What's New Archive
PMEL and JISAO scientists are tracking Arctic sea ice conditions with animations of images from web cams deployed in springtime at the North Pole by the North Pole Environmental Observatory. Images received on July 15 (seen left) reveal widespread ponds in the sea ice. Although some melt pond formation was observed as early as June 7 on the far horizon, cloudy conditions seen in the animations may have contributed to the late widespread melt pond formation that is only now clearly visible.
For historical sea ice conditions observed by the web cams, see the sea ice transition website.
A newly released report at Oceanography details the work of scientists and engineers with PMEL’s Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS) to analyze the sound of iceberg A52 breaking apart in the Southern Ocean using underwater hydrophones. The authors concluded that sounds measured are significantly greater than anthropogenic noises and should therefore be considered as a major contributor to the overall ocean noise budget.
For more information on PMEL’s Acoustic program please visit their website.
PMEL engineers and JISAO and CIMRS scientists delivered several instruments to the University of Washington during the month of May that will be plugged in to the Regional Scale Nodes cabled observatory at Axial Seamount later this summer. Building on the success of PMEL’s NeMO seafloor observatory PMEL, 5 bottom pressure recording and tilt recorders and 3 time series vent fluid samplers for chemistry and microbiology built at PMEL will be part of the Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) cabled observatory program funded by the National Science Foundation.
The instruments will be plugged into the cabled observatory this summer using the ship R/V Thomson and the ROPOS Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
PMEL's Dr. Billy Kessler is currently participating in NASA’s Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) in the Atlantic Ocean. SPURS addresses the role of the ocean in the global water cycle. PMEL engineers have contributed to this study by developing and deploying two Prawler (Profiler + Crawler) equipped moorings. The Prawler device, which is attached to the mooring line, uses wave-powered energy to crawl up the line, taking temperature/salinity measurements along the way.
You can read more about how the Prawler works and view the data in near real time on PMEL’s Engineering Development Division website.
NOAA/PMEL Oceanographer Gregory C. Johnson received the 2013 Georg Wüst Prize for outstanding achievement in marine science from the German Society for Marine Research in an 8 April ceremony at the European Geosciences Union's General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. This biennial prize is sponsored by Springer Verlag's Ocean Dynamics. Immediately prior to the award, Dr. Johnson gave a keynote science lecture entitled "Warming, Contraction, and Freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water since the 1990s, with a Potential Ice-Sheet Melt Feedback".
Johnson leads the PMEL's Argo Ocean Floats program.
Dr. James Overland of PMEL and Dr. Muyin Wang of JISAO recently published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters looking at three methods of predicting when the Arctic will be nearly ice free in the summer. They predict a nearly ice free summer arctic before 2050, sooner than many previously thought.
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.