"The CliVEC program will provide a more complete understanding of the northeast U.S. shelf ecosystem," said Hare. "It extends our EcoMon survey efforts, and we are excited about the new knowledge and advances in satellite models that we will all gain from this collaboration and pooling of resources."
O'Reilly has had a long collaboration with NASA scientists in developing algorithms for processing data from ocean color remote sensors on satellites that provide global maps of ocean surface characteristics. The satellite-transmitted data can also be used to develop oceanic primary production models and algorithms that measure carbon distributions in the ocean.
Other lead investigators in the CliVEC project include Antonio Mannino from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Margaret Mulholland from Old Dominion University (ODU), and David Lary from the NASA-affiliated University of Maryland Baltimore County Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. The team of scientists from GSFC and ODU is conducting water sampling and experiments to quantify primary productivity and carbon distributions.
"Phytoplankton are the foundation of the food chain in the ocean and produce about half of the oxygen on Earth," said Mannino. "By understanding the distribution of phytoplankton populations and how they react to natural and anthropogenic forcing, we can better predict future responses of phytoplankton and possibly even fisheries."
The Northwest Atlantic location was chosen for the CliVEC study because it is the crossroads between major ocean circulation features like the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current.
Discharges from rivers, seasonal changes in water column density stratification, the freshening of surface waters from melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and other climate-related factors can all alter ocean circulation patterns and affect the strength, timing and location of phytoplankton blooms, potentially
|Contact: Shelley Dawicki|
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center