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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: The effect of climate variability on phytoplankton communities was assessed for the tropical and sub-tropical Pacific Ocean between 1998 and 2005 using an established biogeochemical assimilation model. The phytoplankton communities exhibited wide range of responses to climate variability, from radical shifts in the Equatorial Pacific, to changes of only a couple of phytoplankton groups in the North Central Pacific, to no significant changes in the South Pacific. In the Equatorial Pacific, climate variability dominated the variability of phytoplankton. Here, nitrate, chlorophyll and all but one of the 4 phytoplankton types (diatoms, cyanobacteria and coccolithophores) were strongly correlated (p less than 0.01) with the Multivariate El Nino Southern Oscillation Index (MEI). In the North Central Pacific, MEI and chlorophyll were significantly (p〈0.01) correlated along with two of the phytoplankton groups (chlorophytes and coccolithophores). Ocean biology in the South Pacific was not significantly correlated with MEI. During La Ni a events, diatoms increased and expanded westward along the cold tongue (correlation with MEI, r=-0.81), while cyanobacteria concentrations decreased significantly (r=0.78). El Nino produced the reverse pattern, with cyanobacteria populations increasing while diatoms plummeted. The diverse response of phytoplankton in the different major basins of the Pacific suggests the different roles climate variability can play in ocean biology.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC.ABS.01008.2012 , NASA Ocean Color Research team Meeting; Apr 23, 2012 - Apr 25, 2012; Seattle, WA; United States
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: Reanalysis products from MERRA, NCEP2, NCEP1, and ECMWF were used to force an established ocean biogeochemical model to estimate air-sea carbon fluxes (FCO2) and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in the global oceans. Global air-sea carbon fluxes and pCO2 were relatively insensitive to the choice of forcing reanalysis. All global FCO2 estimates from the model forced by the four different reanalyses were within 20% of in situ estimates (MERRA and NCEP1 were within 7%), and all models exhibited statistically significant positive correlations with in situ estimates across the 12 major oceanographic basins. Global pCO2 estimates were within 1% of in situ estimates with ECMWF being the outlier at 0.6%. Basin correlations were similar to FCO2. There were, however, substantial departures among basin estimates from the different reanalysis forcings. The high latitudes and tropics had the largest ranges in estimated fluxes among the reanalyses. Regional pCO2 differences among the reanalysis forcings were muted relative to the FCO2 results. No individual reanalysis was uniformly better or worse in the major oceanographic basins. The results provide information on the characterization of uncertainty in ocean carbon models due to choice of reanalysis forcing.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN15446
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: A recent revision of the NASA global ocean colour record shows changes in global ocean chlorophyll trends. This new 18-year time series now includes three global satellite sensors, the Sea-viewing Wide Field of view Sensor (SeaWiFS), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-Aqua), and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The major changes are radiometric drift correction, a new algorithm for chlorophyll, and a new sensor VIIRS. The new satellite data record shows no significant trend in global annual median chlorophyll from 1998 to 2015, in contrast to a statistically significant negative trend from 1998 to 2012 in the previous version. When revised satellite data are assimilated into a global ocean biogeochemical model, no trend is observed in global annual median chlorophyll. This is consistent with previous findings for the 1998-2012 time period using the previous processing version and only two sensors (SeaWiFS and MODIS). Detecting trends in ocean chlorophyll with satellites is sensitive to data processing options and radiometric drift correction. The assimilation of these data, however, reduces sensitivity to algorithms and radiometry, as well as the addition of a new sensor. This suggests the assimilation model has skill in detecting trends in global ocean colour. Using the assimilation model, spatial distributions of significant trends for the 18-year record (1998-2015) show recent decadal changes. Most notable are the North and Equatorial Indian Oceans basins, which exhibit a striking decline in chlorophyll. It is exemplified by declines in diatoms and chlorophytes, which in the model are large and intermediate size phytoplankton. This decline is partially compensated by significant increases in cyanobacteria, which represent very small phytoplankton. This suggests the beginning of a shift in phytoplankton composition in these tropical and subtropical Indian basins.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN44550 , Remote Sensing Letters (ISSN 2150-704X) (e-ISSN 2150-7058); 8; 12; 1102-1111
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  • 4
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    In:  Other Sources
