Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impacts of changing climate on ocean biology

Date:
March 11, 2010
Source:
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Summary:
A three-year field program now underway is measuring carbon distributions and primary productivity in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to help scientists worldwide determine the impacts of a changing climate on ocean biology and biogeochemistry.

A bongo net, used to capture plankton, is recovered aboard the Delaware II.
Credit: Jerry Prezioso, NOAA

A three-year field program now underway is measuring carbon distributions and primary productivity in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to help scientists worldwide determine the impacts of a changing climate on ocean biology and biogeochemistry. The study, Climate Variability on the East Coast (CliVEC), will also help validate ocean color satellite measurements and refine biogeochemistry models of ocean processes.

Researchers from NOAA, NASA and Old Dominion University are collaborating through an existing NOAA Fisheries Service field program, the Ecosystem Monitoring or EcoMon program. The EcoMon surveys are conducted six times each year by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) at 120 randomly selected stations throughout the continental shelf and slope of the northeastern U.S., from Cape Hatteras, N.C., into Canadian waters to cover all of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. This area is known as the Northeast U.S. continental shelf Large Marine Ecosystem.

The climate study team will participate in three annual EcoMon cruises aboard the 155-foot NOAA Fisheries Survey Vessel Delaware II, based at the NEFSC's laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. The most recent cruise returned to Woods Hole on February 18.

Findings from the climate impact project, funded by NASA, will help scientists better understand how annual and decadal-scale climate variability affects the growth of phytoplankton, which is the basis of the oceanic food chain. The project will also examine organic carbon distributions along the continental margin of the East Coast and collect data for ocean acidification studies.

John O'Reilly of the satellite ocean productivity group and Kimberly Hyde of the ecosystem assessment program at NEFSC's Narragansett, R.I., laboratory are co-principal investigators on the CliVEC project. Laboratory colleague Jon Hare, an oceanographer and plankton specialist, oversees the EcoMon program and is a collaborator on the new climate study.

"The CliVEC program will provide a more complete understanding of the northeast U.S. shelf ecosystem," said Hare. "It extends our EcoMon survey efforts, and we are excited about the new knowledge and advances in satellite models that we will all gain from this collaboration and pooling of resources."

O'Reilly has had a long collaboration with NASA scientists in developing algorithms for processing data from ocean color remote sensors on satellites that provide global maps of ocean surface characteristics. The satellite-transmitted data can also be used to develop oceanic primary production models and algorithms that measure carbon distributions in the ocean.

Other lead investigators in the CliVEC project include Antonio Mannino from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Margaret Mulholland from Old Dominion University (ODU), and David Lary from the NASA-affiliated University of Maryland Baltimore County Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. The team of scientists from GSFC and ODU is conducting water sampling and experiments to quantify primary productivity and carbon distributions.

"Phytoplankton are the foundation of the food chain in the ocean and produce about half of the oxygen on Earth," said Mannino. "By understanding the distribution of phytoplankton populations and how they react to natural and anthropogenic forcing, we can better predict future responses of phytoplankton and possibly even fisheries."

The Northwest Atlantic location was chosen for the CliVEC study because it is the crossroads between major ocean circulation features like the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current.

Discharges from rivers, seasonal changes in water column density stratification, the freshening of surface waters from melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and other climate-related factors can all alter ocean circulation patterns and affect the strength, timing and location of phytoplankton blooms, potentially decreasing annual primary production and changing ocean biology.

Scientific activities during the recent 18-day cruise included collecting water samples from the surface to the ocean floor for a variety of chemical measurements, and sampling to identify the incursion of Labrador Current water into the Gulf of Maine. Instruments were also deployed to measure sea surface temperatures and salinities and to collect data on chlorophyll, oxygen and nitrate levels, and the depth of light transmission for primary productivity.

In addition to the CliVEC activities, zooplankton samples were collected for the Census of Marine Zooplankton Project. Standard EcoMon sampling was also done, extending oceanographic and plankton time series that started in the early 1970s. Two observers were aboard to identify and count seabirds, and sightings of northern right whales and other whale species were recorded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. "Impacts of changing climate on ocean biology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122701.htm>.
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. (2010, March 11). Impacts of changing climate on ocean biology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122701.htm
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. "Impacts of changing climate on ocean biology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122701.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins