US Globec and PFEL Research |
To understand the influence of environmental variability on
fluctuations in marine populations, we must describe the environment's primary spatial and
temporal patterns, and the mechanisms responsible for climate change. Our U.S. GLOBEC project
focuses on decadal ocean variability in the North Pacific using retrospective analyses
of atmospheric and oceanic observations. We expect to identify key environmental indicators that
provide direct dynamical, rather than simply correlative, links between decadal changes
in the physical environment and fluctuations in marine populations.
The initial focus was on preparing the data
bases for use in the project. The project currently focuses
on the analysis of the historical oceanic and atmospheric data sets we developed or customized.
The analysis concentrates on describing the primary patterns of and mechanisms
for seasonal, interannual, and decadal variability in:
Wind stress, wind stress curl, and turbulent mixing
Large scale ocean-atmosphere interactions
Sea surface and subsurface temperatures
Ocean stratification and mixed layer depth
Open ocean and coastal surface Ekman processes
Transports of mass, momentum, and energy
Oceanic and atmospheric teleconnections.
Our research is designed to address five main questions:
1. What are the major patterns of decadal change in ocean fields and
processes in the NEP?
2. What are the mechanisms leading to decadal oceanic change, and wherein
is the source of this change?
3. How do basin-scale and local processes interact in the major regions of
the NEP to produce the oceanic responses observed in these regions?
4. How do the seasonal cycles in the different regions of the NEP vary on
5. How are the patterns, processes, and mechanisms of decadal change in
the NEP similar to and different from those operating on seasonal to
anticipated products of this project are linked here.