What's New Archive
This April, PMEL and JISAO (University of Washington) scientists with EcoFOCI embark on a month-long research cruise in the Gulf of Alaska on the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson. Scientists will be studying hydrography, nutrients, chlorophyll, and primary production, as well as sampling zooplankton and larval fish abundance as part of the multi-year Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Program.
You can follow along with scientists and technicians as they work in the Gulf of Alaska on the JISAO blog.
University of Washington Ph.D. student Sarah Purkey along with PMEL’s Dr. Gregory Johnson have analyzed full-depth, ship-based measurements taken along repeat oceanographic sections around the Southern Ocean from the 1980s-2000s. Their new study, which appears online in the Journal of Climate, quantifies freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water, strongest adjacent to where ice sheets have been melting in recent decades.
For more information on this study please visit the Journal of Climate website.
In a paper published February 27 at the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, scientists from PMEL and JISAO with others explain why, in some cases, tsunami inundation far exceeds what one expects. Lessons learned from tsunamis, such as the one observed in northern Japan in 2011 will help scientists better identify locations that are “tsunami magnets”, and thus help save lives in the future.
For more information please visit the NOAA Center of Tsunami Research website.
PMEL’s Dr. Ed Harrison and JISAO’s Dr. Andy Chiodi co-authored a paper published online on February 7 in the Journal of Climate that finds a new way to identify which El Niño events will have the biggest impact on U.S. winter weather. They examined an indicator known as outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) and found that El Niño events with drops in OLR were most likely to be associated with winter weather.
For more information please read the NOAA press release.
PMEL’s Atmospheric Chemistry group will be in Utah from January 24 through February participating in the second year of the Utah Air Quality Study to determine what is causing high levels of ozone during winter in the oil and gas production fields in Utah. PMEL’s role is to measure properties of atmospheric particles and snow, including chemical composition, to assess their role in ozone production.
To find out more information about this study please visit the Atmospheric Chemistry web site.
PMEL technicians departed the week of January 7 for a 7-week cruise on the NOAA Ship Ronald H.Brown in the Northeast Atlantic to service moorings in the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic (PIRATA). PMEL will be deploying 5 moorings at 4 PIRATA sites.
The PIRATA array was established in 1997 in partnership with France and Brazil and studies ocean-atmosphere interactions in the tropical Atlantic. Visit the PIRATA web page for more information.
The worldwide Argo float array of over 3,000 devices made its one-millionth profile in the beginning of December. Measuring temperature and salinity in the first 3,000 feet of the ocean, the Argo float array helps scientists better understand changes in ocean heat content and salinity.
PMEL currently has 476 active Argo floats mostly in the Pacific Ocean, making up 13% of the worldwide array. You can find out more about PMEL’s Argo floats and where they are located on their website.
The Arctic region continued to break records in 2012 - among them, the loss of summer sea ice, late spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet - as the region settles into a new state. This was true even though air temperatures in the Arctic were unremarkable relative to the last decade.
Major findings include record lows in snow and Arctic sea ice extent, record setting glacier and Greenland ice sheet melt, and greening of the tundra, with varied impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
In a study published November 25 online in Nature Geoscience, PMEL's Dr. Nina Bednarsek and co-authors describes the first evidence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide dissolving the shells of marine snails, known as pteropods, in the Southern Ocean. These findings, discovered during a 2008 science cruise, are some of the first documenting the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms in their natural environment.
PMEL's Dr. Richard Feely is a co-author. For more information on ocean acidification please visit the PMEL Carbon website.
Scientists at NOAA’s Center for Tsunami Research at PMEL modeled the most recent tsunami event at the end of October. On October 27 a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of British Columbia and sent measurable tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean. Tsunami wave size and arrival times were accurately predicted for many U.S. coastline communities thanks in part to PMEL’s tsunami forecast model and tsunami detection buoys (DART®). Scientists will use this data to help further refine their models to assist with future tsunami events.
Please visit the tsunami event page to see model comparisons with actual tide gage data.