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NSF awards grants for deployment of new observing system in the North Atlantic Ocean
Date:10/21/2013

In an effort to study the circulation of ocean waters, a key component of the global climate system, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $16 million in grants over the next five years to oceanographers at Duke University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Miami.

The scientists will deploy a new observing system in the sub-polar region of the North Atlantic Ocean. The five-year effort is part of the U.S.-led Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP).

International collaborators include researchers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council also funds OSNAP.

"OSNAP is an excellent example of what NSF strives to accomplish," says Roger Wakimoto, NSF assistant director for Geosciences.

"It's an ambitious, community-driven project that builds strong international partnerships with our European and Canadian colleagues to study a complex and critical region in the climate system. It also effectively leverages NSF's investments in ocean observing infrastructure."

U.S. principal investigators for OSNAP are Susan Lozier of Duke University; Fiamma Straneo, Robert Pickart and Amy Bower of WHOI; and William Johns of the University of Miami.

Straneo will also direct an effort to bring together scientists focused on the North Atlantic Ocean in a virtual space where they can interact, exchange ideas and work cooperatively across international boundaries.

Called the North Atlantic Virtual InStitute (NAVIS), the project is part of a larger NSF program called Science Across Virtual Institutes, or SAVI.

The goals of the OSNAP and NAVIS efforts are to simultaneously measure surface ocean currents that carry heat northward toward the Arctic Ocean, and deep ocean currents that carry cooler waters southward toward the equator.

These currents form the overturning ci
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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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