Stukel, M. R., Aluwihare, L. I., Barbeau, K. A., Chekalyuk, A. M., Goericke, R., Miller, A. J., et al. (2017). Mesoscale ocean fronts enhance carbon export due to gravitational sinking and subduction.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(6), 1252–1257.
Abstract: Enhanced vertical carbon transport (gravitational sinking and subduction) at mesoscale ocean fronts may explain the demonstrated imbalance of new production and sinking particle export in coastal upwelling ecosystems. Based on flux assessments from 238U:234Th disequilibrium and sediment traps, we found 2 to 3 times higher rates of gravitational particle export near a deep-water front (305 mg Cm-2d-1) compared with adjacent water or to mean (nonfrontal) regional conditions. Elevated particle flux at the front was mechanistically linked to Fe-stressed diatoms and high mesozooplankton fecal pellet production. Using a data assimilative regional ocean model fit to measured conditions, we estimate that an additional approximately 225 mg Cm-2d-1 was exported as subduction of particle-rich water at the front, highlighting a transport mechanism that is not captured by sediment traps and is poorly quantified by most models and in situ measurements. Mesoscale fronts may be responsible for over a quarter of total organic carbon sequestration in the California Current and other coastal upwelling ecosystems.
Conlon, K. C., Kintziger, K. W., Jagger, M., Stefanova, L., Uejio, C. K., & Konrad, C. (2016). Working with Climate Projections to Estimate Disease Burden: Perspectives from Public Health.
Int J Environ Res Public Health, 13(8).
Abstract: There is interest among agencies and public health practitioners in the United States (USA) to estimate the future burden of climate-related health outcomes. Calculating disease burden projections can be especially daunting, given the complexities of climate modeling and the multiple pathways by which climate influences public health. Interdisciplinary coordination between public health practitioners and climate scientists is necessary for scientifically derived estimates. We describe a unique partnership of state and regional climate scientists and public health practitioners assembled by the Florida Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) program. We provide a background on climate modeling and projections that has been developed specifically for public health practitioners, describe methodologies for combining climate and health data to project disease burden, and demonstrate three examples of this process used in Florida.
Lobodin, V. V., Maksimova, E. V., & Rodgers, R. P. (2016). Gas Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Fingerprinting the Macondo Oil Spill.
Anal Chem, 88(13), 6914–6922.
Abstract: We report the first application of a new mass spectrometry technique (gas chromatography combined to atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry, GC/APCI-MS/MS) for fingerprinting a crude oil and environmental samples from the largest accidental marine oil spill in history (the Macondo oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico, 2010). The fingerprinting of the oil spill is based on a trace analysis of petroleum biomarkers (steranes, diasteranes, and pentacyclic triterpanes) naturally occurring in crude oil. GC/APCI enables soft ionization of petroleum compounds that form abundant molecular ions without (or little) fragmentation. The ability to operate the instrument simultaneously in several tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) modes (e.g., full scan, product ion scan, reaction monitoring) significantly improves structural information content and sensitivity of analysis. For fingerprinting the oil spill, we constructed diagrams and conducted correlation studies that measure the similarity between environmental samples and enable us to differentiate the Macondo oil spill from other sources.
Landry, M. R., Selph, K. E., Decima, M., Gutierrez-Rodriguez, A., Stukel, M. R., Taylor, A. G., et al. (2016). Phytoplankton production and grazing balances in the Costa Rica Dome.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 366–379.
Abstract: We investigated phytoplankton production rates and grazing fates in the Costa Rica Dome (CRD) during summer 2010 based on dilution depth profiles analyzed by flow cytometry and pigments and mesozooplankton grazing assessed by gut fluorescence. Three community production estimates, from 14C uptake (1025 +/- 113 mg C m-2 day-1) and from dilution experiments analyzed for total Chla (990 +/- 106 mg C m-2 day-1) and flow cytometry populations (862 +/- 71 mg C m-2 day-1), exceeded regional ship-based values by 2-3-fold. Picophytoplankton accounted for 56% of community biomass and 39% of production. Production profiles extended deeper for Prochlorococcus (PRO) and picoeukaryotes than for Synechococcus (SYN) and larger eukaryotes, but 93% of total production occurred above 40 m. Microzooplankton consumed all PRO and SYN growth and two-third of total production. Positive net growth of larger eukaryotes in the upper 40 m was balanced by independently measured consumption by mesozooplankton. Among larger eukaryotes, diatoms contributed approximately 3% to production. On the basis of this analysis, the CRD region is characterized by high production and grazing turnover, comparable with or higher than estimates for the eastern equatorial Pacific. The region nonetheless displays characteristics atypical of high productivity, such as picophytoplankton dominance and suppressed diatom roles.
