What's New Archive
EcoFOCI is heading far north to the Chukchi Sea (August 16-September 20) to deploy moorings that will over-winter under the ice to monitor ecosystem changes for the first time in the region. At three different sites in the Chukchi Sea, EcoFOCI will deploy subsurface moorings that will measure ice thickness, currents, zooplankton, light, nitrate and other important indicators of ecosystem health.
In an article recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, Tong Lee of the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasedena and Mike McPhaden of PMEL analyzed 30 years of NOAA satellite sea surface temperature data and found that the intensity of El Niño events in the central equatorial Pacific has almost doubled in the past three decades, with the strongest warming in 2009-10.
These “central Pacific” (CP) El Niño’s exhibit maximum warming in the central equatorial Pacific in contrast to the classical El Niños, which have maximum warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific.
PMEL senior scientist, Dr. Mike McPhaden is presiding over his first American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting as AGU President. 2010 The Meeting of the Americas is being held in Iguassu Falls, Brazil during the week of August 9. Dr. McPhaden will lead a Town Hall meeting on "Communicating the Science of Climate Change".
Dr. McPhaden was elected President-elect of the AGU in 2008 and took over as President for a 2-year term beginning in 2010. He is the director of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean project at PMEL.
In an effort to promote the public’s understanding of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in an urban setting, scientists from PMEL's Carbon Group partnered with the Pacific Science Center (PSC) and Seattle’s Space Needle to install an atmospheric CO2 sensor on top of the Space Needle. Measurements are made every 5 minutes and streams the information to PMEL where the data are processed in real time, posted to the web and sent to a monitoring station at the PSC.
The web site and PSC display allow the public to examine the latest data showing the patterns of CO2 variations in Seattle on time scales ranging from minutes to months.
Scientists from PMEL and NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research are exploring the deep sea around Indonesia from an Exploration Command Center in Seattle, Washington. The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer has satellite-enabled telepresence that allow scientists to stay on shore and be an integral part of the research as it happens across the Pacific Ocean in Indonesian waters.
You can follow the Okeanos Explorer on its first international operational mission and stay up to date with daily mission logs at the Ocean Explorer web site.
Two scientists from PMEL's Ocean Climate Station program are aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Tully to recover and redeploy a fresh mooring at Station Papa. The mooring's measurements of surface water pH; air-sea exchanges of CO2, heat, and moisture; wind stress; and the water's physical conditions provide in-situ reference data for evaluating model and remotely-sensed products. The mooring is anchored in 13,845 feet of water in the Gulf of Alaska.
To learn more about Ocean Station Papa and download its data visit the website.
Five scientists from PMEL's Fisheries Oceanography program are on board the University of Washington R/V Thompson from May 9 to June 14 as part of the fourth in a series of annual spring cruises through the NSF-BEST and NPRB-BSIERP programs. PMEL is handling hydrography, water sampling, nutrient and O2 analysis, and ice sampling.
To follow this expedition as it travels the Bering Sea please visit the EcoFOCI web site.
In a study published May 19 in Nature, PMEL and University of Hawaii scientist Dr. John Lyman (pictured left above) describes how the upper layer of the world's ocean has warmed steadily since 1993. Data from Argo floats, deployed by PMEL's Dr. Greg Johnson (pictured right above) and others help greatly reduce the uncertainties in estimates of ocean heat content over the past several years.
Scientists and engineers from PMEL's Vents Program successfully flew an ocean glider for exploring for underwater volcanic plumes and eruptions in the South Pacific on May 8. Over the two day mission, the glider travelled about 50km and was "flown" by engineers located 5000 miles away in Washington and Oregon.
You can read more about this glider mission, including an update on the active underwater volcano, West Mata, on the Lau Eruptions blog.
The March 2010 (Vol. 23, No. 1) special issue of Oceanography focuses on seamounts, submerged isolated mountains in the sea. Seamounts are of volcanic origin, with some presently forming. PMEL scientist Bill Lavelle is guest editor and the issue also features the Axial Seamount and Northwest Rota-1 Seamount, discovered by the PMEL Vents Program.
You can read the current issue featuring many PMEL authors along with our partners at Oregon State University and University of Washington on the Oceanography web site.