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  • richardmitnick 9:07 am on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Warming water can create a tropical ecosystem but a fragile one", , , , Oceanography,   

    From Science News: “Warming water can create a tropical ecosystem, but a fragile one” 

    From Science News

    5.6.20
    Jake Buehler

    Warm water discharged into the Sea of Japan let tropical fish flourish in an artificial hot spot.

    1
    A cutribbon wrasse (Stethojulis interrupta) is one of the tropical species that disappeared from the Otomi Peninsula in Japan after a nearby power plant shut down operations and stopped releasing warm water. Mark Rosenstein/iNaturalist.org (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

    A decade ago, the waters off the Otomi Peninsula in the Sea of Japan, were a tepid haven. Schools of sapphire damselfish flitted above herds of long-spined urchins. The site was a hot spot of tropical biodiversity far from the equator, thanks to warm water exhaust from a nearby nuclear power plant. But when the plant ceased operations in 2012, those tropical species vanished.

    After the plant shut down, Otomi’s average bottom temperature fell by 3 degrees Celsius, and the site lost most of its tropical fishes, fisheries scientist Reiji Masuda of Kyoto University reports May 6 in PLOS ONE. The die-off of tropical fishes and invertebrates was “striking,” he says. Otomi quickly reverted to a cool-water ecosystem.

    The life and death of the reef is providing a sneak peek into the future of temperate habitats under climate change. This research suggests that even modest warming can result in dramatic changes to cool-water reefs, with some temperate habitats converting to more tropical ones. But these emerging reefs may not match the diversity or health of other more established tropical reefs at first, leaving them as ecologically fragile as the Otomi reef proved to be.

    While some temperate reefs are changing rapidly with global warming, they aren’t exact transplants of more established tropical ecosystems, says David Booth, a marine ecologist at the University of Technology Sydney not involved in the new study. Booth studies increasingly tropical Australian reefs.

    “People always ask us, ‘Oh, that means even though the Barrier Reef’s in trouble with bleaching, in a couple of years Sydney will be the new Barrier Reef?’” Booth says. Sydney is merely acquiring a handful of tropical fish and coral, he says, “so, it ain’t the Barrier Reef by any means. Just a coral community starting, that’s all.”

    Rapid die-off

    In October 2003, while studying groupers at Otomi, Masuda noticed lots of tropical fishes that seemed out of place. Parts of southern Japan host tropical reefs, but Otomi sits at about 35° N, a zone typically occupied by seaweeds and associated fishes. The source of this anomaly was the Takahama nuclear power plant, only 2 kilometers away, which released warm water into the ocean after using it to cool reactors.

    In 2004, Masuda began surveying Otomi and two other nearby sites, cataloging and counting fish. Then the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011, precipitating the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Japan stopped running all of its nuclear plants in response, including Takahama in 2012. As the warm discharge ceased, Otomi became an impromptu natural experiment in resiliency (SN: 12/5/14), and Masuda kept collecting data for the next five years.

    Soon, he started seeing dead and dying fish everywhere. “In normal marine environments, we scarcely see a dead fish,” says Masuda, since fish usually die by being eaten. But around Otomi, fish were succumbing en masse to the cold temperatures instead.

    2
    Neon damselfish (Pomacentrus coelestis) once congregated in Otomi’s warm water (left). But after a nearby nuclear power plant shut down, the waters cooled. Now, Japanese rockbass (Sebastes cheni) and the wrasse Halichoeres tenuispinis — typical species in temperate Japan — swim among sargassum seaweed (right). Credit: Reiji Masuda

    Masuda was also surprised at how quickly Otomi shifted back to a temperate ecosystem. “Only two months after the die-out of tropical, poisonous sea urchins, temperate sea urchins appeared,” he says. “The sargassum seaweed bed recovered with some temperate fishes such as common wrasse and rockfish.”

    Sneak peek

    Otomi may provide a preview of some of the changes temperate reefs could experience as the global climate warms. After decades of warm water, Otomi still had no shelter-providing corals or large, tropical predators.

    That lack of predators may have been behind Otomi’s high densities of tropical urchins, which had stripped the seabed clear of algae, obliterating access to food and shelter for many other species. There was nothing “to control their number and thus to maintain a healthy ecosystem,” he says.

    Masuda thinks it’s possible the die-offs were so severe and abrupt because of this poor ecosystem health. With species diversity lower than other tropical systems, the lack of redundancy can make the whole ecosystem more susceptible to stressors. In this case, that stress was a drop in temperature.

    If there were many different species of urchin in the tropicalized reef, there’d be a higher chance that some could tolerate lower temperatures, Masuda points out. “This applies to fishes, too,” he says. “In healthy tropical ecosystems, there are many species — some should be relatively robust to temperature changes.”

    Elsewhere in Japan, warming seas have already led to complete ecosystem shifts from kelp forests to coral, upending fisheries, Booth notes.

    As for Otomi, it may get another chance to be a natural experiment. In May 2017, the Takahama nuclear reactor turned back on, and Masuda has been diving and collecting data on the return of tropical fishes and urchins as the waters warm. Analyzing this much slower change, he says, “will be another fish to fry.”

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 7:46 am on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Shedding light on the ocean’s living carbon pump", , , , , Fisheries, Oceanography, Phytoplankton play a crucial role in ocean biology and climate.   

    From European Space Agency – United Space in Europe: “Shedding light on the ocean’s living carbon pump” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency – United Space in Europe

    06/05/2020


    Global annual primary production

    This map shows the global annual primary productivity from 1998-2018. In a recent paper published in Remote Sensing, scientists used data from the Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative to study the long-term patterns of primary production and its interannual variability.

