Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
 2005 projects
Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Biogeochemical responses to climate variability

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Francisco Chavez

The purpose of this project is to collect time series data that examine both local and basin-scale system changes on daily-to-decadal time scales, centered on study of phytoplankton in central California's coastal upwelling system. We are presently focused on:

  • North Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and its impacts.
  • Variations in the equatorward surface flow of the California Current and the position of its highest velocity core.
  • Variations in the poleward subsurface flow and nutrient load of the California Undercurrent from the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
  • Effects of these larger phenomena on the central California coastal upwelling system and on the biological and fisheries productivity of Monterey Bay.

Scientific aspects of the following programs are also carried out under this project

  • Monterey Bay Time Series cruises (MBTS series)—documenting seasonal cycles, El Niños, and La Niñas.
  • California Current cruises—documenting dynamics from Monterey Bay and extending 175 miles offshore across the core of the California Current. 
  • Mooring data streams and sensors—analyzing data from M0, M1, M2 and S2.
  • Air/sea flux rates of the greenhouse gas, CO2—measured by an MBARI-developed automated system. 
  •  Carbon budget—assembling a budget for carbon fluxes within and from the coastal upwelling system of central California. 
Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009