What's New Archive
Published December 1 in Nature, PMEL scientists Drs. Trish Quinn and Tim Bates explain why it’s time to retire a 25-year-old hypothesis that suggested phytoplankton might play a large role in regulating climate change. They analyzed observations and computer simulations from the past two decades and concluded that the role of phytoplankton emissions is much smaller than originally thought.
PMEL’s Dr. Chris Sabine is one of four co-leads on a new Carbon Cycle Science Plan just released. Sabine and other U.S. Scientists have developed a new, integrated, ten-year science plan to better understand the details of the Earth’s carbon cycle and the people’s role in it. The plan extends the focus to new questions including the emphasis that humans are an integral part of the global carbon cycle.
Please visit the PMEL Carbon Program website for more information including a link to the full plan.
The November issue of Nature Geoscience features the erupting West Mata volcano on its cover, discovered by NOAA Vents and university partner scientists 2.5 years ago. The paper included is the first published about this recently discovered active underwater eruption and describes the never before seen active boninite lava that contains information about the early stages of subduction in the northeastern Lau Basin.
For more information on the West Mata volcano please visit the NOAA Vents Program website.
Oceanographer Dr. Christopher Sabine has been chosen as the next director of PMEL and will start on November 20. Dr. Sabine has been at PMEL since 1999 concentrating his research on the global carbon cycle and ocean acidification. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University with a major in marine science and a doctorate in oceanography from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He will be the lab's 3rd director since PMEL's creation in 1974.
Please join PMEL in congratulating Dr. Sabine and welcome him to his new position. You can read more about Dr. Sabine in the NOAA press release.
Last month PMEL's carbon and engineering groups deployed two autonomous wave powered research vessels to study ocean acidification along the Washington and Oregon coasts. These seven foot long vessels automatically measure surface water and atmospheric carbon dioxide, pH, temperature and salinity along a path determined by PMEL scientists who guide the vessels from the laboratory via satellite. This maiden voyage for these vessels is coordinated with traditional sampling approaches to ensure that these new technologies make the same high-quality measurements that are PMEL’s hallmark.
Scientists from PMEL's Atmospheric Chemistry group, led by Drs. Tim Bates and Trish Quinn, will participate in the shipboard portion of the Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) project that will study the Indian Ocean to help understand global climate and weather systems from the end of August through December.
Shipboard observations of aerosol, physical, chemical, optical, and cloud-nucleating properties in the coupled cloud-aerosol-precipitation system will be made to improve the understanding of the effects of aerosol particles on clouds and radiation transfer over the equatorial Indian Ocean.
NOAA Vents Program with PMEL, Oregon State University, and University of Washington helped discover a new lava flow at Axial Seamount, supporting a forecast made by the scientists that an eruption would occur before 2014. Measurements show that the eruption occurred on April 6, 2011.
This is the first successful eruption forecast for a submarine volcano, and confirms that Axial Seamount is an excellent location for state-of-the-art studies of active submarine volcanic processes and how they impact ocean physical, chemical, and biological environments. For more information on this event please read the OSU press release.
In support of NOAA’s new Ocean Acidification Program, scientists from PMEL's carbon group will begin a 22-day cruise on August 11 along the Pacific west coast to survey ocean acidification (OA) conditions and study the relationship between OA and the seasonal development of hypoxic conditions on the continental shelf. Funded by the NOAA Ocean Acidification and Global Carbon Cycle Programs, the cruise will sample at approximately 96 stations offshore from Washington to California. In conjunction with the cruise, repeat glider transects will be conducted and testing of new wave gliders will also occur to provide a large-scale picture of OA along the U.S. west coast.
PMEL and University of Washington scientists will help campers turn into oceanographers at the 9th annual NOAA Science Camp in Seattle, Washington the weeks of July 18th and 25th. Middle school campers will get to experience what it is like to be an oceanographer by using instruments to measure physical properties of the water and atmosphere as well as getting the chance to see a working buoy in the water and learn how PMEL uses buoys to gather data around the world.
NOAA Science Camp is sponsored by Washington Sea Grant. Check out their web page for a video and more information.
Scientists and engineers at PMEL recently returned from an expedition in the Arctic where they launched two small, new, remotely-operated, unmanned aircraft to measure black soot. The soot is produced by burning diesel fuel, agricultural fires, forest fires, and wood-burning stoves, and is transported by winds to the Arctic, where it darkens the surface of snow and ice, enhancing melting and solar warming.