//archives

Physical oceanography

This category contains 51 posts

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 […]

Rugged Southern Ocean phytoplankton weather the storm(s)

Phytoplankton from the “wild west” of the world’s oceans have learned to regrow after storms… over and over and over again. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study small-scale turbulence at the air-sea interface induced by airflow over surface gravity waves […]

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 […]

Productivity Comes In Waves

How do waves in the ocean affect phytoplankton? Check out this post to learn more! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots and satellites to research the biological carbon pump, which is a series of processes that transfer carbon dioxide […]

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 […]

Walking on a Fine Line

What is a WireWalker? You might initially picture someone walking along a tightrope across some crazy abyss. From an observational oceanographer perspective, Wirewalkers are a type of marine robot we use to collect data in the ocean. Instead of walking horizontally, the Wirewalker traverses up and down a wire from the surface to the deep […]

Seasonal Ice Melt Shows Signs of Blooms

Floats collected data underneath the ice during the winter and when the ice melted there were signs of phytoplankton blooms! Check this article out to learn more about why this occurs and how it was detected! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. […]

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 […]

When life gives you global warming, make pancake ice in ocean wave models

Sea ice is retreating, the Arctic is opening up, and wave activity is increasing. What does this mean for the ocean and atmosphere? The refreezing season of autumn may have some answers. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study small-scale turbulence […]

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 […]

Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down the Productivity

What happens if we do not curb carbon emissions? In a recent study, Moore and co-authors (2018) predict the implications of sustained carbon emissions. Ocean nutrients may be redistributed leaving much of the global ocean in a state of declining biological production! Check out this article to learn more! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate […]

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 […]

Circulation running amok? Scientists think it could be happening in the North Atlantic

Check out this oceanbites take on two recent articles that suggest Atlantic circulation is slower now than it has been for the past 1000 years (and why this matters to you!). Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mixing it up in the Southern Ocean

A team of scientists used underwater ocean gliders to measure ocean turbulence and mixing along the Antarctic continental slope and their results are changing our understanding of the 3-dimensional circulation of the Southern Ocean. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern […]

Subscribe to oceanbites

@oceanbites on Twitter