Given the significant importance of understanding and modeling levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (and its potential sources and sinks), Ocean-Atmosphere Exchange and Global Biogeochemistry and Carbon Cycling are two of the OOI’s primary science themes. We address these themes in part through measurements of the air and surface water partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2).  Chris Wingard, the OOI Endurance Array Data Lead, recently completed an in-depth assessment of pCO2 data returned during the first four years of Endurance Array operations. These measurements were made using the Pro-Oceanus CO2-ProTM Atmosphere pCO2 sensor. By measuring the partial pressure of CO2 gas in both the air and surface water, researchers can estimate estimate surface flux of CO2 using data from this instrument. 

Wingard developed a protocol based on cross-comparisons of overlapping deployments of this sensor, comparing these with independent shipboard pCO2 measurements (including CTD samples and samples taken underway using flow-thru systems), and externally sourced air and surface water pCO2 measurements (e.g. from the LDEO Underway Database).  This array of sampling techniques served to confirm the quality and scientific applicability of the Endurance Array pCO2 measurements.

He reported the results of this assessment at a poster session at the recent Ocean Sciences 2020 meeting held this past February in San Diego, CA. The protocol is largely applicable to the same suite of measurements made using the Pro-Oceanus sensor on moorings deployed in the OOI Pioneer, Irminger Sea, Southern Ocean, and Argentine Basin Global Arrays. The MATLAB code and data used to download, process, merge, and cross-compare the data used in this assessment are available online for use.

Both the air and surface water measurements and the flux estimates used in this assessment are available through the OOI Data Portal. Endurance Array air and surface water pCO2 measurements are made at four locations distributed across the Oregon and Washington shelf and slope within the northern California Current Marine Ecosystem.

Other sources of Endurance Array-specific data include the most recent 60 days of the Endurance Array’s air and surface water pCO2 data are available on the NANOOS Visualization System (NVS) and the Global Ocean Acidification Observing System Data Portal (GOA-ON).

Figure 1: Surface water () and air pCO2 (, observed and , array average) measurements from 2015-04-01 through 2019-12-31 for the four moorings. The plots also show the distribution of discrete sample (*) and LDEO V2018 (O) data that coincide with each mooring. The data plotted have had human-in-the-loop (HITL) QC flags applied to remove points marked as suspect or failed. Beyond smoothing the data records and the estimation of an array averaged air pCO2 (), no further corrections were applied to the data. Note the high degree of variability during the summer months in the surface water pCO2 measurements for CE02SHSM, which are similar to other observations made on the Oregon Shelf (Evans et al., 2011).

Figure 2: Focused view (upper panel) of the Spring 2017 deployment (#5) of CE02SHSM showing the observed offsets between the surface water pCO2 measurements () and the discrete samples (*) and LDEO V2018 (O). Detailed views in the lower two panels, provide a better picture of the observed offsets during the periods of over-lapping deployments; between deployments 4 and 5 (lower left) and deployments 5 and 6 (lower right). Prior to using the OOI pCO2A data, users are strongly encouraged to conduct such cross-comparisons. The independent measurements obtained by the separate systems, and the close agreement between them, provide measures of confidence in the accuracy and applicability of the data.

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The first issue of Download, the OOI’s new newsletter,  was released on 1 May.  It provides a short, concise look at the OOI, with clickable links for digging deeper into specific topics. It covers the latest OOI developments, scientific advances being made using OOI data, and opportunities for you to participate in the OOI, through help with proposals, data use, workshops, and other events.

The newsletter is available online here. If you’d like to subscribe, please send an email to dtrewcrist@whoi.edu, with a subject line: Download subscribe. 

 

 
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The Argentine Basin Surface Mooring buoy bobs with the waves after being deployed in over 3 miles of water (5.2km). (Photo Credit: OOI Coastal Global Scale Nodes program Argentine Basin deployment team)

The spring 2020 OOI Endurance Operations and Management (O&M) turn cruise has been canceled due to travel and personnel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus COVID-19. The 16-day cruise was set to depart on 31 March from Newport, Oregon aboard the R/V Sikuliaq to service the array off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Jonathan Fram, Program Manager of the Endurance Array, explains in this EOS article some of the possible implications of the cancellation, which may range from some of the moorings losing power, to the gliders running out of batteries, to possibly missing the recording data documenting the coastal ocean’s transition from winter to spring.

The fall 2020 Endurance turn cruise (currently scheduled for September) is expected to take place.

