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Channing Prend

Channing Prend has written 20 posts for oceanbites

Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Waters

A recent study demonstrate the critical importance of Antarctic winds and meltwater to modeling the recent observed changes in Southern Ocean physical and biogeochemical properties. These results have implications for improving future climate projections. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination of […]

Icebergs Fertilize Phytoplankton Growth

Icebergs contain iron, the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton in the polar regions. Icebergs, therefore, have the potential to stimulate biological productivity and carbon uptake. However, this will depend on the iceberg iron content, which is not well known. Therefore, a recent study sought to quantify the variability in iceberg iron content and subsequent carbon uptake. […]

Key Role of Sea Ice in Glacial Cycles

A recent study using an idealized model finds that changes in Antarctic sea ice and circulation, triggered by atmospheric cooling, stimulate carbon drawdown and thus play a large role in glacial-interglacial transitions. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination of numerical models, […]

Phytoplankton Bloom Driven by Volcanic Eruption

A large volcanic eruption in 2018 deposited tons of lava into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists were puzzled that the lava-impacted region of the ocean had explosive growth of microalgae called phytoplankton. They discovered that the lava was heating nutrient-rich waters at the seafloor, which made them rise up to the surface. Channing PrendI’m a physical […]

How important is carbon export by ocean eddies?

A recent paper uses an ocean model to investigate the relative importance of carbon sequestration by eddies transporting phytoplankton into the ocean interior. Results suggest that eddies may not be as important as we thought due to the compensation between transport by clockwise and counter-clockwise eddies. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

Antarctic phytoplankton blooms linked to seafloor topography

A recent study uses observations from robotic floats to examine phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean. The data show that biological productivity is closely linked to seafloor topography. This is because currents flowing over seamounts cause enhanced mixing that delivers nutrients to the sunlit upper ocean where phytoplankton grow. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD […]

What caused a massive hole in Antarctic sea ice?

In 2016 and 2017, a massive hole developed in the Antarctic sea ice. Scientists investigated the processes that led to this formation and found that it was related to anomalous saltiness and storm activity in the region. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Reevaluating the Ocean Conveyer Belt

A recent study suggests that surface processes in the Indian and Pacific Oceans may be more important to global ocean circulation than previously thought. This has implications for our understanding of the global climate system. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination […]

Phytoplankton Expanding Northward as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

A recent study uses satellite data to show that Arctic sea ice retreat is causing changes in the timing and location of spring phytoplankton blooms, which play a large role in the regional ecosystem and carbon cycle. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Mixing Up Microalgae

A recent study shows that within the mixed layer—the region of the upper ocean where temperature and salinity are homogeneous—biological properties may not actually be well mixed. These results have implications for our understanding of phytoplankton biomass distribution. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I […]

Antarctic Eddies Suck Carbon from the Atmosphere

A recent study from researchers at the University of Tasmania investigates the relationship between ocean eddies and phytoplankton growth in the Southern Ocean using satellite data. The results can help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

Who Governs the Ocean Around Antarctica?

Antarctica is often considered an untouched wilderness. While its location is remote, the region is hardly undisturbed by human activity. Exploitation of marine species, tourism, scientific research activities, and anthropogenic climate change are all impacting Southern Ocean ecosystems. A recent policy paper examines the governance challenges for the Antarctic, particularly those due to climate change. […]

Sea Ice Modifies Biological Processes

A recent study investigates the relationship between sea ice variability and phytoplankton growth in climate models. Phytoplankton are responsible for most of the transfer of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean, therefore this work can help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future.     Channing […]

Sea Ice Drives Global Circulation

A recent study uses observational data from the Antarctic to show that sea ice processes help drive the global current system called the overturning circulation. This result suggests that changes to sea ice extent in the Antarctic could impact large-scale circulation as well as the ocean’s uptake of heat and carbon dioxide. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Predicted Change to the Southern Ocean Silicate Front

The Southern Ocean Silicate Front (SF) is an important boundary separating waters that are silicate-rich and waters that are silicate-poor. The position of the SF determines where microorganisms like diatoms (that need silicate to form their shells) can grow. A new study predicts a poleward shift in the Southern Ocean Silicate Front by the end […]

Why is Antarctic Sea Ice Growing?

Despite increases in global ocean temperatures, long-term trends actually show an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. There are a number of reasons for this apparent paradox: geography, ocean properties, and atmospheric circulation to name a few. This paper examines the role of atmospheric variability in driving Southern Hemisphere sea ice trends. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Around the Antarctic in 17 Years

The transport of water from the deep ocean to the surface has many important impacts on global climate. By releasing virtual particles into climate models and tracking the pathways they take to reach the surface, this study finds that upwelling occurs much more quickly than previously thought. This result has implications for long-term climate projections. […]

Iceberg Impacts

Accurately predicting ice sheet melt location and timing is crucial to understanding and modeling global climate. In order to do this, it is necessary to assess individual freshwater sources as the researchers in this study did. Their results suggest that many of the assumptions ocean modelers make about icebergs may be incorrect. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Sea Ice Mixes it Up

Sea ice extent and concentration is driven by a complex combination of circulation and mixing, as well as interaction with the atmosphere. Understanding these processes is critical to improving climate models. This study uses models to examine the dynamics in marginal ice zones, which is becoming increasingly important for future climate predictions. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Fate of Dissolved Carbon in the Antarctic

The ocean surrounding Antarctica, called the Southern Ocean, accounts for about 40% of the total global ocean carbon uptake. This study assesses the relative importance of the mechanisms impacting carbon concentrations in the upper ocean. Their results help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future. Channing […]

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