Ali, M., Singh, N., Kumar, M., Zheng, Y., Bourassa, M., Kishtawal, C., et al. (2018). Dominant Modes of Upper Ocean Heat Content in the North Indian Ocean.
Climate, 6(3), 71.
Abstract: The thermal energy needed for the development of hurricanes and monsoons as well as any prolonged marine weather event comes from layers in the upper oceans, not just from the thin layer represented by sea surface temperature alone. Ocean layers have different modes of thermal energy variability because of the different time scales of ocean-atmosphere interaction. Although many previous studies have focused on the influence of upper ocean heat content (OHC) on tropical cyclones and monsoons, no study thus farparticularly in the North Indian Ocean (NIO)has specifically concluded the types of dominant modes in different layers of the ocean. In this study, we examined the dominant modes of variability of OHC of seven layers in the NIO during 1998-2014. We conclude that the thermal variability in the top 50 m of the ocean had statistically significant semiannual and annual modes of variability, while the deeper layers had the annual mode alone. Time series of OHC for the top four layers were analyzed separately for the NIO, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal. For the surface to 50 m layer, the lowest and the highest values of OHC were present in January and May every year, respectively, which was mainly caused by the solar radiation cycle.
Chelsey Nakita Laurencin Vasubandhu Misra. (2018). Characterizing the Variations of the motion of the North Atlantic tropical cyclones.
Meteorol Atmos Phys, 130(303), 1–12.
Abstract: In this study, we examine the seasonal and interannual variability of the North Atlantic (NATL) tropical cyclone (TC) motion from the historical Hurricane Database (HURDAT2) over the period 1988–2014. We characterize these motions based on their position, lifecycle, and seasonal cycle. The main findings of this study include: (1) of the 11,469 NATL TC fixes examined between 1988 and 2014, 81% of them had a translation speed of < 20 mph; (2) TCs in the deep tropics of the NATL are invariably slow-moving in comparison with TCs in higher latitudes. Although fast-moving TCs (> 40 mph) are exclusively found north of 30 N, the slow-moving TCs have a wide range of latitude. This is largely a consequence of the background steering flow being weaker (stronger) in the tropical (higher) latitudes with a minimum around the subtropical latitudes of NATL; (3) there is an overall decrease in the frequency of all categories of translation speed of TCs in warm relative to cold El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) years. However, in terms of the percentage change, TCs with a translation speed in the range of 10–20 mph display the most change (42%) in warm relative to cold ENSO years; and (4) there is an overall decrease in frequency across all categories of TC translation speed in small relative to large Atlantic Warm Pool years, but in terms of percentage change in the frequency of TCs, there is a significant and comparable change in the frequency over a wider range of translation speeds than the ENSO composites. This last finding suggests that Atlantic Warm Pool variations have a more profound impact on the translation speed of Atlantic TCs than ENSO.
Coles, V. J., Stukel, M. R., Brooks, M. T., Burd, A., Crump, B. C., Moran, M. A., et al. (2017). Ocean biogeochemistry modeled with emergent trait-based genomics.
Science, 358(6367), 1149–1154.
Abstract: Marine ecosystem models have advanced to incorporate metabolic pathways discovered with genomic sequencing, but direct comparisons between models and “omics” data are lacking. We developed a model that directly simulates metagenomes and metatranscriptomes for comparison with observations. Model microbes were randomly assigned genes for specialized functions, and communities of 68 species were simulated in the Atlantic Ocean. Unfit organisms were replaced, and the model self-organized to develop community genomes and transcriptomes. Emergent communities from simulations that were initialized with different cohorts of randomly generated microbes all produced realistic vertical and horizontal ocean nutrient, genome, and transcriptome gradients. Thus, the library of gene functions available to the community, rather than the distribution of functions among specific organisms, drove community assembly and biogeochemical gradients in the model ocean.
Hoffman, R. N., Privé, N., & Bourassa, M. (2017). Comments on “Reanalyses and Observations: What's the Difference?”.
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98(11), 2455–2459.
Abstract: Are there important differences between reanalysis data and familiar observations and measurements? If so, what are they? This essay evaluates four possible answers that relate to: the role of inference, reliance on forecasts, the need to solve an ill-posed inverse problem, and understanding of errors and uncertainties. The last of these is argued to be most significant. The importance of characterizing uncertainties associated with results—whether those results are observations or measurements, analyses or reanalyses, or forecasts—is emphasized.
