Feature Publication Archive
The 25-year trend in wind speed squared over the tropical Pacific calculated from a popular wind analysis product (Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform Wind Analysis Version 2, period 1992-2016).
Chiodi, A. M., J. P. Dunne, and D. E. Harrison ( 2019). Estimating air‐sea carbon flux uncertainty over the tropical Pacific: Importance of winds and wind analysis uncertainty. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33, 370– 390. doi: 10.1029/2018GB006047
About half of carbon emissions are currently absorbed by natural processes taking place on land and in the ocean. But not all regions of the Earth’s surface act as a sink for emitted CO2. The tropical Pacific Ocean stands out as a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere—even rivaling U.S. emissions. Understanding how this source has changed over recent decades, and how it might change in coming decades is important to understanding and predicting net carbon uptake by the oceans.
Changes in wind speeds over the tropical Pacific Ocean surface are one way in which the... more »
This diagram shows that Pacific cod were caught deeper in warm years (red dots), and shallower in cold years (blue dots), than in near-average years (black dots, average temperature ±1 standard deviation). This is a plot of the deviations in the depth about the mean depth where Pacific cod were caught versus the bottom temperature anomaly (the difference between the temperature in a single year and the multi-year average temperature). The larger the dot, the longer the fish (see scale at top right).
Yang, Q., E. D. Cokelet, P. J. Stabeno, L. Li, A. B. Hollowed, W. A. Palsson, N. A. Bond, and S. J. Barbeaux (2019): How "The Blob" affected groundfish distributions in the Gulf of Alaska. Fish. Oceanogr. https://doi.org/10.1111/fog.12422
In 2014-2016, a marine heat wave, also known as the Blob, produced abnormally warm waters off the US West Coast and in the Gulf of Alaska. Temperatures in the upper 100 meters of the ocean were more than 2.5° C higher than the long term (1981–2010) average from satellite, buoy and ship observations. Many important commercial fish species are groundfish that may not be affected by warm water near the surface. Oceanographers and fisheries scientists from the University of Washington’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory... more »
Estimates of hydrothermal heat flux (MW) for the 33-year time series (black dots; note break on the vertical axis). Pink band at bottom shows "normal" heat flux averaging ~15 MW. Yellow bands show intervals of increased heat flux following eruptions (red triangles and dashed lines), which reached values as high as 1200 MW. About two-thirds of the total heat flux occurred during the 10 years shown by the yellow bands.
Baker, E.T., S.L. Walker, W.W. Chadwick, Jr., D.A. Butterfield, N.J. Buck, and J.A. Resing (2019): Post-eruption enhancement of hydrothermal activity: A 33-year, multi-eruption time series at Axial Seamount (Juan de Fuca Ridge). Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 20(2), 814−828, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC007802.
About 80% of volcanic activity on Earth occurs on the deep seafloor of the global ocean. These eruptions are concentrated where the Earth’s tectonic plates collide or separate, accelerating the transfer of heat, chemicals, and microbes from the crust to the ocean through hydrothermal venting (the discharge of high-temperature fluids heated within the Earth’s crust) from the seafloor. A primary obstacle to the advancement of our knowledge of submarine eruptions is that most are undetected by conventional monitoring methods.
In 2015, the National Science Foundation’s Ocean... more »
Modeled annual mean surface pH over the 2003-12 timeframe. Cooler colors indicate corrosive, low pH water while warmer colors indicate relatively buffered, high pH water
Pilcher, D.J., D.M. Naiman, J.N. Cross, A.J. Hermann, S.A. Siedlecki, G.A. Gibson, and J.T. Mathis (2019): Modeled effect of coastal biogeochemical processes, climate variability, and ocean acidification on aragonite saturation state in the Bering Sea. Front. Mar. Sci., 5, 508, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00508.
Due to naturally cold, low carbonate concentration waters, the Bering Sea is highly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA), the process in which the absorption of human-released carbon dioxide by the oceans leads to a decrease in ocean water pH and carbonate ion concentration. Emerging evidence suggests that a number of important species in the Bering Sea (such as red king crab and Pacific cod) are vulnerable to OA due to direct (e.g., reduced growth and survival rates) and indirect (e.g., reduced food sources) effects. However, the harsh winter conditions, prevalence of sea ice, and large... more »
Humpback whale preparing for a foraging dive in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
Fournet, M.E.H., L.P. Matthews, C.M. Gabriele, S. Haver, D.K. Mellinger, and H. Klinck (2018): Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) alter calling behavior in response to natural sounds and vessel noise. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 607, 251–268. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12784
It’s unclear when the human fascination with the voices of humpback whales began, but with the release of the album “Songs of the Humpback Whale” in 1970, humpbacks became arguably the most listened to whales in the world. But humpback whales do more than sing: they also produce a series of vocalizations known as “calls” or “social calls”. While song is produced only by males, calls are produced by males and females of all ages, and are thought to play a critical role in the life history of humpback whales.
The modern world poses a problem for humpback whales that rely on sound; the... more »