Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

EARTH Workshop 2003

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Sardine Story | BRIDGE | TOPP | Content Connections | Iron Story

Sardine Story | Back to top

MOTO—Monterey Ocean Time-series and Observatory
  • Long-term data sets are useful and can be used for other purposes beyond what was originally expected
    • Primary object of MOTO was to determine seasonal and quantify interannual (i.e., El Niño) variability
    • Has also captured episodic phenomena (i.e., hyperpycnal flows)
    • Has also provided insights into multidecadal and climate change
    • MOTO is becoming a center for ocean modeling and prediction and for multidisciplinary experiments
  • Data from temperature, chlorophyll, primary production, phytoplankton, etc. indicate that this could be a global warming story
  • Data from temperature and chlorophyll indicate a shift after the '97/'98 El Niño—the ocean became cooler and more productive
  • Baldo Marinovic at UCSC shows that zooplankton levels are coming up as well
  • First paper focused on Francisco—s home town in Peru—data was collected using a small hired fishing boat and a manual winch; he has since tried to think about ways to improve on this (MBARI is such an improvement)
  • Sea surface temperature anomalies and anchoveta catch off Peru (which is typically 30-40% of the global catch) are inversely related; the low frequency variation on the bottom has been blamed on fishing, but the latest argument is that the changes are due in part to both fishing and the environment
  • Kawasaki (1983) figured out some of this 20 years ago, but the data was hidden in an obscure FAO publication; figure shows the catch of Californian, Far Eastern and Chilean sardines over time (Note—CA catch is much less than the others so a different scale was used)
    • Uncanny how similar the catches are—hard to argue that fishing pressure is so similar that the populations changes are synchronized
  • Each sardine fishery is now shown separately with the addition of South African
    • Atlantic fishery trend is opposite to that of the Pacific
    • Temperature data is overlaid—and it looks like Temperature may NOT be the driver (compare Japan and the others)
  • Combination of various graphs that indicate that everything is on a ~50 year cycle!
    • Top is global air temperature
    • Next is the pacific decadal oscillation north of 20 N
    • The Russians developed the atmospheric circulation index which gives an indication of global flow east-west and north-south
    • CO2 data logged from Mauna Loa
    • Fish records are next
    • Last is the Ecosystem index (created by Francisco)
  • El Niño and La Niña—opposite global warming/cooling patterns
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation
  • Model of what happens during regime shifts
    • Monterey data seem to indicate that we—re heading into another regime shift
    • Question—what is the rate of change? (i.e., square wave or sine wave?); fisheries seem more like a square wave
    • New names—El Viejo (the old man) and La Vieja (the old woman)
  • Comparison of sea surface height, temperature and phytoplankton
    • Lower sea surface means that the thermocline is closer to the surface and productivity is high
    • Top figure shows that sea level is low in the eastern Pacific and ~30 cm higher in the western Pacific
    • This gradient changes during El Niño—the shaded graphs show that this gradient has been enhanced after the '97/'98 El Niño
  • Same analysis for local area (blue) compared to global (black)
    • Trying to show that Monterey is a great place to take measurements ("pulse of the globe") as it tracks the global phenomena
  • Tour of the Pacific—processes associated with El Viejo and La Vieja
  • Conclusions from MOTO data
    • Phenomena with periods of 40—60 years have strong impact on climate and marine ecosystems
    • Natural variability confuses the global warming issue
    • The next 20 years might tell the story—La Vieja should be a cooling period
    • Highlights the need for a global observing system

BRIDGEData Tips | Back to top

How are BRIDGE data tips developed?
  • Pick a topic/subject
  • Look for data
  • Look for trends
  • Develop content—introductory material should be engaging and informative
  • Identify supporting links for the content
  • Develop data tip activity
  • Include directions for how to access/setup the data (usually excel)
  • Provide follow-up activities
  • Include supporting BRIDGE pages that provide some additional background information including National Science Education Standards
  • One of the graphs is missing units
  • Is it possible to superimpose the two graphs?
  • Different scales can be confusing, and assign inaccurate significance to sardine catch
  • Include more training/practice in graph manipulation—line, weight, color, etc.
  • Include a discussion of lag time
  • Begin with an Excel orientation for students

