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Tour of PMEL Research Projects

EcoFOCI    Carbon Dioxide    VENTS    TAO   Ferret   Tsunami    CFC    Atmospheric Chemistry

Innovative Technology   University/NOAA Partnerships

Program locations

TMAP Program Vents Program TAO Program Currents Program Tsumani Program CO2 Program FOCI Program Aerosol Program CFC Program PMEL Home Page NOAA Home Page

PMEL carries out interdisciplinary scientific investigations in oceanography and marine meteorology. Current PMEL programs focus on coastal and open ocean observations in support of prediction of the ocean environment on time scales from days to decades. Studies are conducted to improve our understanding of the complex physical and geochemical processes operating in the world oceans, to define the forcing functions and the processes driving ocean circulation and the global climate system, and to improve environmental forecasting capabilities and other supporting services for marine commerce and fisheries.

TAO El Niño Research
Implement seasonal to interanual climate forecasts
  • El Niño is a shift in the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific
  • El Nino results in climatic changes around the world
  • In the US, El Niño causes:
    Warmer than normal winters in the Northwest
    Above normal rainfall in the Gulf States
    Volitile weather in California
  • Economic impacts can be reduced by improved climate predictions
    An estimated $1.1 billion could be saved in the US agriculture sector
  • Observations of conditions in the tropical Pacific are essential for the
    prediction of seasonal to interannual climate variations.
  • TAO network of moored buoys in the tropical Pacific telemeter data which is
    used by researchers worldwide for climate prediction studies
  • TAO Project Tour

Carbon Dioxide
Predict & assess decadal to centennial change
  • Primary objective is to assess the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans
  • Study the processes controlling air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide (e.g. El Niño)
  • Mechanism is an ocean monitoring program
  • High quality data is required to reduce uncertainty in global carbon prediction
  • Improved predictions will provide decision-makers quantitative information
    necessary for making critical economic decisions regarding greenhouse gases

Predict & assess decadal to centennial change
  • Dissolved chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) serve as unique tracers of ocean circulation and mixing processes
  • CFC observations are used to test and evaluate ocean-atmosphere models
  • Improved forecasts will lead to improved prediction of long-term climate variations, such as those that give rise to persistent drought and recurrent flooding

Predict & assess decadal to centennial change
  • Atmospheric chemistry field measurements are required to understand:
    the distribution of climatically important trace gases (e.g., ozone, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfides, etc.)
    the distribution of aerosols in the marine atmosphere
    the processes controlling these distributions
  • Goal is to provide decision-makers quantative information required to make critical economic decisions regarding these gases

Predict & assess decadal to centennial change
  • Supports improved ocean and atmospheric forecasts during El Nino and non El Nino periods
  • Understand processes responsible for variations in equatorial sea surface temperature and ocean currents
  • Uses supercomputers and advanced data analysis routines in persuit of this goal
  • Benefits include:
    • design of cost-effective ocean observing systems (e.g., TAO)
    • improved internet access to large, gridded environmental datasets

Predict & assess decadal to centennial change

Build sustainable US fisheries
  • Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated investigations ( FOCI) is a coordinated research effort by NOAA/PMEL, NOAA/Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and academic institutions
  • Seeks understanding of ecosystem dynamics and recruitment variability of commercially valuable fish and shellfish stocks in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea
  • Goal is to understand life stage interactions and environmental processes that lead to changes in recruitment
  • Forecasting these changes provides North Pacific fisheries managers information necessary to reduce uncertaint in commercial fishery allocation decisions

Advance short-term warnings & forecast services
  • Seeks to mitigate tsunami hazards in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska
  • By means of improved tsunami warnings
    • Research on dynamics of tsunami generation, propagation and coastal inundation
    • Development of instrumentation for a realtime tsunami warning system
  • Goal is to reduce fatalities, damage and losses caused by natural hazards

Innovative Technology

Innovative technology in software and hardware has been developed in support of PMEL's research projects. Outstanding software and data management capabilities allow scientists to access, view and analyze observational and gridded data, and to work with geograpical information systems. Up-to-date information about PMEL research is available on the World Wide Web, and near-realtime data, analysis products and retrospective climatologies can be previewed and downloaded for further analysis. Perspective on PMEL's research program results is provided by World Wide Web Theme Pages.

PMEL's Engineering Development Division supports PMEL research with innovations in electronics, mechanics, materials, and sofware engineering. PMEL's measurement capabilities in the field and laboratory are enhanced by application of state-of-the-art instruments and systems that integrate observational and measurement technologies.

University/NOAA Partnerships

NOAA has established formal collaborative research agreements with participating universities to form the Joint Institutes. The Joint Institutes combine the resources of universities and NOAA to develop centers of excellence in environmental research.

PMEL complements its research efforts through four cooperative institutes: the Joint Institute for Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), with the University of Washington; the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR), with the University of Hawaii; Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR), with the University of Alaska; and the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS), with Oregon State University.

FOCI   Carbon Dioxide   VENTS    TAO   Ferret  Tsunami    CFC    Atmospheric Chemistry

Innovative Technology    University / NOAA Partnerships

PMEL Outstanding Scientific Papers   PMEL Publications   Theme Pages     Seminars   Software   On-line Data

PMEL Accomplishments and Plans:

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