and engineering. His research includes diverse environments around the world, ranging from mangroves and mesoscale eddies, to arid tropical estuaries in northern Australia and fjords in Patagonia.

    Joey, tell us about your work on the Great Barrier Reef and what attracted you to it?

    My research focuses on the connectivity of coastal systems, particularly carbon and nutrient cycling between land, ocean, and atmosphere. The Reef is particularly interesting in this regard because it is one of the largest and most complex coastal ecosystems in the world. For example, human activities far up in river catchments and oceanic processes that start on the other side of the Pacific come together in the GBR to affect the health and resilience of the Reef.

    My work looks at untangling these processes across the multiple time and space scales by using novel observation methods combined with advanced modelling tools, such as eReefs. This multi-scale understanding is important for managing the Reef because it informs where meaningful local actions can be taken, such as restoration, through to needs for larger-scale efforts such as global climate action.

    I have worked in estuaries and coral reefs along the entire coast of the GBR, but I am particularly interested in those further afield. That is, the more remote, the better. These systems provide a valuable comparison that help us gauge the impact of coastal development and future change.

    The lack of existing data in many of these remote environments also presents the challenge of building a holistic understanding from the ground up, a task for which I think CSIRO’s research disciplines, researchers, and partnerships are uniquely suited. I also have a keen interest in extreme events such as cyclones and floods that are relatively brief but have lasting impacts.

    We currently have a limited ability to resolve these events, and the development of new observational tools, methods and models for extreme conditions is one of my long-term research passions.

    An aerial map of the reef showing where where crown-of-thorn-starfish have been detected.

    How important is multidisciplinary science and collaboration between different groups in this space?

    Put simply, it is the only effective way forward.

    Like the Reef faces combined threats from rising sea temperature, water quality, COTS and coastal development, so too must we employ cross-cutting science to support Reef resilience to these threats.

    The benefits of multidisciplinary research are being widely recognized through programs like eReefs the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, and the COTS Control and Innovation Program. The COTS ML model that we recently developed through a cross disciplinary multi-institutional collaboration clearly shows how integrative research can drive a step change in technical methods that have otherwise made little progress for decades.

    AI model detecting 6 crown-of-thorn starfish in underwater imagery.

    Moreover, closer coupling of research and management disciplines allows technical innovations to have a ripple effect that drives systemic change. In the COTS application, more and better data collected using ML COTS detection will enable more efficient decision support for active control measures.

    New data dimensions unlocked by computer vision will also feedback to research on key relationships and thresholds, such as triggers for COTS outbreaks that can be proactively managed. Even more exciting than the potential of multidisciplinary science to mitigate threats is the potential to maximize benefits and ecosystem services.

    Last but not least is the more personal aspect of multidisciplinary science. This blog highlights only a few members and accomplishments of much larger teams of which I am a part. Not only is it fun and fulfilling to learn from diverse expertise, backgrounds and perspectives, but it also expands the impact of our research to new environments and cultures.

    Multidisciplinary research teams are a big part of why I enjoy what I do and who I do it with, which is particularly important when you spend a lot of time on small boats at sea!

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organizations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organization as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organized into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Land and Water
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities
    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    STCA CSIRO Australia Compact Array (AU), six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (AU) Parkes Observatory [Murriyang, the traditional Indigenous name], located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, 414.80m above sea level.

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

    CSIRO Canberra campus.

    ESA DSA 1, hosts a 35-metre deep-space antenna with transmission and reception in both S- and X-band and is located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, near the town of New Norcia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU)CSIRO R/V Investigator.

    UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK) synthetic aperture radar satellite.

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia.

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia.

    Pausey Supercomputer CSIRO Zeus SGI Linux cluster.

    Others not shown


    SKA- Square Kilometer Array.

    SKA Square Kilometre Array low frequency at Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

  • richardmitnick 12:23 pm on May 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Uncovering hidden upwelling system", , , Eastern boundary currents in the subtropical ocean basins are relatively shallow and cover a wide region and are often associated with upwelling., If the continental shelf on the southeastern United States is not more productive than California they are at least comparable., Ocean currents are streams of water that move in a definite path and direction from one part of the ocean to another., Oceanography, , UD research sheds light on upwelling associated with Western Boundary Currents., Upwelling brings the water up and provides the nutrients and carbon a way to exchange between the surface and the deeper ocean., WBCs tend to be narrow deep-reaching fast flowing and their role in the climate system is typically discussed in terms of horizontal transport., Western Boundary Currents (WBCs) play a critical role in regulating the global climate carrying large amounts of heat north from tropical waters.   

