Fender, C. K., Kelly, T. B., Guidi, L., Ohman, M. D., Smith, M. C., & Stukel, M. R. (2019). Investigating Particle Size-Flux Relationships and the Biological Pump Across a Range of Plankton Ecosystem States From Coastal to Oligotrophic.
Front. Mar. Sci., 6.
Gentemann, C. L., Clayson, C. A., Brown, S., Lee, T., Parfitt, R., Farrar, J. T., et al. (2020). FluxSat: Measuring the Ocean-Atmosphere Turbulent Exchange of Heat and Moisture from Space.
Remote Sensing, 12(11), 1796.
Abstract: Recent results using wind and sea surface temperature data from satellites and high-resolution coupled models suggest that mesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions affect the locations and evolution of storms and seasonal precipitation over continental regions such as the western US and Europe. The processes responsible for this coupling are difficult to verify due to the paucity of accurate air-sea turbulent heat and moisture flux data. These fluxes are currently derived by combining satellite measurements that are not coincident and have differing and relatively low spatial resolutions, introducing sampling errors that are largest in regions with high spatial and temporal variability. Observational errors related to sensor design also contribute to increased uncertainty. Leveraging recent advances in sensor technology, we here describe a satellite mission concept, FluxSat, that aims to simultaneously measure all variables necessary for accurate estimation of ocean-atmosphere turbulent heat and moisture fluxes and capture the effect of oceanic mesoscale forcing. Sensor design is expected to reduce observational errors of the latent and sensible heat fluxes by almost 50%. FluxSat will improve the accuracy of the fluxes at spatial scales critical to understanding the coupled ocean-atmosphere boundary layer system, providing measurements needed to improve weather forecasts and climate model simulations.
Groenen, D. E. (2019). Diagnosing the Atmospheric Phenomena Associated with the Onset and Demise of the Rainy Season in Mesoamerica.
Abstract: Mexico and Central America (Mesoamerica) are situated in a complex and unique geographical position with the Caribbean Sea to the East and the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean to the West. The weather patterns of this region are driven by winds, temperatures, moisture, and orography of several mountain ranges. This study finds the dates of the onset and demise of rainfall regimes on a specific day using NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall for years 1998–2012, area-averaged over land. Using NASA’s MERRA-2 Reanalysis data, we also look at the phenomenology of the triggers of the rainy season onset and demise on the daily time-scale instead of the monthly scales used by previous studies.
We find that the Mesoamerican Rainy Season can be distinguished into two parts: the Early Spring Rainfall (ESR) associated with light rains and the Late Spring Rainfall (LSR) associated with heavy rains. Two algorithms are used to obtain these rainy season distinctions. A new algorithm was developed during this study, called the SLOPE algorithm, to calculate when the rain rates first start to increase. In the second method, the daily cumulative anomalies of rainfall are compared to the climatological rainfall to find the time of onset of the heavy rains, called the MINCA algorithm. To better understand the phenomenology associated with the timing of the rainfall, we look at the monsoon trough, moisture flux convergence, moist static energy anomalies, and the weakening/strengthening of the winds associated with the Caribbean Low-Level Jet and Panama Jet.
The light rain rates begin, on average, in mid-March, approximately one month after the peak of the winter Caribbean Low-Level Jet and the Panama Jet. The ramp-up between the light rains and heavy rains is associated with a significant weakening of both jets and the northward progression of a monsoon trough off the western coast of Central America. The heavy rain rates begin, on average, in mid-May, and are associated with the timing when the Panama Jet goes to near zero magnitude and a strong monsoon trough in the eastern Pacific. At the demise of the rainfall, approximately in mid-November, the Panama Jet strengthens again, the total moisture flux convergence decreases significantly, and the monsoon trough retreats southward and eastward. The results of this study have positive implications in agriculture and water resources for Mesoamerica, as this information may help resource managers better plan and adapt to climate variability.
Jackson, L. C., Dubois, C., Forget, G., Haines, K., Harrison, M., Iovino, D., et al. (2019). The Mean State and Variability of the North Atlantic Circulation: A Perspective From Ocean Reanalyses.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124(12), 8969–9003.