    Phytoplankton play a crucial role in ocean biology and climate. Understanding the natural processes that influence phytoplankton primary production, and how they are changing as the planet warms, is vital. A new study, using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, has produced a 20-year time-series of global primary production in the oceans – shedding new light on the ocean’s living carbon pump.

    Phytoplankton, microscopic, free-floating plants in aquatic systems, play an important role in the global carbon cycle by absorbing carbon dioxide on a scale equivalent to that of terrestrial plants. Primary production is an ecologic term used to describe the synthesis of organic material from carbon dioxide and water, in the presence of sunlight, through photosynthesis.

    1
    Algae blooms

    Even small variations in primary productivity can affect carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as influencing biodiversity and fisheries.

    As ocean surfaces warm in response to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases, phytoplankton productivity will need to be monitored both consistently and systematically. Although in situ measurements are necessary in studying productivity, satellite data are fundamental to providing a global view of phytoplankton and their role in, and response to, climate change.

    In a recent paper published in Remote Sensing [above], scientists used data from the Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative to study the long-term patterns of primary production and its interannual variability. Combining long-term satellite data with in situ measurements, they assessed global annual primary productivity from 1998-2018.

    Changes in primary production varied location to location, season to season and year after year. They found that global annual primary production varied around 38 to 42 gigatonnes of carbon per year. They also observed several regional differences, with high production in coastal areas and low production in the open oceans.

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    Global monthly primary productivity

    The paper also highlighted that phytoplankton productivity levels increase and decrease coinciding with major Earth system processes – such as El Niño, Indian Ocean Dipole and North Atlantic Oscillation.

    Gemma Kulk, from Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the lead author of the paper, comments “Everyone understands why the rainforests and trees are important – they are the lungs of the Earth, taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. What is overlooked is that the oceans are of equal importance – every second breath you take comes from the oceans.”

    Being able to observe and quantify primary production over long-time scales will help the scientific and modelling communities to determine the effect of climate variability on these processes, as well as to identify any residual trend that signals a shift in climate.

    Co-author, Shubha Sathyendranath, from Plymouth Marine Laboratory and science leader of the Ocean Colour CCI project, adds, “Although the data records span 20 years, it is important to wait at least 30 years to be able to identify any clear climate trend with sufficient confidence.

    “It is critical that the ocean colour dataset as part of the Climate Change Initiative be extended and maintained on a regular basis, so that we have an empirical record of the response of ocean biota to changes in climate. From this, we can develop reliable models, so we can accurately predict change in order to adapt to the impacts of a changing world.”

    The work presented here is also a contribution to ESA’s BICEP (Biological Pump and Carbon Exchange Processes) Project.

    ESA’s Climate Change Initiative is a research and development programme that merges and calibrates measurements from multiple satellite missions to generate a global time-series looking at 21 key components of the climate system. Spanning decades, these long-term data records enable scientists to identify climate trends, develop and test Earth system models that predict future change and inform decision-makers to mitigate and adapt to the impacts.

    See the full article here .


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    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 10:59 am on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Microbes far beneath the seafloor rely on recycling to survive", , , , International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 360, , Oceanography,   

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: “Microbes far beneath the seafloor rely on recycling to survive” 

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    March 11, 2020

    1
    Detailed examination of rocks nestled thousands of feet beneath the ocean floor revealed life in plutonic rocks of the lower oceanic crust. Shown here is a thin section photomicrograph mosaic of one of the samples. (Photo by Frieder Klein, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.)

    Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveal how microorganisms could survive in rocks nestled thousands of feet beneath the ocean floor in the lower oceanic crust, in a study published on March 11 in Nature. The first analysis of messenger RNA—genetic material containing instructions for making different proteins—from this remote region of Earth, coupled with measurements of enzyme activities, microscopy, cultures, and biomarker analyses provides evidence of a low biomass, but diverse community of microbes that includes heterotrophs that obtain their carbon from other living (or dead) organisms.

    “Organisms eking out an existence far beneath the seafloor live in a hostile environment,” says Dr. Paraskevi (Vivian) Mara, a WHOI biochemist and one of the lead authors of the paper. Scarce resources find their way into the seabed through seawater and subsurface fluids that circulate through fractures in the rock and carry inorganic and organic compounds.

    To see what kinds of microbes live at these extremes and what they do to survive, researchers collected rock samples from the lower oceanic crust over three months aboard the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 360. The research vessel traveled to an underwater ridge called Atlantis Bank that cuts across the Southern Indian Ocean.

    3

    There, tectonic activity exposes the lower oceanic crust at the seafloor, “providing convenient access to an otherwise largely inaccessible realm,” write the authors.

    Researchers combed the rocks for genetic material and other organic molecules, performed cell counts, and cultured samples in the lab to aid in their search for life. “We applied a completely new cocktail of methods to really try to explore these precious samples as intensively as we could,” says Dr. Virginia Edgcomb, a microbiologist at WHOI, the lead PI of the project, and a co-author of the paper. “All together, the data start to paint a story.”

    2
    Researchers Benoit Ildefonse (left) of University of Montpellier and Virginia Edgcomb of WHOI select a sample for microbiology during the expedition at Atlantis Bank, Indian Ocean. (Photo by Jason Sylvan, TAMU.)

