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2019
Campbell, EC, Wilson EA, Moore GWK, Riser SC, Brayton CE, Mazloff MR, Talley LD.  2019.  Antarctic offshore polynyas linked to Southern Hemisphere climate anomalies. Nature. 570:319-+.   10.1038/s41586-019-1294-0   AbstractWebsite

Offshore Antarctic polynyas -large openings in the winter sea ice cover-are thought to be maintained by a rapid ventilation of deep-ocean heat through convective mixing. These rare phenomena may alter abyssal properties and circulation, yet their formation mechanisms are not well understood. Here we demonstrate that concurrent upper-ocean preconditioning and meteorological perturbations are responsible for the appearance of polynyas in the Weddell Sea region of the Southern Ocean. Autonomous profiling float observations-collected in 2016 and 2017 during the largest polynyas to form near the Maud Rise seamount since 1976 -reveal that the polynyas were initiated and modulated by the passage of severe storms, and that intense heat loss drove deep overturning within them. Wind-driven upwelling of record strength weakened haline stratification in the upper ocean, thus favouring destabilization in 2016 and 2017. We show that previous Weddell polynyas probably developed under similarly anomalous conditions, which are associated with a mode of Southern Hemisphere climate variability that is predicted to strengthen as a result of anthropogenic climate change.

Carter, BR, Feely RA, Wanninkhof R, Kouketsu S, Sonnerup RE, Pardo PC, Sabine CL, Johnson GC, Sloyan BM, Murata A, Mecking S, Tilbrook B, Speer K, Talley LD, Millero FJ, Wijffels SE, Macdonald AM, Gruber N, Bullister JL.  2019.  Pacific anthropogenic carbon between 1991 and 2017. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 33:597-617.   10.1029/2018gb006154   AbstractWebsite

We estimate anthropogenic carbon (C-anth) accumulation rates in the Pacific Ocean between 1991 and 2017 from 14 hydrographic sections that have been occupied two to four times over the past few decades, with most sections having been recently measured as part of the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program. The rate of change of C-anth is estimated using a new method that combines the extended multiple linear regression method with improvements to address the challenges of analyzing multiple occupations of sections spaced irregularly in time. The C-anth accumulation rate over the top 1,500 m of the Pacific increased from 8.8 (+/- 1.1, 1 sigma) Pg of carbon per decade between 1995 and 2005 to 11.7 (+/- 1.1) PgC per decade between 2005 and 2015. For the entire Pacific, about half of this decadal increase in the accumulation rate is attributable to the increase in atmospheric CO2, while in the South Pacific subtropical gyre this fraction is closer to one fifth. This suggests a substantial enhancement of the accumulation of C-anth in the South Pacific by circulation variability and implies that a meaningful portion of the reinvigoration of the global CO2 sink that occurred between similar to 2000 and similar to 2010 could be driven by enhanced ocean C-anth uptake and advection into this gyre. Our assessment suggests that the accuracy of C-anth accumulation rate reconstructions along survey lines is limited by the accuracy of the full suite of hydrographic data and that a continuation of repeated surveys is a critical component of future carbon cycle monitoring.

Tamsitt, V, Talley LD, Mazloff MR.  2019.  A deep eastern boundary current carrying Indian deep water south of Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 124:2218-2238.   10.1029/2018jc014569   Abstract

In the Southern Hemisphere, the ocean's deep waters are predominantly transported from low to high latitudes via boundary currents. In addition to the Deep Western Boundary Currents, pathways along the eastern boundaries of the southern Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific transport deep water poleward into the Southern Ocean where these waters upwell to the sea surface. These deep eastern boundary currents and their physical drivers are not well characterized, particularly those carrying carbon and nutrient-rich deep waters from the Indian and Pacific basins. Here we describe the poleward deep eastern boundary current that carries Indian Deep Water along the southern boundary of Australia to the Southern Ocean using a combination of hydrographic observations and Lagrangian experiments in an eddy-permitting ocean state estimate. We find strong evidence for a deep boundary current carrying the low-oxygen, carbon-rich signature of Indian Deep Water extending between 1,500 and 3,000 m along the Australian continental slope, from 30°S to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current southwest of Tasmania. From the Lagrangian particles it is estimated that this pathway transports approximately 5.8 ± 1.3 Sv southward from 30°S to the northern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The volume transport of this pathway is highly variable and is closely correlated with the overlying westward volume transport of the Flinders Current.

Purkey, SG, Johnson GC, Talley LD, Sloyan BM, Wijffels SE, Smethie W, Mecking S, Katsumata K.  2019.  Unabated bottom water warming and freshening in the South Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 124:1778-1794.   10.1029/2018jc014775   AbstractWebsite

Abyssal ocean warming contributed substantially to anthropogenic ocean heat uptake and global sea level rise between 1990 and 2010. In the 2010s, several hydrographic sections crossing the South Pacific Ocean were occupied for a third or fourth time since the 1990s, allowing for an assessment of the decadal variability in the local abyssal ocean properties among the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. These observations from three decades reveal steady to accelerated bottom water warming since the 1990s. Strong abyssal (z>4,000m) warming of 3.5 (1.4) m degrees C/year (m degrees C=10(-3)degrees C) is observed in the Ross Sea, directly downstream from bottom water formation sites, with warming rates of 2.5 (0.4) m degrees C/year to the east in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Basin and 1.3 (0.2) m degrees C/year to the north in the Southwest Pacific Basin, all associated with a bottom-intensified descent of the deepest isotherms. Warming is consistently found across all sections and their occupations within each basin, demonstrating that the abyssal warming is monotonic, basin-wide, and multidecadal. In addition, bottom water freshening was strongest in the Ross Sea, with smaller amplitude in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Basin in the 2000s, but is discernible in portions of the Southwest Pacific Basin by the 2010s. These results indicate that bottom water freshening, stemming from strong freshening of Ross Shelf Waters, is being advected along deep isopycnals and mixed into deep basins, albeit on longer timescales than the dynamically driven, wave-propagated warming signal. We quantify the contribution of the warming to local sea level and heat budgets. Plain Language Summary Over 90% of the excess energy gained by Earth's climate system has been absorbed by the oceans, with about 10% found deeper than 2,000m. The rates and patterns of deep and abyssal (deeper than 4,000m) ocean warming, while vital for understanding how this heat sink might behave in the future, are poorly known owing to limited data. Here we use highly accurate data collected by ships along oceanic transects with decadal revisits to quantify how much heat and freshwater has entered the South Pacific Ocean between the 1990s and 2010s. We find widespread warming throughout the deep basins there and evidence that the warming rate has accelerated in the 2010s relative to the 1990s. The warming is strongest near Antarctica where the abyssal ocean is ventilated by surface waters that sink to the sea floor and hence become bottom water, but abyssal warming is observed everywhere. In addition, we observe an infusion of freshwater propagating along the pathway of the bottom water as it moves northward from Antarctica. We quantify the deep ocean warming contributions to heat uptake as well as sea level rise through thermal expansion.

Talley, LD, Rosso I, Kamenkovich I, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Boss E, Gray AR, Johnson KS, Key RM, Riser SC, Williams NL, Sarmiento JL.  2019.  Southern Ocean biogeochemical float deployment strategy, with example from the Greenwich meridian line (GO-SHIP A12). Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 124:403-431.   10.1029/2018jc014059   AbstractWebsite

Biogeochemical Argo floats, profiling to 2,000-m depth, are being deployed throughout the Southern Ocean by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program (SOCCOM). The goal is 200 floats by 2020, to provide the first full set of annual cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrate, and optical properties across multiple oceanographic regimes. Building from no prior coverage to a sparse array, deployments are based on prior knowledge of water mass properties, mean frontal locations, mean circulation and eddy variability, winds, air-sea heat/freshwater/carbon exchange, prior Argo trajectories, and float simulations in the Southern Ocean State Estimate and Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Twelve floats deployed from the 2014-2015 Polarstern cruise from South Africa to Antarctica are used as a test case to evaluate the deployment strategy adopted for SOCCOM's 20 deployment cruises and 126 floats to date. After several years, these floats continue to represent the deployment zones targeted in advance: (1) Weddell Gyre sea ice zone, observing the Antarctic Slope Front, and a decadally-rare polynya over Maud Rise; (2) Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) including the topographically steered Southern Zone chimney where upwelling carbon/nutrient-rich deep waters produce surprisingly large carbon dioxide outgassing; (3) Subantarctic and Subtropical zones between the ACC and Africa; and (4) Cape Basin. Argo floats and eddy-resolving HYCOM simulations were the best predictors of individual SOCCOM float pathways, with uncertainty after 2years of order 1,000km in the sea ice zone and more than double that in and north of the ACC.