Abstract: The transfer of Indian Ocean thermocline and intermediate waters into the South Atlantic via the Agulhas leakage is generally believed to be primarily accomplished through mesoscale eddy processes, essentially anticyclones known as Agulhas Rings. Here we take advantage of a recent eddy tracking algorithm and Argo float profiles to study the evolution and the thermohaline structure of one of these eddies over the course of 1.5 years (May 2013–November 2014). We found that during this period the ring evolved according to two different phases: During the first one, taking place in winter, the mixing layer in the eddy deepened significantly. During the second phase, the eddy subsided below the upper warmer layer of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre while propagating west. The separation of this eddy from the sea surface could explain the decrease in its surface signature in satellite altimetry maps, suggesting that such changes are not due to eddy dissipation processes. It is a very large eddy (7.1×1013 m3 in volume), extending, after subduction, from a depth of 200–1,200 m and characterized by two mode water cores. The two mode water cores represent the largest eddy heat and salt anomalies when compared with the surrounding. In terms of its impact over 1 year, the north‐westward propagation of this long‐lived anticyclone induces a transport of 2.2 Sv of water, 0.008 PW of heat, and 2.2×105 kg s−1 of salt. These results confirm that Agulhas Rings play a very important role in the Indo‐Atlantic interocean exchange of heat and salt.
Karmakar, N., & Misra, V. (2019). Differences in Northward Propagation of Convection Over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal During Boreal Summer.
J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 125(3).
Abstract: The governing dynamics that modulate the propagation characteristics of intraseasonal oscillations (ISO) during summer monsoon over the two ocean basins, Bay of Bengal (BoB) and Arabian Sea (AS), are investigated using observational analysis and high‐resolution regional coupled ocean‐atmosphere climate model simulations. ISO features are extracted over the Indian region using a data‐adaptive spectral method called multichannel singular spectrum analysis. ISO exhibits stronger intensity over the BoB than over the AS. But ISO‐filtered rainfall propagates at a faster rate ( urn:x-wiley:jgrd:media:jgrd55983:jgrd55983-math-00011.25°/day) over AS as compared to BoB ( urn:x-wiley:jgrd:media:jgrd55983:jgrd55983-math-0002.74°/day), giving rise to a northwest‐southeast tilted band of rainfall anomalies. However, the composite diagrams of several atmospheric fields associated with northward propagation like vorticity, low‐level convergence, and oceanic variables like sea surface temperature and mixed layer depth do not show this difference in propagation speed and all exhibit a speed of nearly 0.75°/day in both the ocean basins. The difference in speed of ISO‐filtered rainfall is explained through moisture flux convergence. Anomalous horizontal moisture advection plays a major role over AS in preconditioning the atmosphere and making it favorable for convection. Anomalous wind acting on climatological moisture gradient is the dominant term in the moisture advection equation. Easterly wind anomalies associated with a low‐level anticyclone over India helps advect moisture from the eastern side of the domain. The northwest‐southeast tilt of ISO is dictated by the atmospheric processes of moisture advection with the upper ocean playing a more passive role in causing the tilt.
Kelly, T. B., Davison, P. C., Goericke, R., Landry, M. R., Ohman, M. D., & Stukel, M., R. (2019). The Importance of Mesozooplankton Diel Vertical Migration for Sustaining a Mesopelagic Food Web.
FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 6.
Abstract: We used extensive ecological and biogeochemical measurements obtained from quasi-Lagrangian experiments during two California Current Ecosystem Long-Term Ecosystem Research cruises to analyze carbon fluxes between the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones using a linear inverse ecosystem model (LIEM). Measurement constraints on the model include C-14 primary productivity, dilution-based microzooplankton grazing rates, gut pigment-based mesozooplankton grazing rates (on multiple zooplankton size classes), Th-234:U-238 disequilibrium and sediment trap measured carbon export, and metabolic requirements of micronekton, zooplankton, and bacteria. A likelihood approach (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) was used to estimate the resulting flow uncertainties from a sample of potential flux networks. Results highlight the importance of mesozooplankton active transport (i.e., diel vertical migration) in supplying the carbon demand of mesopelagic organisms and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In nine water parcels ranging from a coastal bloom to offshore oligotrophic conditions, mesozooplankton active transport accounted for 18-84% (median: 42%) of the total carbon transfer to the mesopelagic, with gravitational settling of POC (12-55%; median: 37%), and subduction (2-32%; median: 14%) providing the majority of the remainder. Vertically migrating zooplankton contributed to downward carbon flux through respiration and excretion at depth and via mortality losses to predatory zooplankton and mesopelagic fish (e.g., myctophids and gonostomatids). Sensitivity analyses showed that the results of the LIEM were robust to changes in nekton metabolic demand, rates of bacterial production, and mesozooplankton gross growth efficiency. This analysis suggests that prior estimates of zooplankton active transport based on conservative estimates of standard (rather than active) metabolism are likely too low.