    By isolating messenger RNA and analyzing the expression of genes—the instructions for different metabolic processes—researchers showed evidence that microorganisms far beneath the ocean express genes for a diverse array of survival strategies. Some microbes appeared to have the ability to store carbon in their cells, so they could stockpile for times of shortage. Others had indications they could process nitrogen and sulfur to generate energy, produce Vitamin E and B12, recycle amino acids, and pluck out carbon from hard-to-breakdown compounds called polyaromatic hydrocarbons. “They seem very frugal,” says Edgcomb.

    This rare view of life in the far reaches of the earth extends our view of carbon cycling beneath the seafloor, Edgcomb says. “If you look at the volume of the deep biosphere, including the lower oceanic crust, even at a very slow metabolic rate, it could equate to significant amounts of carbon.”

    This work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

    The research team also included colleagues from Tongji University, University of Bremen, Texas A&M University, Université de Brest, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

    See the full article here .

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    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.
    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on March 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Laura Haynes a paleoceanographer, Oceanography, , , The month–long International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 378,   

    From Rutgers University: “Postdoc Laura Haynes Searching for Climate Change Clues Under the Ocean Floor” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University

    February 24, 2020 [Just now in social media.]
    Craig Winston

    1
    Laura Haynes cruises the world searching for core samples.

    It’s hard to pinpoint where you might find Laura Haynes, an EOAS post-doctoral fellow, for an interview. During a telephone chat she sounded far away. She explained why in a subsequent email.

    “I was actually in Fiji, eating breakfast before we headed out to board the ship,” she wrote. “We are now transiting nine days to our first coring site and will be drilling to about 670 meters below the sea floor in the hopes of recovering the K/Pg boundary.”

    Translation: The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary marks the mass extinction of the Earth’s dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. It’s represented by a thin band of rock [Actually, it is marked all around the world by a layer of Iridium, found by Luis and Walter Alvarez].

    Haynes, a paleoceanographer, is sailing on the month–long International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 378 with a collective of scientists from countries including Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and Brazil. They staff a floating lab, covering it 24/7 on rotating 12-hour shifts. (The ship travels the world, drilling at five to eight locations on a cruise; this time there is only one stop for a long core drill.) The crew hopes that drilling into this new, unbroken core will enable them to reconstruct climate change in one location millions of years ago, revealing the answers to questions about the Earth’s climate history.

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    International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 378 South Pacific Paleogene Climate.

    “It was records from ocean drilling that first showed that the ocean floor is spreading apart and causing the movement of tectonic plates, and that rapid climate change has happened in Earth’s past,” said Haynes. “While there are records of Earth history from many crucial time periods that exist on land, they are patchy and not always continuous. By contrast, sea floor muds can build up continuously and slowly over time and give us continuous records of Earth’s climate history.”

    3
    Laura Haynes in the lab.

    Back in the lab, the scientists examine core samples from the drilling and meet twice a day to discuss their findings. Haynes’ role on the ship is as a sedimentologist; she describes the core samples that come up from the sea floor and determines their composition: fossil, clay, sand, or volcanic ash. The expedition continues long after each member returns home with samples they take back for further study. Their scientific community will stay intact as they synthesize their findings over the next few years.

    Her itinerary during the last year is an enviable one. Haynes earlier sailed on the Chilean drilling ship on a cruise to the Chile margin led by the Rutgers postdoc researcher Samantha Bova and EOAS faculty member Yair Rosenthal, both of the Department of Marine and Coast Sciences. They sought to understand how Patagonian glaciers and the South Pacific Ocean responded to climate change. “It was a huge success and a wonderful first experience on a drillship,” she said. “I am coming to understand that I was spoiled by the incredible wildlife we saw on the ship; we were encircled by albatrosses and seals for most of our expedition.”

    Her primary field of study involves using fossilized shells of plankton, “foraminifera,” to reconstruct the history of climate change. The shells are preserved in deep sea muds, and their chemical composition can indicate past climate such as ocean temperature, acidity, and circulation. “These are all things we’d like to understand so that we can better predict how modern climate change will affect the Earth system in the future.”

    Haynes was inspired to pursue a career in the sciences when she had an awakening in high school after watching “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 documentary intended to educate the public about global warming. After that, she intuitively understood that she wanted to dedicate her career to studying the environment.

    Haynes said: “When I got to undergrad, I was incredibly lucky in that my freshman adviser suggested I take a geology class. After going on my first few field trips, I knew that this was the field I wanted to be in, but I also knew that I wanted to apply it to understanding modern environmental change. With the study of past climate histories, I found this perfect balance.”

    Her educational background prepared her well for her research career. Haynes earned her undergraduate degree in geology from Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.), and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University. For her doctoral dissertation, she analyzed living foraminifera, spending two months in coastal field stations at Catalina Island, Calif., and Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico.

    Perhaps a telltale sign of Haynes’ future came from her first job at age 14— as a counselor at a science camp for elementary students.

    “I didn’t have any idea then that I would be a scientist, but it does make a lot of sense in retrospect. “

    During her latest cruise, Haynes answered several questions about her work and life. A condensed version of her comments appears below:

    What was your best day on the job?

    In the lab, I always love a day when I get new data off the machine, knowing that I am the only person in the world that has this tiny new piece of knowledge.

    What are your career goals?

    I am incredibly excited that I will start an assistant professor position at Vassar College this fall. In my new position, I am thrilled to usher undergraduates through the research process, to conduct research on our new sediment cores, and to teach interdisciplinary classes related to oceanography, biogeochemistry, mass extinctions, and science communication.

    What’s your secret skill?

    I am very good at manipulating dust-sized microfossils with the smallest possible paintbrush. Working in paleoceanography has certainly honed my fine motor skills.
    Which professional accomplishment has given you the most pride?