Stukel, M. R., Benitez-Nelson, C. R., Decima, M., Taylor, A. G., Buchwald, C., & Landry, M. R. (2016). The biological pump in the Costa Rica Dome: an open-ocean upwelling system with high new production and low export.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 348–365.
Abstract: The Costa Rica Dome is a picophytoplankton-dominated, open-ocean upwelling system in the Eastern Tropical Pacific that overlies the ocean's largest oxygen minimum zone. To investigate the efficiency of the biological pump in this unique area, we used shallow (90-150 m) drifting sediment traps and 234Th:238U deficiency measurements to determine export fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in sinking particles. Simultaneous measurements of nitrate uptake and shallow water nitrification allowed us to assess the equilibrium balance of new and export production over a monthly timescale. While f-ratios (new:total production) were reasonably high (0.36 +/- 0.12, mean +/- standard deviation), export efficiencies were considerably lower. Sediment traps suggested e-ratios (export/14C-primary production) at 90-100 m ranging from 0.053 to 0.067. ThE-ratios (234Th disequilibrium-derived export) ranged from 0.038 to 0.088. C:N and N:P stoichiometries of sinking material were both greater than canonical (Redfield) ratios or measured C:N of suspended particulates, and they increased with depth, suggesting that both nitrogen and phosphorus were preferentially remineralized from sinking particles. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem in which mesozooplankton play a major role in energy transfer to higher trophic levels but are relatively inefficient in mediating vertical carbon flux to depth, leading to an imbalance between new production and sinking flux.
Decima, M., Landry, M. R., Stukel, M. R., Lopez-Lopez, L., & Krause, J. W. (2016). Mesozooplankton biomass and grazing in the Costa Rica Dome: amplifying variability through the plankton food web.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 317–330.
Abstract: We investigated standing stocks and grazing rates of mesozooplankton assemblages in the Costa Rica Dome (CRD), an open-ocean upwelling ecosystem in the eastern tropical Pacific. While phytoplankton biomass in the CRD is dominated by picophytoplankton (<2-microm cells) with especially high concentrations of Synechococcus spp., we found high mesozooplankton biomass ( approximately 5 g dry weight m-2) and grazing impact (12-50% integrated water column chlorophyll a), indicative of efficient food web transfer from primary producers to higher levels. In contrast to the relative uniformity in water-column chlorophyll a and mesozooplankton biomass, variability in herbivory was substantial, with lower rates in the central dome region and higher rates in areas offset from the dome center. While grazing rates were unrelated to total phytoplankton, correlations with cyanobacteria (negative) and biogenic SiO2 production (positive) suggest that partitioning of primary production among phytoplankton sizes contributes to the variability observed in mesozooplankton metrics. We propose that advection of upwelled waters away from the dome center is accompanied by changes in mesozooplankton composition and grazing rates, reflecting small changes within the primary producers. Small changes within the phytoplankton community resulting in large changes in the mesozooplankton suggest that the variability in lower trophic level dynamics was effectively amplified through the food web.
Krause, J. W., Stukel, M. R., Taylor, A. G., Taniguchi, D. A. A., De Verneil, A., & Landry, M. R. (2016). Net biogenic silica production and the contribution of diatoms to new production and organic matter export in the Costa Rica Dome ecosystem.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 216–229.
Abstract: We determined the net rate of biogenic silica (bSiO2) production and estimated the diatom contribution to new production and organic matter export in the Costa Rica Dome during summer 2010. The shallow thermocline significantly reduces bSiO2 dissolution rates below the mixed layer, leading to significant enhancement of bSiO2 relative to organic matter (silicate-pump condition). This may explain why deep export of bSiO2 in this region is elevated by an order of magnitude relative to comparable systems. Diatom carbon, relative to autotrophic carbon, was low (<3%); however, the contribution of diatoms to new production averaged 3 and 13% using independent approaches. The 4-old discrepancy between methods may be explained by a low average C:Si ratio ( approximately 1.4) for the net produced diatom C relative to the net produced bSiO2. We speculate that this low production ratio is not the result of reduced C, but may arise from a significant contribution of non-diatom silicifying organisms to bSiO2 production. The contribution of diatoms to organic matter export was minor (5.7%). These results, and those of the broader project, suggest substantial food-web transformation of diatom organic matter in the euphotic zone, which creates enriched bSiO2 relative to organic matter within the exported material.