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The NASA PACE mission is a hyper-spectral radiometer planned for launch in the next decade. It is intended to provide new information on ocean biogeochemical constituents by parsing the details of high resolution spectral absorption and scattering. It is the first of its kind for global applications and as such, poses challenges for design and operation. To support pre-launch mission development and assess on-orbit capabilities, the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office has developed a dynamic simulation of global water-leaving radiances, using an ocean model containing multiple ocean phytoplankton groups, particulate detritus, particulate inorganic carbon (PIC), and chromophoric dissolved organic carbon (CDOC) along with optical absorption and scattering processes at 1 nm spectral resolution. The purpose here is to assess the skill of the dynamic model and derived global radiances. Global bias, uncertainty, and correlation are derived using available modern satellite radiances at moderate spectral resolution. Total chlorophyll, PIC, and the absorption coefficient of CDOC (aCDOC), are simultaneously assimilated to improve the fidelity of the optical constituent fields. A 5-year simulation showed statistically significant (P 〈 0.05) comparisons of chlorophyll (r = 0.869), PIC (r = 0.868), and a CDOC (r =0.890) with satellite data. Additionally, diatoms (r = 0.890), cyanobacteria (r = 0.732), and coccolithophores (r = 0.716) were significantly correlated with in situ data. Global assimilated distributions of optical constituents were coupled with a radiative transfer model (Ocean-Atmosphere Spectral Irradiance Model, OASIM) to estimate normalized water-leaving radiances at 1 nm for the spectral range 250-800 nm. These unassimilated radiances were within 0.074 mW/sq cm/micron/sr of MODIS-Aqua radiances at 412, 443, 488, 531, 547, and 667 nm. This difference represented a bias of 10.4% (model low). A mean correlation of 0.706 (P 〈 0.05) was found with global distributions of MODIS radiances. These results suggest skill in the global assimilated model and resulting radiances. The reported error characterization suggests that the global dynamical simulation can support some aspects of mission design and analysis. For example, the high spectral resolution of the simulation supports investigations of band selection. The global nature of the radiance representations supports investigations of satellite observing scenarios. Global radiances at bands not available in current and past missions support investigations of mission capability. PACE, ocean color, water-leaving radiances, biogeochemical model, radiative transfer model
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN42345 , Frontiers in Marine Science (e-ISSN 2296-7745); 4; 60
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The importance of including directional and spectral light in simulations of ocean radiative transfer was investigated using a coupled biogeochemical-circulation-radiative model of the global oceans. The effort focused on phytoplankton abundances, nutrient concentrations and vertically-integrated net primary production. The importance was approached by sequentially removing directional (i.e., direct vs. diffuse) and spectral irradiance and comparing results of the above variables to a fully directionally and spectrally-resolved model. In each case the total irradiance was kept constant; it was only the pathways and spectral nature that were changed. Assuming all irradiance was diffuse had negligible effect on global ocean primary production. Global nitrate and total chlorophyll concentrations declined by about 20% each. The largest changes occurred in the tropics and sub-tropics rather than the high latitudes, where most of the irradiance is already diffuse. Disregarding spectral irradiance had effects that depended upon the choice of attenuation wavelength. The wavelength closest to the spectrally-resolved model, 500 nm, produced lower nitrate (19%) and chlorophyll (8%) and higher primary production (2%) than the spectral model. Phytoplankton relative abundances were very sensitive to the choice of non-spectral wavelength transmittance. The combined effects of neglecting both directional and spectral irradiance exacerbated the differences, despite using attenuation at 500 nm. Global nitrate decreased 33% and chlorophyll decreased 24%. Changes in phytoplankton community structure were considerable, representing a change from chlorophytes to cyanobacteria and coccolithophores. This suggested a shift in community function, from light-limitation to nutrient limitation: lower demands for nutrients from cyanobacteria and coccolithophores favored them over the more nutrient-demanding chlorophytes. Although diatoms have the highest nutrient demands in the model, their relative abundances were generally unaffected because they only prosper in nutrient-rich regions, such as the high latitudes and upwelling regions, which showed the fewest effects from the changes in radiative simulations. The results showed that including directional and spectral irradiance when simulating the ocean light field can be important for ocean biology, but the magnitude varies with variables and regions. The quantitative results are intended to assist ocean modelers when considering improved irradiance representations relative to other processes or variables associated with the issues of interest.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN42343 , Frontiers in Marine Science (e-ISSN 2296-7745); 3; 240