    From The University of Delaware: “Uncovering hidden upwelling system” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware

    May 25, 2022
    Article by Adam Thomas
    Photo by Lisa Tossey

    A new paper from University of Delaware researchers published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans examined the vertical motions associated with western boundary currents. The data revealed robust and intense upwelling in western boundary currents and found that this upwelling contributes significantly to the vertical transport of ocean properties and materials such as heat and carbon.

    UD research sheds light on upwelling associated with Western Boundary Currents.

    Western Boundary Currents (WBCs) play a critical role in regulating the global climate, carrying large amounts of heat north from tropical waters. While there have been many studies conducted on the horizontal motions of WBCs and how they transport heat and carbon laterally in the ocean, there have been few studies on how WBCs move vertically in the water column.

    A new paper from University of Delaware researchers published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans examined the vertical motions associated with WBCs, with the data revealing robust and intense upwelling in the WBCs. This upwelling contributes significantly to the vertical transport of ocean properties and materials such as heat and carbon.

    The authors on the paper include Xinfeng Liang and Yun Li, both assistant professors in the School of Marine Science and Policy, and Michael Spall, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Fanglou Liao, a postdoctoral researcher in Liang’s lab, is the first author on the paper.

    Eastern and Western Boundary Ocean Currents

    Ocean currents are streams of water that move in a definite path and direction from one part of the ocean to another. There are two main categories of boundary currents that are based on geographic locations: western boundary currents and eastern boundary currents.

    Western boundary currents are the currents found on the western side of all the major ocean basins, while eastern boundary currents are found on the eastern side of these basins.

    While eastern boundary currents in the subtropical ocean basins are relatively shallow, cover a wide region and are often associated with upwelling, WBCs tend to be narrow, deep-reaching, fast flowing and their role in the climate system is typically discussed in terms of horizontal transport. The effects of vertical motions of the WBCs have been generally neglected.

    While physical oceanography textbooks explain upwelling systems in places like the Southern Ocean and eastern boundary currents, there is little to no mention of upwelling in the WBCs.

    “In the literature, we don’t find a lot of studies talking about the vertical motions in western boundary currents, specifically on the western side of the subtropical ocean basins, which was very significant in the data we examined,” said Liang. “It seems that people generally think there’s no upwelling in those regions or never thought about that possibility.”

    The researchers analyzed six publicly available datasets of vertical velocity in the ocean and looked at WBCs in five subtropical regions such as Kuroshio, the Gulf Stream, the Agulhas Current, the East Australian Current, and the Brazil Current. They also examined the Peruvian upwelling region to look at contrasting eastern boundary upwelling.

    Looking at an 18-year average of time, the research unveiled intense upwelling around the WBC in all the products.

    Satellite discovery

    One catalyst for this research came when Li’s research group used satellite images to look at well-known upwelling systems in the ocean by looking at global chlorophyll distribution. Those distributions show up in satellite images as “hotspots” and represent high concentrations of phytoplankton, which signifies the possibility of the ocean’s vertical motion induced nutrient supply to the euphotic, or uppermost, layer.

    Though there were subtropical ocean margins well-known for high phytoplankton production activity, Li’s group found that they couldn’t immediately attribute all these regions shown in the satellite images to the traditionally well-recognized upwelling zones, which surprised the team because conventional wisdom has been that they should.

    What was even more surprising is that the east coast of the United States — which is impacted by the Gulf Stream WBC — looked similar to the west coast of the United States, especially around California, a well-known hot spot for upwelling.

    “Humans can impact nearshore nutrient concentrations,” said Li. “We have river inputs and anthropogenic nutrient inputs, but when we’re talking about such a large band along the coast, it’s almost impossible, quantitatively, for it to all come from human impact. So that told us there must be some other, additional oceanic process that sustains the high primary production.”

    Overlooked ocean feature

    One of the potential reasons why this has been overlooked for many years is that the WBCs have a lot of strong eddies — circular currents of water. The upwelling signals in the WBCs could have been covered up by these eddies, as an upwelling signal like cold, nutrient-rich water coming up from the bottom would be consistently erased by WBCs warm water flowing from the tropical region northward.

