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Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Biochemical responses to climate and ocean variability
Lead Scientist/Project Manager: Francisco Chavez

This proposal focuses on the biogeochemical response of the central California ecosystem to climate and ocean variability. The data used in this investigation comes from moorings, with novel instruments and telemetry, satellites and ships. By 2000 we will have collected a ten-year time series of shipboard data. It will include data from the 1997-98 El Niño, a particularly strong event, and the La Niña currently developing in the tropical Pacific. After an intensive period of observation from 1997 to mid-2000, we propose to transition the routine ship time-series measurements to moorings, satellites and other remote sensing devices including AUV’s. 

We also will continue to work collaboratively with two modeling efforts. The first type of modeling effort assimilates satellite information and predicts new and total primary production. The second is based on numerical modeling. Coupled ocean-atmosphere numerical models for the Monterey Bay region and the northeast Pacific will be developed as part of a National Ocean Partnership Program proposal and by University of California-Los Angeles modelers. MBARI will provide climatological and real-time data to initialize and be assimilated by these models. A parallel effort will be to develop initial conditions for chemical and biological fields and fundamental equations describing biological-physical coupling. The output of the physical models will drive biogeochemical models and be used to predict three-dimensional biological and chemical fields. The modeling efforts will define future process-oriented experiments.