    I got to mentor an undergraduate student, Ingrid Izaguirre, through a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates project in 2018 at Columbia. She did a fantastic job and presented her findings at the American Geophysical Union conference that winter, explaining complicated ocean chemistry to interested listeners for four hours straight. I was incredibly proud of her work and presentation, and still get to see her progress as she is now a graduate student in paleoceanography.

    See the full article here .


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    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    As a ’67 graduate of University college, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

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  • richardmitnick 5:44 pm on March 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A sea of ancient ice", , Computer model simulations were used to estimate ice thickness during the Last Ice Age—21000 years ago when ice sheets blanketed much of North America and Europe., Oceanography, , Sea ice was irrefutably thicker during the 19th and early 20th centuries than it is today., The models reported an average sea ice thickness of 30 meters but along the coast of Northern Canada the simulated thickness grew to 50 meters—roughly the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.,   

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: “A sea of ancient ice” 

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    March 4, 2020
    Evan Lubofsky

    Scientists dust off historical accounts to tackle a long-standing Arctic mystery.

    1
    WHOI scientist Alan Condron and his colleagues rely on historical drawings like this one published in 1876 to gain a better sense for how thick Arctic sea ice was in the early 19th century.

    When Harper’s Weekly magazine reported the spotting of a seven-mile-long chunk of thick sea ice off St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada in 1884, the story referred to the prairie-sized floe as a “monster ice island” and forewarned ship captains travelling in the area: “Woe to the mail steamer that shall crash against its sides or upon its hidden base.”

    This was at the tail-end of the Little Ice Age, when vast areas of the Arctic Ocean were covered by seemingly-impenetrable slabs of ice, and icebergs would stray as far south as Bermuda.

    Sea ice was irrefutably thicker during the 19th and early 20th centuries than it is today—warming in the Arctic has caused much of its ancient ice to vanish—but according to WHOI climate scientist Alan Condron, the actual thickness of the legacy ice has been a long-standing mystery in climate science circles.

    “While we have been able to determine the amount of sea ice extent since 1979 with satellite data, we’ve only had continuous satellite observations of ice thickness since the early part of this century,” says Condron. “Before that, we only have a few sporadic observations from U.S. Navy submarines taken during the Cold War in the late 1950’s. Prior to that, there is nothing.”

    To bridge the gap, Condron used computer model simulations to estimate ice thickness during the Last Ice Age—21,000 years ago when ice sheets blanketed much of North America and Europe. The models reported an average sea ice thickness of 30 meters, but along the coast of Northern Canada, the simulated thickness grew to 50 meters—roughly the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

    These estimates gave Condron a baseline sense for how chunky Arctic ice may have been, but there was a problem. The values generated by Condron’s models far exceeded those reported by other models simulating ice conditions during the same period.

    “Other climate models were reporting average Arctic sea ice thicknesses of only seven to eight meters, and the thickest ice we could find in all of these models was just 16 meters thick,” says Condron. “It was rather baffling that these models were growing ice that was only slightly thicker than the ice we commonly see today, particularly since we know conditions in the Arctic were much colder during the Last Ice Age than they are now.”

    The discrepancy between Condron’s model and other sea ice models became an issue for Condron as he prepared his manuscript on an abrupt climate change study for publication. “At an early stage, one reviewer felt that the ice thicknesses we were reporting suggested there was something seriously wrong with our model,” he says.

    He explains that in the sea ice modeling community, modelers often impose a limit on how thick they let ice grow in their simulations in order to ‘correct’ for errors in the model. “So, if you impose a cap of five meters, for example, you’ll get ice thicknesses that match up with similar thickness values we see in the Arctic today,” says Condron.

    With his research paper in a holding pattern, he began thinking about other ways to ground-truth his model results, which led to an epiphany.

    “Nineteenth century Arctic explorers often described sea ice conditions in their dairies with descriptions and sketches,” he says. “So my thought was to inspect some of those historical accounts to see if they seemed consistent with our estimates.”

    2
    WHOI climate scientist Alan Condron examines an iceberg drifting south in the Labrador Sea. (Photo by Andrew Daly, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

    As Condron, along with his co-authors Anthony Joyce and Raymond Bradley, began leafing through the dairies, they quickly noticed descriptive passages supporting their side of the story. One account, penned by Vice-Admiral Sir George Nares, the leader of the 1875 British Arctic Expedition, described “floes… of gigantic thickness with a most uneven surface and covered with deep snow.”

    A corresponding drawing—that was published in 1876 in the British weekly newspaper “The Graphic”— shows a glimpse of the polar sea as traversed by two members of Nares’ party during their spring sledding expedition to reach the North Pole. Captain Nares was so struck by the unusual thickness of the sea ice his team encountered in the western Arctic, he coined the term “palaeocrystic” ice to describe it.

    Bradley, a climate scientist and professor at the University of Massachusetts, notes that other 19th and early 20th century explorers had documented exceptionally thick, extensive islands of ice embedded in the Arctic pack.

    “The ice had rounded, hummocky surfaces that rose as much as ten meters above sea level and stood out from the smaller floes of fractured sea-ice which the explorers generally had to deal with,” says Bradley.

    Condron notes that based on some of the drawings alone, it became clear that sea ice was not only much thicker than it is today, but also very similar to what he was seeing in his model. He re-submitted his manuscript with an explanation of how it has become common practice in model simulations to artificially ‘cap’ sea ice thickness to avoid values that seem unrealistic.

    A few weeks later, the paper was accepted.