    “Those northward horizontal signals are much stronger than and dilute the vertical signals, so you can’t see those cooling features very clearly,” said Liang. “Generally speaking, the horizontal motion is so strong, it just kind of covers the vertical signal.”

    Now that the researchers have discovered this upwelling in the WBCs, they said that it could be important information for biological and chemical oceanographers as the upwelling in the WBCs reach deep in the ocean and also the reach fairly close to the surface.

    The upwelling brings up a lot of nutrients and plays a role in the heat transport, salt transport and water volume transport from the deep ocean to the surface layer.

    “It brings the water up and provides the nutrients and carbon a way to exchange between the surface and the deeper ocean,” said Liang. “We can see that for the subsurface, basically 100 meters below sea surface, the upwelling is a dominant branch of the upward movement of water.”

    Although their study did not directly observe WBC upwelling, the researchers are confident in their results due to the variety of ocean data products providing similar evidence, as well as the fact that when they used those products on the well-studied vertical motions in other regions of the global ocean — such as the eastern boundary currents — the results were consistent with previous theoretical and observational studies.

    Impact of newly discovered upwelling

    Li said that the next steps are to take this research and assess how this upwelling affects the carbon cycle and biological production.

    Thomas Daley, an undergraduate at Bowdoin College and one of the students that Li hosted for last summer’s Research Experience for Undergraduates at UD, gave a talk at the 2022 Ocean Sciences Meeting that looked at Hidden Upwelling for Nutrient Transport (HUNT) in the Southeastern U.S. Shelf Region.

    His work showed that — similar to the coast of California — nutrients were transported through upwelling from the deep ocean basin in the southeastern United States to the continental shelf and induced primary production of carbon.

    “Once again, this confirms that if the continental shelf on the southeastern United States is not more productive than California, they are at least comparable,” said Li.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The University of Delaware is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation , UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km^2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 , University of Delaware expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.


    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

  • richardmitnick 9:18 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Deep ocean warming as climate changes", , , , , , Oceanography,   

    From University of Exeter (UK) : “Deep ocean warming as climate changes” 

    From University of Exeter (UK)

    The subtropical North Atlantic. Credit Marie-Jose Messias.

    Much of the “excess heat” stored in the subtropical North Atlantic is in the deep ocean (below 700m), new research suggests.

    Oceans have absorbed about 90% of warming caused by humans. The study found that in the subtropical North Atlantic (25°N), 62% of the warming from 1850-2018 is held in the deep ocean.

    The researchers – from the University of Exeter and the University of Brest – estimate that the deep ocean will warm by a further 0.2°C in the next 50 years.

    Ocean warming can have a range of consequences including sea-level rise, changing ecosystems, currents and chemistry, and deoxygenation.

    “As our planet warms, it’s vital to understand how the excess heat taken up by the ocean is redistributed in the ocean interior all the way from the surface to the bottom, and it is important to take into account the deep ocean to assess the growth of Earth’s ‘energy imbalance’,” said Dr Marie-José Messias, from the University of Exeter.

    “As well as finding that the deep ocean is holding much of this excess heat, our research shows how ocean currents redistribute heat to different regions.

    “We found that this redistribution was a key driver of warming in the North Atlantic.”

    The researchers studied the system of currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

    AMOC works like a conveyer belt, carrying warm water from the tropics north – where colder, dense water sinks into the deep ocean and spreads slowly south.

    The findings highlight the importance of warming transferring by AMOC from one region to another.

    Dr Messias said excess heat from the Southern Hemisphere oceans is becoming important in the North Atlantic – now accounting for about a quarter of excess heat.

    The study used temperature records and chemical “tracers” – compounds whose make-up can be used to discover past changes in the ocean.

    The paper is published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Exeter (UK) is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. It was founded and received its royal charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke’s College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively. In post-nominals, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis), and is the suffix given to honorary and academic degrees from the university.

    The university has four campuses: Streatham and St Luke’s (both of which are in Exeter); and Truro and Penryn (both of which are in Cornwall). The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university’s administrative buildings. The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University (UK) under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.

    Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and is also a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association (EU), and and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

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