Kim, D., Lee, S. - K., Lopez, H., Foltz, G. R., Misra, V., & Kumar, A. (2020). On the Role of Pacific-Atlantic SST Contrast and Associated Caribbean Sea Convection in August-October U.S. Regional Rainfall Variability.
Geophys. Res. Lett., 47(11).
Abstract: This study investigates the large‐scale atmospheric processes that lead to U.S. precipitation variability in late summer to midfall (August–October; ASO) and shows that the well‐recognized relationship between North Atlantic Subtropical High and U.S. precipitation in peak summer (June–August) significantly weakens in ASO. The working hypothesis derived from our analysis is that in ASO convective activity in the Caribbean Sea, modulated by the tropical Pacific‐Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly contrast, directly influences the North American Low‐Level Jet and thus U.S. precipitation east of the Rockies, through a Gill‐type response. This hypothesis derived from observations is strongly supported by a long‐term climate model simulation and by a linear baroclinic atmospheric model with prescribed diabatic forcings in the Caribbean Sea. This study integrates key findings from previous studies and advances a consistent physical rationale that links the Pacific‐Atlantic SST anomaly contrast, Caribbean Sea convective activity, and U.S. rainfall in ASO.
Kranz, S. A., Wang, S., Kelly, T. B., Stukel, M. R., Goericke, R., Landry, M. R., et al. (2020). Lagrangian Studies of Marine Production: A Multimethod Assessment of Productivity Relationships in the California Current Ecosystem Upwelling Region.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 125(6).
Abstract: A multimethod process‐oriented investigation of diverse productivity measures in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) Long‐Term Ecological Research study region, a complex physical environment, is presented. Seven multiday deployments covering a transition region from high to low productivity were conducted over two field expeditions (spring 2016 and summer 2017). Employing a Lagrangian study design, water parcels were followed over several days, comparing 24‐h in situ measurements (14C and 15NO3 ‐uptake, dilution estimates of phytoplankton growth, and microzooplankton grazing) with high‐resolution productivity measurements by fast repetition rate fluorometry (FRRF) and equilibrium inlet mass spectrometry (EIMS), and integrated carbon export measuremnts using sediment traps. Results show the importance of accounting for temporal and fine spatial scale variability when estimating ecosystem production. FRRF and EIMS measurements resolved diel patterns in gross primary and net community production. Diel productivity changes agreed well with comparably more traditional measurements. While differences in productivity metrics calculated over different time intervals were considerable, as those methods rely on different base assumptions, the data can be used to explain ecosystem processes which would otherwise have gone unnoticed. The processes resolved from this method comparison further understanding of temporal and spatial coupling and decoupling of surface productivity and potential carbon burial in a gradient from coastal to offshore ecosystems.
Laxenaire, R., Speich, S., & Alexandre S. (2019). Evolution of the thermohaline structure of one Agulhas Ring reconstructed from satellite altimetry and Argo floats. Journal of Geophysical Research.
Oceans, 124(12), 8969–9003.
Liu, Q., Tan, Z. - M., Sun, J., Hou, Y., Fu, C., & Wu, Z. (2020). Changing rapid weather variability increases influenza epidemic risk in a warming climate.
Environmental Research Letters, 15(4).
Abstract: The continuing change of the Earth's climate is believed to affect the influenza viral activity and transmission in the coming decades. However, a consensus of the severity of the risk of influenza epidemic in a warming climate has not been reached. It was previously reported that the warmer winter can reduce influenza epidemic-caused mortality, but this relation cannot explain the deadly influenza epidemic in many countries over northern mid-latitudes in the winter of 2017-2018, one of the warmest winters in recent decades. Here we reveal that the widely spread 2017-2018 influenza epidemic can be attributed to the abnormally strong rapid weather variability. We demonstrate, from historical data, that the large rapid weather variability in autumn can precondition the deadly influenza epidemic in the subsequent months in highly populated northern mid-latitudes; and the influenza epidemic season of 2017-2018 was a typical case. We further show that climate model projections reach a consensus that the rapid weather variability in autumn will continue to strengthen in some regions of northern mid-latitudes in a warming climate, implying that the risk of influenza epidemic may increase 20% to 50% in some highly populated regions in later 21st century.