2018
Whalen, CB, MacKinnon JA, Talley LD.  2018.  Large-scale impacts of the mesoscale environment on mixing from wind-driven internal waves. Nature Geoscience. 11:842-+.   10.1038/s41561-018-0213-6   AbstractWebsite

Oceanic mesoscale structures such as eddies and fronts can alter the propagation, breaking and subsequent turbulent mixing of wind-generated internal waves. However, it has been difficult to ascertain whether these processes affect the global-scale patterns, timing and magnitude of turbulent mixing, thereby powering the global oceanic overturning circulation and driving the transport of heat and dissolved gases. Here we present global evidence demonstrating that mesoscale features can significantly enhance turbulent mixing due to wind-generated internal waves. Using internal wave-driven mixing estimates calculated from Argo profiling floats between 30 degrees and 45 degrees N, we find that both the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of turbulent mixing and the response to increases in the wind energy flux are larger to a depth of at least 2,000 m in the presence of a strong and temporally uniform field of mesoscale eddy kinetic energy. Mixing is especially strong within energetic anticyclonic mesoscale features compared to cyclonic features, indicating that local modification of wind-driven internal waves is probably one mechanism contributing to the elevated mixing observed in energetic mesoscale environments.

Chamberlain, P, Talley LD, Mazloff M, Riser S, Speer K, Gray AR, Schwartzman A.  2018.  Observing the ice-covered Weddell Gyre with profiling floats: position uncertainties and correlation statistics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1029/2017JC012990   Abstract

Argo-type profiling floats do not receive satellite positioning while under sea ice. Common practice is to approximate unknown positions by linearly interpolating latitude-longitude between known positions before and after ice cover, although it has been suggested that some improvement may be obtained by interpolating along contours of planetary-geostrophic potential vorticity. Profiles with linearly interpolated positions represent 16% of the Southern Ocean Argo dataset; consequences arising from this approximation have not been quantified. Using three distinct datasets from the Weddell Gyre - 10 day satellite-tracked Argo floats, daily-tracked RAFOS-enabled floats, and a particle release simulation in the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) - we perform a data withholding experiment to assess position uncertainty in latitude-longitude and potential vorticity coordinates as a function of time since last fix. A spatial correlation analysis using the float data provides temperature and salinity uncertainty estimates as a function of distance error. Combining the spatial correlation scales and the position uncertainty, we estimate uncertainty in temperature and salinity as a function of duration of position loss. Maximum position uncertainty for interpolation during 8 months without position data is 116 ± 148 km for latitude-longitude and 92 ± 121 km for potential vorticity coordinates. The estimated maximum uncertainty in local temperature and salinity over the entire 2,000 m profiles during 8 months without position data is 0.66 ° C and 0.15 psu in the upper 300 m and 0.16 ° C and 0.01 psu below 300 m.