Selph, K. E., Landry, M. R., Taylor, A. G., Gutierrez-Rodriguez, A., Stukel, M. R., Wokuluk, J., et al. (2016). Phytoplankton production and taxon-specific growth rates in the Costa Rica Dome.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 199–215.
Abstract: During summer 2010, we investigated phytoplankton production and growth rates at 19 stations in the eastern tropical Pacific, where winds and strong opposing currents generate the Costa Rica Dome (CRD), an open-ocean upwelling feature. Primary production (14C-incorporation) and group-specific growth and net growth rates (two-treatment seawater dilution method) were estimated from samples incubated in situ at eight depths. Our cruise coincided with a mild El Nino event, and only weak upwelling was observed in the CRD. Nevertheless, the highest phytoplankton abundances were found near the dome center. However, mixed-layer growth rates were lowest in the dome center ( approximately 0.5-0.9 day-1), but higher on the edge of the dome ( approximately 0.9-1.0 day-1) and in adjacent coastal waters (0.9-1.3 day-1). We found good agreement between independent methods to estimate growth rates. Mixed-layer growth rates of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus were largely balanced by mortality, whereas eukaryotic phytoplankton showed positive net growth ( approximately 0.5-0.6 day-1), that is, growth available to support larger (mesozooplankton) consumer biomass. These are the first group-specific phytoplankton rate estimates in this region, and they demonstrate that integrated primary production is high, exceeding 1 g C m-2 day-1 on average, even during a period of reduced upwelling.
Glenn, S. M., Miles, T. N., Seroka, G. N., Xu, Y., Forney, R. K., Yu, F., et al. (2016). Stratified coastal ocean interactions with tropical cyclones.
Nat Commun, 7, 10887.
Abstract: Hurricane-intensity forecast improvements currently lag the progress achieved for hurricane tracks. Integrated ocean observations and simulations during hurricane Irene (2011) reveal that the wind-forced two-layer circulation of the stratified coastal ocean, and resultant shear-induced mixing, led to significant and rapid ahead-of-eye-centre cooling (at least 6 degrees C and up to 11 degrees C) over a wide swath of the continental shelf. Atmospheric simulations establish this cooling as the missing contribution required to reproduce Irene's accelerated intensity reduction. Historical buoys from 1985 to 2015 show that ahead-of-eye-centre cooling occurred beneath all 11 tropical cyclones that traversed the Mid-Atlantic Bight continental shelf during stratified summer conditions. A Yellow Sea buoy similarly revealed significant and rapid ahead-of-eye-centre cooling during Typhoon Muifa (2011). These findings establish that including realistic coastal baroclinic processes in forecasts of storm intensity and impacts will be increasingly critical to mid-latitude population centres as sea levels rise and tropical cyclone maximum intensities migrate poleward.
Wu, Z., Feng, J., Qiao, F., & Tan, Z. - M. (2016). Fast multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition for the analysis of big spatio-temporal datasets.
Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci, 374(2065), 20150197.
Abstract: In this big data era, it is more urgent than ever to solve two major issues: (i) fast data transmission methods that can facilitate access to data from non-local sources and (ii) fast and efficient data analysis methods that can reveal the key information from the available data for particular purposes. Although approaches in different fields to address these two questions may differ significantly, the common part must involve data compression techniques and a fast algorithm. This paper introduces the recently developed adaptive and spatio-temporally local analysis method, namely the fast multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition (MEEMD), for the analysis of a large spatio-temporal dataset. The original MEEMD uses ensemble empirical mode decomposition to decompose time series at each spatial grid and then pieces together the temporal-spatial evolution of climate variability and change on naturally separated timescales, which is computationally expensive. By taking advantage of the high efficiency of the expression using principal component analysis/empirical orthogonal function analysis for spatio-temporally coherent data, we design a lossy compression method for climate data to facilitate its non-local transmission. We also explain the basic principles behind the fast MEEMD through decomposing principal components instead of original grid-wise time series to speed up computation of MEEMD. Using a typical climate dataset as an example, we demonstrate that our newly designed methods can (i) compress data with a compression rate of one to two orders; and (ii) speed-up the MEEMD algorithm by one to two orders.