Holbach, H. M., Uhlhorn, E. W., & Bourassa, M. A. (2018). Off-Nadir SFMR Brightness Temperature Measurements in High-Wind Conditions.
J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 35(9), 1865–1879.
Abstract: Wind and wave-breaking directions are investigated as potential sources of an asymmetry identified in off-nadir remotely sensed measurements of ocean surface brightness temperatures obtained by the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) in high-wind conditions, including in tropical cyclones. Surface wind speed, which dynamically couples the atmosphere and ocean, can be inferred from SFMR ocean surface brightness temperature measurements using a radiative transfer model and an inversion algorithm. The accuracy of the ocean surface brightness temperature to wind speed calibration relies on accurate knowledge of the surface variables that are influencing the ocean surface brightness temperature. Previous studies have identified wind direction signals in horizontally polarized radiometer measurements in low to moderate (0–20 m s−1) wind conditions over a wide range of incidence angles. This study finds that the azimuthal asymmetry in the off-nadir SFMR brightness temperature measurements is also likely a function of wind direction and extends the results of these previous studies to high-wind conditions. The off-nadir measurements from the SFMR provide critical data for improving the understanding of the relationships between brightness temperature, surface wave–breaking direction, and surface wind vectors at various incidence angles, which is extremely useful for the development of geophysical model functions for instruments like the Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD).
Kelly, T. B., Goericke, R., Kahru, M., Song, H., & Stukel, M. R. (2018). CCE II: Spatial and interannual variability in export efficiency and the biological pump in an eastern boundary current upwelling system with substantial lateral advection.
Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 140, 14–25.
Abstract: Estimating interannual variability in carbon export is a key goal of many marine biogeochemical studies. However, due to variations in export mechanisms between regions, generalized models used to estimate global patterns in export often fail when used for intra-regional analysis. We present here a region-specific model of export production for the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) parameterized using intensive Lagrangian process studies conducted during El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) warm and neutral phases by the CCE Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. We find that, contrary to expectations from prominent global algorithms, export efficiency (e-ratio = export / primary productivity) is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with net primary productivity (NPP). We attribute these results to the substantial horizontal advection found within the region, and verify this assumption by using a Lagrangian particle tracking model to estimate water mass age. We further suggest that sinking particles in the CCE are comprised of a recently-produced, rapidly-sinking component (likely mesozooplankton fecal pellets) and a longer-lived, slowly-sinking component that is likely advected long distances prior to export. We determine a new algorithm for estimating particle export in the CCE from NPP (Export = 0.08 · NPP + 72 mg C m-2 d-1). We apply this algorithm to a two-decade long time series of NPP in the CCE to estimate spatial and interannual variability across multiple ENSO phases. Reduced export during the warm anomaly of 2014-2015 and El Niño 2015-2016 resulted primarily from decreased export in the coastal upwelling region of the CCE; the oligotrophic offshore region exhibited comparatively low seasonal and interannual variability in flux. The model resolves intra-regional patterns of in situ export measurements, and provides a valuable contrast to global export models.
Luecke, C. A., Arbic, B. K., Bassette, S. L., Richman, J. G., Shriver, J. F., Alford, M. H., et al. (2017). The Global Mesoscale Eddy Available Potential Energy Field in Models and Observations: GLOBAL LOW-FREQUENCY EDDY APE.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(11), 9126–9143.
Abstract: Global maps of the mesoscale eddy available potential energy (EAPE) field at a depth of 500 m are created using potential density anomalies in a high‐resolution 1/12.5° global ocean model. Maps made from both a free‐running simulation and a data‐assimilative reanalysis of the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) are compared with maps made by other researchers from density anomalies in Argo profiles. The HYCOM and Argo maps display similar features, especially in the dominance of western boundary currents. The reanalysis maps match the Argo maps more closely, demonstrating the added value of data assimilation. Global averages of the simulation, reanalysis, and Argo EAPE all agree to within about 10%. The model and Argo EAPE fields are compared to EAPE computed from temperature anomalies in a data set of “moored historical observations” (MHO) in conjunction with buoyancy frequencies computed from a global climatology. The MHO data set allows for an estimate of the EAPE in high‐frequency motions that is aliased into the Argo EAPE values. At MHO locations, 15–32% of the EAPE in the Argo estimates is due to aliased motions having periods of 10 days or less. Spatial averages of EAPE in HYCOM, Argo, and MHO data agree to within 50% at MHO locations, with both model estimates lying within error bars observations. Analysis of the EAPE field in an idealized model, in conjunction with published theory, suggests that much of the scatter seen in comparisons of different EAPE estimates is to be expected given the chaotic, unpredictable nature of mesoscale eddies.