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Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board has made the difficult decision to postpone the Northeast Pacific OOI Community Workshop scheduled for June 23-25, 2020 in Portland, OR.  Because of the importance of holding this workshop, OOIFB will work to find a future date that will promote optimal participation and engagement by the OOI community.

In the meantime, OOIFB members are exploring alternate options for connecting with researchers and educators who are using or plan to use OOI data.  This could include webinars and/or on-line training sessions.  Input from community members is welcome.  Please share your suggestions regarding webinar and training topics that would be of interest to you and whether you have any deadlines for this information (e.g., proposal submission, teaching a class).  Suggestions can be sent to Annette De Silva.

 

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Five years of data have made a significant difference in understanding of the complex processes occurring in the remote and hostile conditions of the Southern Ocean. In its five years of deployment, OOI’s Southern Ocean Array has provided critical data that enhanced weather modeling and forecasting, while providing means to study the mechanisms behind Southern Ocean warming and the storage of carbon at depth.

Four OOI moorings were deployed in February 2015 in a very sparsely sampled area in the Southern Ocean (55 degrees South, 90 degrees W) with the goal of helping modelers, forecasters and scientists understand this dynamic and volatile environment. One mooring was decommissioned in 2017. Two bottom halves remained in place through 2018 and a single surface mooring remained in place through January 2020.  Collectively, these deployments provided a continual treasure trove of data to scientists, modelers, and forecasters.

This data stream is particularly important because the Southern Ocean is not only warming faster than other parts of the world ocean, it has also been implicated as the major region for ocean uptake of carbon dioxide.

“Collecting continuous data in this sparsely sampled region has provided a groundtruth point to help refine climate models and weather forecasts, and better understand complex processes occurring in the Southern Ocean,” said Dr. Sheri N. White, lead systems engineer for the Coastal Global Scale Nodes of OOI at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and chief scientist on the 2018 and 2020 OOI expeditions that recovered the Southern Array.

The benefits of deployment were evident. When the moorings were first deployed in 2015, data were not initially integrated into the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunication System (GTS).  In August 2017, when the data were added to the GTS, making them more easily accessible for weather forecasters and modelers, they had an almost immediate impact on forecasting by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).  In August 2017, for example, OOI’s Surface Buoy picked up a low-pressure system moving through the area.  Integrating these data into forecast models, researchers filled in some key spatial gaps in their observational coverage, reducing the error in 24-hour forecasts.  With improved data, ECMWF was better able to forecast the next huge Southern Ocean storm with a central pressure around 955 mb that had simultaneous major impacts on southern South America, Drake Passage, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Southern Ocean Array also provided a platform for interagency and interdisciplinary collaborations. The National Science Foundation and its UK counterpart, the National Environmental Research Council joined forces to support two expeditions in 2018 and 2020. The 2018 expedition recovered the bottom halves of the moorings, while outfitting the surface mooring with equipment to measure silicate and nitrate using “lab-on-a-chip” technology (miniaturized analytical devices that integrate laboratory operations into a single chip on a very small scale.) This work was an investigation undertaken by Dr. Adrian Martin of the UK’s National Oceanography Centre and an investigator for CUSTARD (Carbon Uptake and Seasonal Traits in Antarctic Remineralisation Depth). The sensors and the surface mooring were recovered during the 2020 expedition.

“CUSTARD focuses on how interactions between marine organisms, nutrients in the water and the ocean circulation control the storage of carbon at depth. To do so requires information through the year because of the boom and bust seasonal cycle of phytoplankton,” explained Martin. “The mooring gave us both a variety of important data as well as a platform to deploy some of our own sensors year-round in the challenging environment of the Southern Ocean. The CUSTARD project benefited immensely from our collaboration with OOI. “

The OOI moorings also provided scientists with a means to study the mechanisms behind Southern Ocean warming.  In a study led by Sarah Ogle of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, scientists found that just a few extreme storm events drive most of the mixed-layer deepening, suggesting that air-sea heat exchange is a highly episodic process.

“Only the largest storm events each year are able to mix the upper ocean enough to influence the ocean interior,” said Dr. Sarah Gille, also of Scripps and a member of OOI’s Facility Board.  “With the removal of OOI, we’ve lost one window into these big events, but from the OOI data, we’ve gained some perspective on what types of measurements need to be collected to understand air-sea exchange in the region. In the future, I hope that we’ll be able to make use of newer autonomous systems to continue the research started in the Southern Ocean with OOI.”

