Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
MBARI Research
Physical oceanography and climate change research at MBARI

Oceanographers at MBARI study the physical characteristics of seawater and the movement of water masses due to winds, waves, tides, and currents. They are particularly interested in the effects these physical processes have on living organisms in the oceans.

Some specific areas of research include:


Ocean circulation and algal blooms

MBARI oceanographer John Ryan studies how changes in ocean circulation affect populations of microscopic marine algae. Much of this work involves using satellites, autonomous underwater vehicles, and other state-of-the art tools. These new tools allow scientists to continously monitor ocean chemistry, biology, and currents, all of which vary dramatically over space and time.
Ocean cycles and climate change

Biological oceanographer Francisco Chavez studies large-scale physical and biological cycles in the ocean. Many of these cycles are related to cyclic processes in the Earth's atmosphere, such as the seasons, El Niño events, and long-term climate changes. Chavez's group also maintains and analyzes data from long-term oceanographic moorings in and around Monterey Bay.
    MBARI lead researcher in this field:
    Francisco Chavez (Biological Oceanographer)
Last updated: Aug. 06, 2009