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Ocean color measured from satellites provides daily global, synoptic views of spectral water-leaving reflectances that can be used to generate estimates of marine inherent optical properties (IOPs). These reflectances, namely the ratio of spectral upwelled radiances to spectral downwelled irradiances, describe the light exiting a water mass that defines its color. IOPs are the spectral absorption and scattering characteristics of ocean water and its dissolved and particulate constituents. Because of their dependence on the concentration and composition of marine constituents, IOPs can be used to describe the contents of the upper ocean mixed layer. This information is critical to further our scientific understanding of biogeochemical oceanic processes, such as organic carbon production and export, phytoplankton dynamics, and responses to climatic disturbances. Given their importance, the international ocean color community has invested significant effort in improving the quality of satellite-derived IOP products, both regionally and globally. Recognizing the current influx of data products into the community and the need to improve current algorithms in anticipation of new satellite instruments (e.g., the global, hyperspectral spectroradiometer of the NASA Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission), we present a synopsis of the current state of the art in the retrieval of these core optical properties. Contemporary approaches for obtaining IOPs from satellite ocean color are reviewed and, for clarity, separated based their inversion methodology or the type of IOPs sought. Summaries of known uncertainties associated with each approach are provided, as well as common performance metrics used to evaluate them. We discuss current knowledge gaps and make recommendations for future investment for upcoming missions whose instrument characteristics diverge sufficiently from heritage and existing sensors to warrant reassessing current approaches.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN52075 , Progress in Oceanography (ISSN 0079-6611); 160; 186-212
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Using a global ocean biogeochemical model combined with a forecast of physical oceanic and atmospheric variables from the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, we assess the skill of a chlorophyll concentrations forecast in the Equatorial Pacific for the period 2012-2015 with a focus on the forecast of the onset of the 2015 El Nio event. Using a series of retrospective 9-month hindcasts, we assess the uncertainties of the forecasted chlorophyll by comparing the monthly total chlorophyll concentration from the forecast with the corresponding monthly ocean chlorophyll data from the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (S-NPP VIIRS) satellite. The forecast was able to reproduce the phasing of the variability in chlorophyll concentration in the Equatorial Pacific, including the beginning of the 2015-2016 El Nio. The anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) was significant (p less than 0.05) for forecast at 1-month (R=0.33), 8-month (R=0.42) and 9-month (R=0.41) lead times. The root mean square error (RMSE) increased from 0.0399 microgram ch1 L(exp -1) for the 1-month lead forecast to a maximum of 0.0472 microgram ch1 L(exp -1) for the 9-month lead forecast indicating that the forecast of the amplitude of chlorophyll concentration variability was getting worse. Forecasts with a 3-month lead time were on average the closest to the S-NPP VIIRS data (23% or 0.033 microgram ch1 L(exp -1)) while the forecast with a 9-month lead time were the furthest (31% or 0.042 microgram ch1 L(exp -1)). These results indicate the potential for forecasting chlorophyll concentration in this region but also highlights various deficiencies and suggestions for improvements to the current biogeochemical forecasting system. This system provides an initial basis for future applications including the effects of El Nio events on fisheries and other ocean resources given improvements identified in the analysis of these results.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN45131 , Frontiers in Marine Science (e-ISSN 2296-7745); 4; 236
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: MERRA products were used to force an established ocean biogeochemical model to estimate surface carbon inventories and fluxes in the global oceans. The results were compared to public archives of in situ carbon data and estimates. The model exhibited skill for ocean dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of ocean CO2 (pCO2) and air-sea fluxes (FCO2). The MERRA-forced model produced global mean differences of 0.02% (approximately 0.3 microns) for DIC, -0.3% (about -1.2 (micro) atm; model lower) for pCO2, and -2.3% (-0.003 mol C/sq m/y) for FCO2 compared to in situ estimates. Basin-scale distributions were significantly correlated with observations for all three variables (r=0.97, 0.76, and 0.73, P〈0.05, respectively for DIC, pCO2, and FCO2). All major oceanographic basins were represented as sources to the atmosphere or sinks in agreement with in situ estimates. However, there were substantial basin-scale and local departures.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: NASA/TM-2013-104606/VOL 31 , GSFC-E-DAA-TN8985
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2020-02-07
    Description: The role of oceans as a carbon sink has long been accepted. The uncertainties related to the physical and biological pump and their role in the carbon cycle remain however high. In this talk, we dive into the various pathways of carbon in the oceans, the effects that climate has on the ocean carbon cycle and the methodologies used to assess these effects.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN77476 , Symposium on Earth Science and Applications from Space; Jan 21, 2020; Washington, D.C.; United States
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