    The diary records helped Condron get his paper through, but he feels they served a more important purpose by putting modern-day sea ice loss in a broader historical perspective.

    “While Arctic sea ice conditions have changed significantly in recent decades, the changes are even more dramatic when viewed in the context of the conditions that Nares and others encountered when they went looking for the North Pole,” says Condron. “Basically, we’ve gone from a situation where ice was 50 meters thick along parts of the Canadian Coast, with large pieces of this ice adrift in the Beaufort Sea, to the present-day situation, where we rarely see ice that exceeds five meters. And it’s all happened in a relatively short period of time.”

    Funding for this research was provided through the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.
    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:55 am on March 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Making waves with Arctic research", , , Oceanography, The big waves were coming right at the coast and we think it’s changing the coastlines. It was remarkable to quantify that., , UW researchers spent a month at sea collecting data.   

    From University of Washington: “Making waves with Arctic research” 

    From University of Washington

    1

    February 24, 2020
    Brooke Fisher
    Marketing & Communications Manager
    206-543-4514
    brooke22@uw.edu

    Photos by John Guillote/OnPoint Communications

    Researchers explore the changing Arctic to improve climate models.

    Information about the role that waves play in the changing Arctic is rolling in, so to speak, after UW researchers spent a month at sea collecting data.

    2
    CEE faculty Jim Thomson and Nirni Kumar carry a SWIFT buoy across the deck of the research vessel Sikuliaq. Photo credit: John Guillote.

    “It was a successful trip. We measured some sizeable waves in November, which were very late in the season,” says principal investigator and CEE faculty member Jim Thomson, an oceanographer at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory. “The big waves were coming right at the coast and we think it’s changing the coastlines. It was remarkable to quantify that.”

    The critical connection between melting sea ice, increasingly powerful waves and eroding coastlines has been missing from existing research in the Arctic. To help fill this knowledge gap, a team of researchers including Thomson and CEE assistant professor Nirnimesh Kumar set sail aboard the Sikuliaq, a research vessel from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, during the month of November.

    “Before this we had no coastal observations and limited observations of waves and ice,” Kumar says. “The Arctic became a natural laboratory for us.”

    By taking a closer look at the interactions between waves and sea ice and how they contribute to coastal erosion and flooding, the researchers hope to improve the accuracy of climate models, which can be used to inform more strategic climate policy decisions. The researchers are midway through a three-year Coastal Ocean Dynamics in the Arctic (CODA) project, funded by a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs.

    3
    Breaking a path through sea ice, the Sikuliaq prepares to set up for an ice station, which allows researchers to walk on the sea ice to collect samples and drill small holes in the ice to measure thickness. Photo credit: John Guillote.

    Pressing problem: Coastal erosion

    The role that waves play in the erosion of Arctic coastlines is directly related to diminishing sea ice, which is at record low levels, according to the researchers. Sea ice has historically helped to protect the coast from powerful waves and turbulent storms, as more open water can lead to stronger waves as the distance over which the waves travel increases.

    “The waves lose energy in the presence of ice when they interact, which is what we were interested in looking at,” Kumar says.

    With stronger storm systems and associated waves becoming increasingly common, Arctic coastlines are eroding at rates of meters per year. Problems are already starting to impact the local communities that reside along the coast of Alaska, where subsistence hunting and fishing is prevalent.

    As part of the project, a small team of researchers visited villages in Alaska last year to present their proposed research to the community and visit schools for K-12 outreach.

    “Part of this is to hear from them about the changes they are seeing and learn from them,” Thomson says. “They [native Alaskans] talk about it all the time. There is a lot less ice and what ice remains is poor quality, not the kind of thing they can drive snowmobiles on or walk on. There are big changes in the fish that they see and trouble with subsistence hunting; it is affecting them in very day-to-day kinds of ways.”

    Gathering data at sea

    4
    At the three sampling sites, researchers gathered data at specific distances from the coast. University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    With temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius, which is relatively warm by Alaska standards, the researchers collected data at three primary sampling sites: Icy Cape, Flaxman Island and Jones Island, located along the northern coast of Alaska where the Beaufort Sea meets the Arctic Ocean. At each site, samples were collected at specific distances from the coast.

    “These sites were representative of the coastline that we want to study and the larger system,” Thomson says. “We were far enough away from subsistence hunting to not interfere with the local populations.”

    The 10 members of the research team took turns being “on watch” for eight-hour shifts. They continuously monitored equipment and collected data using custom instrumentation, including autonomous buoys equipped with cameras, built by Thomson’s group at the UW Applied Physics Lab.

    The researchers measured waves, turbulence and also quantified ice concentrations after scooping up pieces of ice from the water. They also collected data from satellite images that showed ice extent and collaborated with the U.S. National Ice Center, which provided daily updates on ice levels. Not surprisingly, conducting research in extreme conditions had its challenges.

    “The buoys started to become ice balls,” Thomson says. “We had to do a lot of repeat deployments to de-ice them and put them back in the water.”

    Forecasting the future

    5
    The CODA team looks at data collected by a SWIFT buoy drifting in sea ice. Photo credit: John Guillote

    Back on dry land, the researchers are now analyzing data to better understand how waves gain and lose energy depending on ice coverage. They are contributing to an open source modeling system, using test cases for the northern Alaska coastal zone, that can be used to forecast future conditions and enhance climate scenario assessment and related policymaking.

    “We will incorporate waves and ice and have that all in one framework to make better forecasts,” Thomson says. “These were treated separately in the past.”