Maksimova, E. V. (2018). A conceptual view on inertial internal waves in relation to the subinertial flow on the central west Florida shelf.
Sci Rep, 8(1), 15952.
Abstract: The study reported here focuses on inertial internal wave currents on the west Florida midshelf in 50 m depth. In situ observations showed that the seasonal shifts in stratification change both the frequency range of inertial internal waves and their modulation time scales. According to the analysis, the subinertial flow evolution time scales also undergo compatible seasonal variations, and the inertial internal wave currents appear to be temporally and spatially related to the subinertial flow. Specifically, the subinertial flow evolving on frontal-/quasi-geostrophic time scales appears to be accompanied by the near-inertial oscillations/inertia-gravity waves in corresponding small/finite Burger number regimes, respectively. The quasi-geostrophic subinertial currents on the west Florida shelf are probably associated with the synoptic wind-forced flow, whereas the frontal-geostrophic currents are related to the evolution of density fronts. Further details of this conceptual view should, however, be elucidated in the future.
Michael R. Stukel Moira Décima Michael R. Landry Karen E. Selph. (2018). Nitrogen and isotope flows through the Costa Rica Dome upwelling ecosystem: The crucial mesozooplankton role in export flux.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32(11), 1621–1717.
Abstract: The Costa Rica Dome (CRD) is an open‐ocean upwelling ecosystem, with high biomasses of picophytoplankton (especially Synechococcus), mesozooplankton, and higher trophic levels. To elucidate the food web pathways supporting the trophic structure and carbon export in this unique ecosystem, we used Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques to assimilate data from four independent realizations of δ15N and planktonic rate measurements from the CRD into steady‐state, multi‐compartment ecosystem box models (linear inverse models). Model results present well‐constrained snapshots of ecosystem nitrogen and stable isotope fluxes. New production is supported by upwelled nitrate, not nitrogen fixation. Protistivory (rather than herbivory) was the most important feeding mode for mesozooplankton, which rely heavily on microzooplankton prey. Mesozooplankton play a central role in vertical nitrogen export, primarily through active transport of nitrogen consumed in the surface layer and excreted at depth, which comprised an average 36 – 46% of total export. Detritus‐ or aggregate‐feeding is also an important mode of resource acquisition by mesozooplankton and regeneration of nutrients within the euphotic zone. As a consequence, the ratio of passively‐sinking particle export to phytoplankton production is very low in the CRD. Comparisons to similar models constrained with data from the nearby Equatorial Pacific demonstrate that the dominant role of vertical migrators to the biological pump is a unique feature of the CRD. However, both regions show efficient nitrogen transfer from mesozooplankton to higher trophic levels (as expected for regions with large fish, cetacean, and seabird populations) despite the dominance of protists as major grazers of phytoplankton.
Morey, S., Wienders, N., Dukhovskoy, D., & Bourassa, M. (2018). Measurement Characteristics of Near-Surface Currents from Ultra-Thin Drifters, Drogued Drifters, and HF Radar.
Remote Sensing, 10(10), 1633.
Abstract: Concurrent measurements by satellite tracked drifters of different hull and drogue configurations and coastal high-frequency radar reveal substantial differences in estimates of the near-surface velocity. These measurements are important for understanding and predicting material transport on the ocean surface as well as the vertical structure of the near-surface currents. These near-surface current observations were obtained during a field experiment in the northern Gulf of Mexico intended to test a new ultra-thin drifter design. During the experiment, thirty small cylindrical drifters with 5 cm height, twenty-eight similar drifters with 10 cm hull height, and fourteen drifters with 91 cm tall drogues centered at 100 cm depth were deployed within the footprint of coastal High-Frequency (HF) radar. Comparison of collocated velocity measurements reveals systematic differences in surface velocity estimates obtained from the different measurement techniques, as well as provides information on properties of the drifter behavior and near-surface shear. Results show that the HF radar velocity estimates had magnitudes significantly lower than the 5 cm and 10 cm drifter velocity of approximately 45% and 35%, respectively. The HF radar velocity magnitudes were similar to the drogued drifter velocity. Analysis of wave directional spectra measurements reveals that surface Stokes drift accounts for much of the velocity difference between the drogued drifters and the thin surface drifters except during times of wave breaking.