Gray, AR, Johnson KS, Bushinsky SM, Riser SC, Russell JL, Talley LD, Wanninkhof R, Williams NL, Sarmiento JL.  2018.  Autonomous biogeochemical floats detect significant carbon dioxide outgassing in the high-latitude Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 45:9049-9057.   10.1029/2018gl078013   AbstractWebsite

Although the Southern Ocean is thought to account for a significant portion of the contemporary oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2), flux estimates in this region are based on sparse observations that are strongly biased toward summer. Here we present new estimates of Southern Ocean air-sea CO2 fluxes calculated with measurements from biogeochemical profiling floats deployed by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project during 2014-2017. Compared to ship-based CO2 flux estimates, the float-based fluxes find significantly stronger outgassing in the zone around Antarctica where carbon-rich deep waters upwell to the surface ocean. Although interannual variability contributes, this difference principally stems from the lack of autumn and winter ship-based observations in this high-latitude region. These results suggest that our current understanding of the distribution of oceanic CO2 sources and sinks may need revision and underscore the need for sustained year-round biogeochemical observations in the Southern Ocean. Plain Language Summary The Southern Ocean absorbs a great deal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helps to shape the climate of Earth. However, we do not have many observations from this part of the world, especially in winter, because it is remote and inhospitable. Here we present new observations from robotic drifting buoys that take measurements of temperature, salinity, and other water properties year-round. We use these data to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the Southern Ocean. In the open water region close to Antarctica, the new estimates are remarkably different from the previous estimates, which were based on data collected from ships. We discuss some possible reasons that the float-based estimate is different and how this changes our understanding of how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide.

Shi, JR, Xie SP, Talley LD.  2018.  Evolving relative importance of the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic in anthropogenic ocean heat uptake. Journal of Climate. 31:7459-7479.   10.1175/jcli-d-18-0170.1   AbstractWebsite

Ocean uptake of anthropogenic heat over the past 15 years has mostly occurred in the Southern Ocean, based on Argo float observations. This agrees with historical simulations from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), where the Southern Ocean (south of 30 degrees S) accounts for 72% +/- 28% of global heat uptake, while the contribution from the North Atlantic north of 30 degrees N is only 6%. Aerosols preferentially cool the Northern Hemisphere, and the effect on surface heat flux over the subpolar North Atlantic opposes the greenhouse gas (GHG) effect in nearly equal magnitude. This heat uptake compensation is associated with weakening (strengthening) of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in response to GHG (aerosol) radiative forcing. Aerosols are projected to decline in the near future, reinforcing the greenhouse effect on the North Atlantic heat uptake. As a result, the Southern Ocean, which will continue to take up anthropogenic heat largely through the mean upwelling of water from depth, will be joined by increased relative contribution from the North Atlantic because of substantial AMOC slowdown in the twenty-first century. In the RCP8.5 scenario, the percentage contribution to global uptake is projected to decrease to 48% +/- 8% in the Southern Ocean and increase to 26% +/- 6% in the northern North Atlantic. Despite the large uncertainty in the magnitude of projected aerosol forcing, our results suggest that anthropogenic aerosols, given their geographic distributions and temporal trajectories, strongly influence the high-latitude ocean heat uptake and interhemispheric asymmetry through AMOC change.

Talley, LD, Rosso I, Kamenkovich I, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Boss E, Gray AR, Johnson KS, Key R, Riser SC, Williams NL, Sarmiento JL.  2018.  Southern Ocean biogeochemical float deployment strategy, with example from the Greenwich Meridian line (GO-SHIP A12). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1029/2018JC014059   Abstract

Biogeochemical Argo floats, profiling to 2000 m depth, are being deployed throughout the Southern Ocean by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program (SOCCOM). The goal is 200 floats by 2020, to provide the first full set of annual cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrate and optical properties across multiple oceanographic regimes. Building from no prior coverage to a sparse array, deployments are based on prior knowledge of water mass properties, mean frontal locations, mean circulation and eddy variability, winds, air-sea heat/freshwater/carbon exchange, prior Argo trajectories, and float simulations in the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) and Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Twelve floats deployed from the 2014-2015 Polarstern cruise from South Africa to Antarctica are used as a test case to evaluate the deployment strategy adopted for SOCCOM's 20 deployment cruises and 126 floats to date. After several years, these floats continue to represent the deployment zones targeted in advance: (1) Weddell Gyre sea ice zone, including the Antarctic Slope Front, Maud Rise, and the open gyre; (2) Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) including the topographically-steered Southern zone ‘chimney' where upwelling carbon/nutrient-rich deep waters produce surprisingly large carbon dioxide outgassing; (3) Subantarctic and Subtropical zones between the ACC and Africa; and (4) Cape Basin. Argo floats and eddy-resolving HYCOM simulations were the best predictors of individual SOCCOM float pathways, with uncertainty after 2 years on the order of 1000 km in the sea ice zone and more than double that in and north of the ACC.