    In the fall of 2020, the researchers will shove-off again to conduct more analysis in the Arctic. Same ship, same region, different data.

    5
    The CODA research team on the deck of the Sikuliaq: John Malito (UNC), Jim Thomson (UW), Nirni Kumar (UW), Lucia Hosekova (UW), Lettie Roach (UW), Mika Malila (UW), Emily Eidam (UNC), Becca Guillote (OnPoint Communicatios) and John Guillote (OnPoint Communications), from left. Photo credit: John Guillote

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:29 pm on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Labor(art)ory at sea", , , , Oceanography, , The Art of Angela Rossen   

    From Schmidt Ocean Institute: “Labor(art)ory at sea” 

    From Schmidt Ocean Institute

    2.22.20
    Angela Rossen

    Nearly five weeks ago I left the quiet and solitude of my studio to embark on this voyage of deep ocean discovery on the invitation of the Schmidt Ocean Institute with R/V Falkor. This gift of an adventure to some of the most remote, most unexplored parts of our biosphere was an unexpected and a wonderful surprise. My work is usually with the near-shore marine environment, so it is strange to be on the water, but not in it. I gaze at an array of screens revealing the depths kilometres below, where deep ocean animals are interrupted for a moment in time by our noise and light. It has been a time of learning, of working with others, of long hours, of comradery that grows from being side by side in exciting times.

    1
    Marco and Angela blending art and science in the laboratory.

    Challenges and Opportunities

    My studio in the dry lab places me amongst the technical and engineering team. It has been fascinating to watch the engineers work cooperatively to solve glitches as they come up. Their attitude is that a problem or breakdown is a welcome challenge. They work until the matter is fixed, which can be all day, through night – and beyond if need be. The ROV operations are central to the scientific objectives of this mission, but so too is the collation, cataloguing, storing and sharing of data that is generated by the scientific teams. It has been inspirational listening to these technological geniuses solving complex issues with their patient and methodical collaborative labour. Through their work I have glimpsed the intricacies of coding, and the process of working within this world – and for the first time, I feel that it is less intractable and unfamiliar.

    3
    The ROV team work under the searing Australian sun to maintain the vehicle ready for each new mission.

    It seems that each of us on the ship comes from a different place of the globe, and at each meal the dining room is full of laughter, discussion and the music of many accents and languages. The cooks have created a cuisine of incredible multicultural variety considerate of all food preferences. The Captain’s sure-hand has carried us through wild weather, and his team manages the smooth day-to-day running of the ship with smiles and laughter. It has been an amazing experience, seeing people working together in real friendship.

    3
    Biologist Ana visits Angela in her studio

    Many of my scientific colleagues have been generous with sharing their excitement in discovery and it has been my pleasure to photograph their precious specimens brought up each day. This expedition has brought scientists together from our own West Australian Museum, the faculties of Science and Engineering at the University of Western Australia, as well as the Italian contingent from the Institutes of Marine and Polar Sciences in Bologna. The daily exploration live stream has been narrated by Marco Taviani: an inspired thinker, scientist and master storyteller. Whilst it is not possible to mention everybody by name, many have taken the time to explain to me the aims and objectives of their particular projects.

    This research trip has woven together the mapping the ocean floor, as well as the stories of the foraminifera that settle on the rocky ledges and sandy floors; sampling for stable and radioisotopes in the water column; the crustaceans and worms that live in these deep silent dark places; and animal forests of soft corals with associated invertebrate communities; the large eyed fish; the rock corals whose very lineaments tell the story of water composition and temperature over great timescales; and the rocks, whose story can be read by those who understand their language.

    4
    5
    6
    7
    A collection of tiny sea creatures photographed by Angela Rossen.

    The specimens – carefully labelled and packaged – will lead to scientific understanding gained on this historic trip that will take years to unravel. I will return to my studio with my journal, sketches, paintings, and photographs where my work will also continue. It has been a time of great learning that I will share through displays and workshops with children in schools throughout Western Australia. I look forward to that. It has been an amazing trip.

    8
    ‘Bremer Canyon Ensemble’ one of the artworks created by Angela Rossen on this expedition.

    9
    Angela taking photographs on deck aboard R/V Falkor

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Our Vision
    The world’s oceans understood through technological advancement, intelligent observation, and open sharing of information.

    Schmidt Ocean Institute RV Falkor

    Schmidt Ocean Institute ROV Subastian

    Schmidt Ocean Institute is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit operating foundation established in March 2009 to advance oceanographic research, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze sharing of information about the oceans.

    Since the Earth’s oceans are a critically endangered and least understood part of the environment, the Institute dedicates its efforts to their comprehensive understanding across intentionally broad scope of research objectives.

    Eric and Wendy Schmidt established Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2009 as a seagoing research facility operator, to support oceanographic research and technology development focusing on accelerating the pace in ocean sciences with operational, technological, and informational innovations. The Institute is devoted to the inspirational vision of our Founders that the advancement of technology and open sharing of information will remain crucial to expanding the understanding of the world’s oceans.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:27 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: (DIC)-Dissolved Inorganic Carbon, (TA)-Total Alkalinity, , , , , Oceanography, , , The wet lab then becomes a bedlam of buckets containing rocks; corals; sponges; and shell fragments; occasional deep sea litter; and an assortment of marine creatures that I have never seen before., You need to know how to tie knots.   

