What's New Archive
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.
Visit the Atmospheric Chemistry page for more information and watch the YouTube video above.
PMEL staff are aboard two international vessels to recover and deploy moorings in the Indian Ocean as part of the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) project. RAMA was initiated in 2004 to collect key oceanographic and meteorological data from the poorly observed Indian Ocean.
The establishment of one new site this month will mark the occupation of 30 sites, with a total of 46 sites planned for the entire array. For more information, please visit the RAMA web site.
NOAA has updated the Arctic Future website to reflect recent observations and add results in the Arctic Council 2011 Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic assessment. Other topics include: satellites show the Arctic losing summer sea ice for the past 30 years, an increased linkage between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, and glacier melt contributing to sea level rise.
Read more at NOAA’s Arctic Future website.
Scientists from PMEL’s Ecosystems & Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) group set sail on April 30 for the first major cruise of Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (GOA-IERP). Led by PMEL's Dr. Nancy Kachel, EcoFOCI and GOA-IERP will look at oceanographic and climate influences, and relationships between trophic levels in a changing ecosystem and will include zooplankton sampling, hydrographic measurements, water and iron sampling.
For more information on this expedition please visit the EcoFOCI cruise website.
PMEL scientists, Dr. Tim Bates and Dr. Patricia Quinn, will lead the US component of the Coordinated Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere Interactions (CICCI) project based out of Svalbard, Norway during the month of April. PMEL will fly two Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) equipped with sensors to measure aerosol properties to help understand the processes controlling the distribution of black carbon in the Arctic atmosphere.
Stay up to date with the mission by following the blog and visit PMEL’s Atmospheric Chemistry page and the CICCI project page for more information.