Delman, AS, McClean JL, Sprintall J, Talley LD, Bryan FO.  2018.  Process-specific contributions to anomalous Java mixed layer cooling during positive IOD events. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:4153-4176.   10.1029/2017jc013749   AbstractWebsite

Negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) events first appear in the seasonal upwelling zone along the southern coast of Java during May-July. The evolution of anomalous SSTs in this coastal region is analyzed by computing a temperature budget using output from a strongly eddy-active ocean general circulation model. The seasonal cooling south of Java in May-July is driven by a reduction in incoming shortwave radiation and by vertical mixing, consistent with earlier studies in the region; however, the model budget also shows an advective contribution that drives anomalous cooling at the onset of pIOD events. To identify which process(es) are responsible for the anomalous advective cooling during pIOD events, a novel process index regression method is used to estimate the contributions of wind stress, equatorial Kelvin waves, mesoscale eddies, and Lombok Strait flow to anomalous cooling south of Java. Using this method, wind stress forcing along the west coast of Sumatra is found to make the most substantial contribution to anomalous cooling south of Java, with lesser contributions from equatorially sourced Kelvin waves and local wind stress. Mesoscale eddies redistribute heat from the Lombok Strait outflow, and have an anomalous warming effect on the eastern side of the upwelling region. The process-specific temperature budget south of Java highlights the importance of wind stress forcing west of Sumatra relative to equatorial and local forcing, and explains most of the mixed layer temperature anomaly evolution associated with advection during pIOD events. Plain Language Summary Climate variations from year to year in much of the Indian Ocean region are controlled by a phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole, which is similar to El Nino but centered on the Indian Ocean basin. The positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole, or pIOD, typically brings drought conditions to Indonesia and unusually heavy rainfall to east Africa. These pIOD events are caused in part by unusually strong cooling in sea surface temperatures south of the Indonesian island of Java, but the series of events that causes this strong cooling has not been well understood previously. This paper uses the results obtained from a high-resolution ocean model, together with a new method for analyzing these results, to study exactly how much sea surface cooling (or warming) is caused by specific processes in the Java region. The study finds that changes in wind patterns adjacent to the Indonesian island of Sumatra can explain nearly all of the unusual cooling that develops south of Java in years when these pIOD events happen. The analysis method introduced in this paper may be adapted to study how processes in the ocean or atmosphere cause changes in the Earth's climate system.

Ogle, SE, Tamsitt V, Josey SA, Gille ST, Cerovecki I, Talley LD, Weller RA.  2018.  Episodic Southern Ocean heat loss and its mixed layer impacts revealed by the farthest south multiyear surface flux mooring. Geophysical Research Letters. 45:5002-5010.   10.1029/2017gl076909   AbstractWebsite

The Ocean Observatories Initiative air-sea flux mooring deployed at 54.08 degrees S, 89.67 degrees W, in the southeast Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, is the farthest south long-term open ocean flux mooring ever deployed. Mooring observations (February 2015 to August 2017) provide the first in situ quantification of annual net air-sea heat exchange from one of the prime Subantarctic Mode Water formation regions. Episodic turbulent heat loss events (reaching a daily mean net flux of -294W/m(2)) generally occur when northeastward winds bring relatively cold, dry air to the mooring location, leading to large air-sea temperature and humidity differences. Wintertime heat loss events promote deep mixed layer formation that lead to Subantarctic Mode Water formation. However, these processes have strong interannual variability; a higher frequency of 2 sigma and 3 sigma turbulent heat loss events in winter 2015 led to deep mixed layers (>300m), which were nonexistent in winter 2016.