TOPP—Tagging of Pacific Pelagics | Back to top

A Census of Marine Life Pilot Project
Barbara Block, Dan Costa, Stephen Bograd, Randy Kochevar
What lived, what lives, and what will live in the oceans?
  • There is an urgent need for biological information around the world to enable the conservation of living resources
  • There is an availability of new techniques and technologies that enable us to better understand the oceans
  • What lives in the oceans?
    • There are a number of different projects spanning the globe—MAR-ECO, ChEss, GoMe, POST, DIWPA, and TOPP
    • TOPP is focused in the northeast Pacific although it may expand south towards the Galapagos
TOPP Objectives
  • To understand how diverse marine species utilize the environment
  • To discern the spatial correlation between oceanographic processes and pelagic predators
  • To determine migratory pathways
  • People can easily tell you what life is like on an African savannah because there are documentaries and you can sit and watch them
  • Can’t do the same for the ocean—we catch occasional glimpses but don’t know the details
  • We can now deploy electronic tags on key apex predators; data will be merged with physical and biological oceanographic data (leatherbacks, tuna, elephant seals)
  • Example data set—three days in the life of a blue fin tuna
    • Time along the x-axis/depth along the y-axis
    • Data include depth, time, light levels, internal and external temperatures
  • Determining longitude involves calculating local noon
  • Determining latitude requires calculating exact length of day
  • Information coming back depends on the tag
    • Archival tags—permanently attached and returned by fishers or others
    • Pop-up satellite tags—float to surface and telemeter binned data back
    • Satellite position tags (SPOT)—for animals that break the surface, these work and log into satellite whenever possible
  • Example data applications
    • Bluefin 779—archival tag
      • International Tuna Commission has setup arbitrary lines and setup harvests for each regime—but the population stocks are clearly not separate stocks
    • Humboldt squid—binned data
      • Spend lots of time during the night around 100 meters and go down to 200 meters during the day
    • Salmon shark—satellite tag
  • TOPP animals are arranged into guilds representing ~22 different species
    • Data from 2002 (115 tags from 22 species) presented as movies showing tracks from different tags overlaying bathymetry
    • Movies can be linked to sea surface height and temperature

Content Connections | Back to top

Mooring data
  • Integrate surface and below surface data with TOPP data
  • Compare real data/results with predicted data/results and relate to MPAs
  • Interdisciplinary teaching with English/language arts—topic would be buoyancy and would include both physical (science) and emotional (literature)
  • Another topic would be to look at relevancy between geographic areas
El Niño
  • Are we currently experiencing an El Niño or La Niña (or El Viejo/La Vieja)
  • How does this affect us?
  • C.O.O.L. takes complex data and issues and turns it into something simple
  • BRIDGE takes simple concepts and data and enables the formation of complex activities
  • BRIDGE approach is better
Ocean Observatories
  • Build your own observatory (with capability to measure variables like temperature)
  • Adopt a pelagic and correlate physio-chemical data with migration routes
  • Create a show as a final product (e.g., "A year in the life of a pelagic")
  • Explore adaptations (e.g., visual) and link the morphology to behavior or evolutionary lifestyles
  • Identify classification, zones, habitats etc.

The Iron Story | Back to top

Biogeochemical cycles
  • CO2 controls the radiation balance of the earth
  • Atmospheric CO2 has been increasing rapidly since the 1800s
  • Biological pump moves CO2 from the atmosphere to the ocean
  • How much fossil fuel CO2 is there in the oceans?
    • C14 and Freon can be used to date events—looking at the ratios of different compounds
  • Nutrient and CO2 concentrations are much higher in deep water
    • As the water comes to the surface in the Southern Ocean, it loses its CO2 to the atmosphere
    • If plants grew using this deep nitrate, they would take and equivalent amount of CO2 out of the atmosphere
    • Blue waters mean that the ocean is a desert because there isn’t any fertilizer!
  • Focus—places where biological pump doesn’t seem to be working
    • If plants could utilize the unused stocks of nitrate, then more CO2 could be taken into the ocean
    • But, there are areas where there appears to be plenty of nitrate, but no growth
    • The pump isn’t pumping—Why?
  • Hypothesis—there isn’t enough iron!
    • Iron is an essential nutrient but surface concentrations are 0.05 nmol/lL (about 2 ppm of one ppm)
  • The Iron Hypothesis—John Martin (MLML)
    • Southern Ocean has excess nitrate
    • Adding iron will cause plants to grow and consume CO2
  • Vostok Ice Core Data
    • Iron and CO2 are closely linked in ice core samples
    • Dust is 5% iron!
  • Hawaii measurements show that aerosol deposition can clearly increase surface ocean iron concentration
  • The Big Question—Will adding iron to high nitrate, low chlorophyll (HNLC) areas increase rates of primary production and biomass accumulation?
  • Eight open ocean, iron fertilization experiments have now been conducted, at least two more are planned (SEEDS, SERIES, Iron Ex I and II, SoFEx I and II, SOIREE, EISENEX0)
  • Tremendous interest and controversy surrounding issue
    • PLANKTOS is trying to provide help/advice and work—for $20, they’ll seed the ocean
  • Ocean will become more acidic when CO2 is returned
  • ~1 gigaton of biomass could be generated (vs. 100 GT ambient)
  • Iron is the only limiting micronutrient that we know of that can be added to stimulate production
  • Zinc, Manganese may also be limiting at the next level; but may be sunlight
  • Carbonate from ocean floor sediments will continue buffer system
  • Ocean can hold a lot of CO2, as long as you can get it in there below the thermocline
BRIDGE—Iron connections
  • Phytoplankton Data Tip being developed
    • Upwelling influences phytoplankton, which influences fluorescence
    • 3 data sets included
    • No trends have been identified yet

EARTH Workshop Home | Schedule
Sardine Story | BRIDGE | TOPP | Content Connections | Iron Story

Last updated: Jul. 19, 2012

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