    From Schmidt Ocean Institute: “Darling it’s better, Down in a Wet(ter) Lab at Sea” 

    From Schmidt Ocean Institute

    2.13.20
    Jill Brouwer

    1
    Cruise Log: The Great Australian Deep-Sea Coral and Canyon Adventure

    Trying to understand a constantly moving ocean system is a huge challenge. Accurately measuring the chemistry of the ocean is important for understanding many processes, including nutrient and carbon cycling; ocean circulation and movement of water masses; as well as ocean acidification and climate change. On this expedition, the water chemistry team has the important job of analyzing the seawater in three canyon systems. We are measuring Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TA) on board, while also saving samples for later analysis of stable isotopes, trace elements, and nutrients.

    2
    Jill and Carlin using the CTD rosette to collect water samples from the depths of the Bremer Canyon.

    Knotty and Nice

    There are some quirks of successfully doing chemistry at sea that I definitely did not consider before this voyage. Firstly, you need to know how to tie knots. Making sure all the instruments, reagent bottles, and yourselves are secured is just as important as doing the actual chemistry. The precious sample counts for nothing if it flies across the room because you forgot to put it on a non-slip mat. The movement of the boat transforms normal lab activities into fun mini challenges – opening oven or fridge doors as the ship moves with the weather, pipetting as you hit a large wave, storing sample vials in a giant freezer. It is weird (but comforting) to see our analytical instruments strapped to the bench, and doing most of my work out of a sink – the safest place to keep samples. I particularly enjoy the arts and crafts component that comes with bubble wrapping and storing samples to prevent them from being damaged by sudden movements.

    After the chemistry work is done for the day, ROV SuBastian [below] comes aboard with all kinds of creepy-crawlies from the deep sea. All the biology and geology samples that have been collected from the dive are carried into the wet lab to be sorted, processed, and archived. The lab then becomes a bedlam of buckets containing rocks, corals, sponges, shell fragments, occasional deep sea litter, and an assortment of marine creatures that I have never seen before. Surrounding these specimens is an eclectic mix of scientists who all bring their own unique interests and passions to the group.

    3

    To name a few; Julie, Paolo, and their team are interested in finding calcifying corals for their paleoceanography studies. They study the chemistry of the ocean thousands of years ago, recorded by coral skeletons when they were formed. We also have Andrew from the Western Australian Museum, who is doing his PhD on specialized barnacles that live in sponges, but is interested in pretty much everything. It is not just the big things we are looking for either. Aleksey and Netra are on the lookout for tiny single-cell organisms called Foraminifera that we have found in the water column, sediments, and attached to things like corals and whale bones.

    4
    Netra, Jill, and Angela investigating the latest samples to arrive in the wet lab of R/V Falkor.

    5
    This Stephanocyanthus is a soft cup coral.

    6
    This Caryophylliidae is from a family of stony corals.

    Working in a wet lab at sea has its share of challenges, but considering the important scientific discoveries that are facilitated by us being out here, the cool (and in some cases totally new) marine life we are encountering, as well as the incredible views of sun glint and waves through the lab window, I would not choose to be anywhere else. To all the undergraduate students reading this, I encourage you to seek out as much volunteer/work experience as you can. Getting involved in science firsthand is an invaluable experience: you get to work with incredible people, gain useful skills, and learn so much more about yourself and your areas of interest than you can from the classroom. Perhaps most importantly, you get to share all the exciting things you learn with others!

    7

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Our Vision
    The world’s oceans understood through technological advancement, intelligent observation, and open sharing of information.

    Schmidt Ocean Institute RV Falkor

    Schmidt Ocean Institute ROV Subastian

    Schmidt Ocean Institute is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit operating foundation established in March 2009 to advance oceanographic research, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze sharing of information about the oceans.

    Since the Earth’s oceans are a critically endangered and least understood part of the environment, the Institute dedicates its efforts to their comprehensive understanding across intentionally broad scope of research objectives.

    Eric and Wendy Schmidt established Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2009 as a seagoing research facility operator, to support oceanographic research and technology development focusing on accelerating the pace in ocean sciences with operational, technological, and informational innovations. The Institute is devoted to the inspirational vision of our Founders that the advancement of technology and open sharing of information will remain crucial to expanding the understanding of the world’s oceans.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:35 pm on February 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Coral reefs: Centuries of human impact", , , , Oceanography,   

    From Arizona State University via phys.org: “Coral reefs: Centuries of human impact” 


    From Arizona State University

    via


    phys.org

    February 14, 2020

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain

    Coral reefs account for one-third of all biodiversity in the oceans and are vital to humanity. But long-standing human stressors including agricultural run-off and overfishing and more recent ocean warming from climate change have all contributed to large-scale coral reef die-offs.

    “Coral reef ecosystems now appear to be unraveling before our eyes, with intensifying outbreaks of coral disease and bleaching threatening the persistence of reef habitats and the immense biodiversity they support,” said Katie Cramer, an assistant research professor at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and an Ocean Science Fellow at the Center for Oceans at Conservation International.

    Cramer’s work focuses on reconstructing long-term change in coral reef ecosystems by combining paleoecological, historical, and modern survey data to pinpoint the mechanisms of reef declines and inform conservation efforts.

    In her AAAS talk, “Coral Reefs: Centuries of Human Impact,” Cramer outlines the evidence of the long-ago human footprints that set the stage for the recent coral reef die-offs we are witnessing today.

    “I am interested in going back to the scene of the crime when humans first began to impact coral reefs centuries to millennia ago, to understand when, why, and how much reefs have been altered by humans,” said Cramer.

    Her studies have examined the origins of Caribbean coral reef declines by tracking changes over the past 3,000 years in the composition of a variety of fossils found in reef sediment cores she collected from Panama, including coral skeletons, fish teeth, urchin spines, mollusk shells, and others.

