Climate research at PMEL is undertaken to support NOAA’s mission to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, and the oceans. Our society is affected by recurring patterns of climate variability, by more secular global trends in ocean temperature and carbon, by as-yet poorly understood aspects of the global ocean circulations, and by the connections between the open ocean and our coastal oceans.
Climate Research Activities
Global Tropical Moored Buoy Array – The Global Tropical Moored Buoy array is a multi-national effort to provide data in real-time for climate research and forecasting. Major components include the TAO/TRITON array in the Pacific, PIRATA in the Atlantic, and RAMA in the Indian Ocean.
Ocean Climate Stations – A project that deploys moored buoys to make continuous measurements of the atmosphere and ocean. These observations are used as ground truth for satellite and numerical weather prediction models, and by scientists to enhance our understanding of ocean uptake of carbon, ocean acidification, weather, and climate.
Large-Scale Ocean Physics – The group monitors and conducts research on ocean temperatures, salinity, and velocity changes and their impacts, including sea level rise and climate sensitivity, using data from the global array of Argo floats, deep hydrographic profiles along oceanographic transects occupied by the Repeat Hydrography Program, and other sources.
Thermal Modeling and Analysis Project (TMAP) – Research focus lies in how the ocean and atmosphere interact to produce different patterns of climate variability around the globe. The group examines climate data and model output to determine how to best identify climate patterns in and over the sea in order to anticipate unusual weather in the months ahead.
Arctic Climate Dynamics – Research focus conducts observations and evaluates models of Arctic sea ice to document and predict climate change impacts on Arctic marine ecosystems.
Ocean Carbon – This group focuses research efforts on understanding the ocean’s role in uptake and redistribution of natural and anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere. The group generates high-quality carbon data, quantified global ocean carbon uptake and storage from repeat hydrography and VOX cruises, and acquired in situ measurements from moorings.
Pacific Western Boundary Currents - This project began exploratory missions in the Solomon Sea with ocean gliders in 2007 to observe fluctuations of the equatorward western boundary currents and how they contribute to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The ENSO signal in this western boundary current is seen to be a first-order contribution to the equatorial mass and heat balance.
Atmospheric Chemistry - Using past and present PMEL aerosol measurements, the Atmospheric Chemistry group is dedicated to international field campaigns and long term measurements to determine the impact of atmospheric aerosol particles on climate and air quality.