Ocean Physics and Ecology: Satellite and Climate Model Data Analysis
Phytoplankton dynamics and ecology-physics interactions in the ocean: satellite data analysis
Phytoplankton (microscopic ocean plants) are responsible for 50% of photosynthesis on the planet, taking up atmospheric CO2 and resulting in massive CO2 storage in the oceans. We will analyze satellite-based light backscattering data to separate small from large phytoplankton. Large phytoplankton are heavier and sink faster, bringing more surface ocean carbon to the deep. We will study the global map of the size distribution of phytoplankton from space, and link it to physical properties of the ocean (temperature, light, ocean mixing). Southern Ocean and its role in the global climate: climate model projections Despite its critical importance for the global heat and carbon cycles, the vast ocean surrounding the Antarctic continent is the least understood region of the ocean, because of sparse observations and our incomplete understanding of processes such as sea ice dynamics. Here we propose to analyze output from the latest global climate model inter-comparison (CMIP6), to analyze the role of the Southern Ocean circulation and mixing in the global modern climate.