    These studies revealed that long-standing local human impacts such as fishing and agriculture have been profoundly altering reefs at least centuries before the disease and bleaching epidemics that are commonly cited as drivers of coral loss.

    In addition, Cramer will also present the first evidence of her study that reconstructed changes in coral communities from reefs across the Caribbean, spanning the pre-human period to the present. This work is revealing that coral communities were being transformed by human activities much earlier than previously thought.

    The hope is that by listening to the echoes of past environmental change on coral reefs, Cramer’s efforts can better inform conservation efforts in a period of intensifying human-caused threats.

    “We need to resolve why and how much coral reefs have changed over human history to inform our responses to the current reef crisis. We need to understand how reefs have responded to past changes to best ensure their persistence into the future,” said Cramer.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    ASU is the largest public university by enrollment in the United States. Founded in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe, the school underwent a series of changes in name and curriculum. In 1945 it was placed under control of the Arizona Board of Regents and was renamed Arizona State College. A 1958 statewide ballot measure gave the university its present name.
    ASU is classified as a research university with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, one of 78 U.S. public universities with that designation. Since 2005 ASU has been ranked among the Top 50 research universities, public and private, in the U.S. based on research output, innovation, development, research expenditures, number of awarded patents and awarded research grant proposals. The Center for Measuring University Performance currently ranks ASU 31st among top U.S. public research universities.

    ASU awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 16 colleges and schools on five locations: the original Tempe campus, the West campus in northwest Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus in eastern Mesa, the Downtown Phoenix campus and the Colleges at Lake Havasu City. ASU’s “Online campus” offers 41 undergraduate degrees, 37 graduate degrees and 14 graduate or undergraduate certificates, earning ASU a Top 10 rating for Best Online Programs. ASU also offers international academic program partnerships in Mexico, Europe and China. ASU is accredited as a single institution by The Higher Learning Commission.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:51 am on February 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate change may be speeding up ocean circulation", , , , Oceanography, , The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt   

    From Science News: “Climate change may be speeding up ocean circulation” 

    From Science News

    2.5.20
    Carolyn Gramling

    Since the 1990s, wind speeds have picked up, making surface waters swirl faster.

    1
    Argo floats, such as this one being deployed in the Southern Ocean, measure water temperature, salinity and current speeds. Data from such floats suggest that ocean circulation has sped up. SOCCOM Project/Cara Nissen/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

    Winds are picking up worldwide, and that is making the surface waters of the oceans swirl a bit faster, researchers report. A new analysis of the ocean’s kinetic energy, measured by thousands of floats around the world, suggests that surface ocean circulation has been accelerating since the early 1990s.

    Some of that sped-up circulation may be due to naturally recurring ocean-atmosphere patterns, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, researchers report February 5 in Science Advances. But the acceleration is greater than can be attributed to natural variability alone — suggesting that global warming may also be playing a role, says a team led by oceanographer Shijian Hu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Qingdao.

    3

    The connected system of massive currents that swirl between the world’s oceans, sometimes called the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, redistributes heat and nutrients around the globe and has a powerful effect on climate. Winds dominate mixing in the surface ocean: Prevailing winds in the tropics, for example, can push water masses aside, allowing deeper, nutrient-rich waters to surge upward.

    In the deeper ocean, differences in water density due to salt and heat content keep the currents flowing (SN: 1/4/17). For example, in the North Atlantic Ocean, surface currents carry heat north from the tropics, helping to keep northwestern Europe warm. As the waters arrive at the Labrador Sea, they cool, sink and then flow southward, keeping the conveyor belt humming along.

    How climate change might affect this Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, has garnered headlines, as some simulations have predicted that global warming would lead to a slowdown in which could eventually bring a deep chill to Europe. In 2018, paleoceanographer David Thornalley of University College London and colleagues reported evidence that the AMOC has weakened over the last 150 years, although the question remains uncertain (SN: 1/31/19).

    But the new study focuses on “the amount of swirling around of upper ocean waters due to wind,” rather than the speed of that overturning circulation, says Thornalley, who was not involved in the work.

    Global warming has long been predicted to slow global wind speeds, called “global stilling.” That’s because the poles are warming faster than the equatorial region, and a smaller temperature gradient between the two zones might be expected to result in weaker winds (SN: 3/16/18). But recent studies, such as a report published November 2019 in Nature Climate Change, suggest that wind speeds around the world have actually been speeding up, at least since about 2010.

    The new study suggests that winds have actually been picking up over the oceans for several decades, leading to the faster-swirling surface waters especially in the tropics. The study used data collected by over 3,000 Argo floats, which measure temperature, salinity and speeds of currents down to about 2,000 meters, in oceans around the world. Then, the team combined these data with a variety of climate simulations to calculate the change in kinetic energy —energy from the wind motion that gets transferred to the water — in that upper part of the ocean.

    Each of the analyses that the team performed showed the same trend: On average around the world, there was a distinct uptick in kinetic energy beginning around 1990.

    The new analyses of wind speeds come from satellite, shipboard and other data previously collected and analyzed by other scientists. The team considered one possible culprit for those changing winds: the late-1990s onset of a “cold” phase of an El Niño–like ocean-atmosphere pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which can bring stronger winds to the tropics. But, the researchers say, the observed acceleration is much larger than would be expected from natural variability alone, suggesting that it is part of a longer-term trend.

    Simulations of increasing greenhouse gas emissions over the last two decades, the team found, produce a similar uptick in winds, suggesting that climate change may be speeding up the winds too.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
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