[media-caption type="vimeo" path="https://vimeo.com/398932101" link="#"] Crew members recover the last Southern Array Surface Mooring (9000+ lbs) aboard the RRS Discovery, operated by the Natural Environment Research Council.Video courtesy of Dr. Adrian P. Martin, National Oceanography Centre [/media-caption] Read More

The spring 2020 OOI Endurance Operations and Management (O&M) turn cruise has been delayed for at least 30 days due to travel and personnel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus COVID-19.

The 16-day cruise was set to depart on 31 March from Newport, Oregon aboard the R/V Sikuliaq to service the array off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The R/V Sikuliaq is part of the US academic research fleet managed by UNOLS (the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System). UNOLS imposed a 30-day suspension in fleet operations on 13 March to help ensure the safety of the ship’s crew and science party and to mitigate the risk of virus spread. Rescheduling of activities will commence once the situation stabilizes and UNOLS sees a path forward to re-start research vessel operations safely.

Upcoming O&M cruises for the Pioneer, Irminger, and Papa Arrays also are scheduled aboard UNOLS vessels (R/V Neil Armstrong and R/V Sikuliaq). These cruises fall outside of the UNOLS current 30-day suspension so cruise preparation continues.

We do not anticipate that cruise schedule changes will affect the collection nor dissemination of OOI data, which will continue to be available for users here.

 

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The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board (OOIFB) will host a workshop focusing on current and future science addressed by the OOI infrastructure in the northeast Pacific.  The workshop is aimed at researchers and resource managers who are using or are considering using OOI data, researchers interested in adding instrumentation to the OOI infrastructure, and educators at all levels interested in OOI’s Cabled, Endurance, and Station Papa Arrays.

The workshop will inform the oceanographic community of the science capabilities and new technologies offered by the OOI and other observatory arrays located in the northeast Pacific. An overview of OOI data products, user interfaces, and system features will be provided along with hands-on demonstrations using a suite of data access tools. OOI Program team members and NSF representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on OOI operations.

This community workshop will provide a forum to facilitate science collaborations and identify strategies for engaging future users of OOI.  Workshop participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences in working with the OOI systems and data.

The workshop will be held at the OSU Portland Center in Portland, OR on June 23-25, 2020.  To apply for the workshop, please complete the on-line application form. Travel support is available, but limited.  Broad representation from institutional, geographic, and disciplinary groups is desired and will be considered in participant selection. The deadline for applications is April 5, 2020.

To apply, click here.

Participation by Web Conference will be offered

Please note if you are unavailable to attend this workshop, participation by web-conference will also be possible.  Individuals interested in participating virtually are encouraged to complete the on-line application form.  This will help us to better understand our participant interests.

Special note:  Although we plan to hold the workshop on June 23-25 in Portland, OR, we will continue to monitor news and guidance regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Plans for the workshop will be adjusted as needed in consideration of any Center for Disease Control guidance in the coming weeks.

Additional details about the workshop are available here.

 

 

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The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board (OOIFB) is soliciting applications to fill one membership position that is currently open. Scientists with experience using scientific observing systems such as OOI are encouraged to apply.

The OOIFB was created in 2017 to provide independent input and guidance regarding the management and operation of the National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).  The OOIFB provides a way to expand scientific and public awareness of OOI, and ensure that the oceanographic community is kept informed of developments of OOI.

The responsibilities of the OOIFB may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serving as the prime scientific and technical conduit between the oceanographic community and NSF regarding OOI.
  • Examining the accomplishments and work flow of the OOI Operator, in order to provide feedback regarding the OOI Annual Work Plans.
  • Via workshops, community meetings, and/or other mechanisms, stimulate and engage the user community in keeping the accomplishments of the OOI at the cutting edge of scientific inquiry and technological innovation.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to expand scientific and public awareness of the unique scientific and technological opportunities of the OOI.

Facility Board terms of office are three years, with the possibility of re-appointment for a second three-year term. We anticipate up to two in-person meetings per year and one teleconference per month.

Applications should be submitted to Annette DeSilva, at the OOIFB Administrative Support Office, and must include a letter of interest and an academic CV.  Applications are due by March 20, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by the OOIFB, who will give due consideration to the qualifications of applicants, as well as to maintenance of career level, disciplinary, and regional balance on the OOIFB.

For more information about OOIFB and its activities, please visit OOIFB’s website or contact Kendra Daly, OOIFB Chair or read the OOIFB Charter.

 

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