Russell, JL, Kamenkovich I, Bitz C, Ferrari R, Gille ST, Goodman PJ, Hallberg R, Johnson K, Khazmutdinova K, Marinov I, Mazloff M, Riser S, Sarmiento JL, Speer K, Talley LD, Wanninkhof R.  2018.  Metrics for the evaluation of the Southern Ocean in coupled climate models and earth system models. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:3120-3143.   10.1002/2017jc013461   AbstractWebsite

The Southern Ocean is central to the global climate and the global carbon cycle, and to the climate's response to increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, as it ventilates a large fraction of the global ocean volume. Global coupled climate models and earth system models, however, vary widely in their simulations of the Southern Ocean and its role in, and response to, the ongoing anthropogenic trend. Due to the region's complex water-mass structure and dynamics, Southern Ocean carbon and heat uptake depend on a combination of winds, eddies, mixing, buoyancy fluxes, and topography. Observationally based metrics are critical for discerning processes and mechanisms, and for validating and comparing climate and earth system models. New observations and understanding have allowed for progress in the creation of observationally based data/model metrics for the Southern Ocean. Metrics presented here provide a means to assess multiple simulations relative to the best available observations and observational products. Climate models that perform better according to these metrics also better simulate the uptake of heat and carbon by the Southern Ocean. This report is not strictly an intercomparison, but rather a distillation of key metrics that can reliably quantify the "accuracy" of a simulation against observed, or at least observable, quantities. One overall goal is to recommend standardization of observationally based benchmarks that the modeling community should aspire to meet in order to reduce uncertainties in climate projections, and especially uncertainties related to oceanic heat and carbon uptake. Plain Language Summary Observationally based metrics are essential for the standardized evaluation of climate and earth system models, and for reducing the uncertainty associated with future projections by those models.

Llanillo, PJ, Pelegri JL, Talley LD, Pena-Izquierdo J, Cordero RR.  2018.  Oxygen pathways and budget for the Eastern South Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:1722-1744.   10.1002/2017jc013509   AbstractWebsite

Ventilation of the eastern South Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone (ESP-OMZ) is quantified using climatological Argo and dissolved oxygen data, combined with reanalysis wind stress data. We (1) estimate all oxygen fluxes (advection and turbulent diffusion) ventilating this OMZ, (2) quantify for the first time the oxygen contribution from the subtropical versus the traditionally studied tropical-equatorial pathway, and (3) derive a refined annual-mean oxygen budget for the ESP-OMZ. In the upper OMZ layer, net oxygen supply is dominated by tropical-equatorial advection, with more than one-third of this supply upwelling into the Ekman layer through previously unevaluated vertical advection, within the overturning component of the regional Subtropical Cell (STC). Below the STC, at the OMZ's core, advection is weak and turbulent diffusion (isoneutral and dianeutral) accounts for 89% of the net oxygen supply, most of it coming from the oxygen-rich subtropical gyre. In the deep OMZ layer, net oxygen supply occurs only through turbulent diffusion and is dominated by the tropical-equatorial pathway. Considering the entire OMZ, net oxygen supply (3.8 +/- 0.42 mu mol kg(-1) yr(-1)) is dominated by isoneutral turbulent diffusion (56.5%, split into 32.3% of tropical-equatorial origin and 24.2% of subtropical origin), followed by isoneutral advection (32.0%, split into 27.6% of tropical-equatorial origin and 4.4% of subtropical origin) and dianeutral diffusion (11.5%). One-quarter (25.8%) of the net oxygen input escapes through dianeutral advection (most of it upwelling) and, assuming steady state, biological consumption is responsible for most of the oxygen loss (74.2%).

Tamsitt, V, Abernathey RP, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Talley LD.  2018.  Transformation of deep water masses along Lagrangian upwelling pathways in the Southern Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1002/2017JC013409   AbstractWebsite

Upwelling of northern deep waters in the Southern Ocean is fundamentally important for the closure of the global meridional overturning circulation and delivers carbon and nutrient‐rich deep waters to the sea surface. We quantify water mass transformation along upwelling pathways originating in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific and ending at the surface of the Southern Ocean using Lagrangian trajectories in an eddy‐permitting ocean state estimate. Recent related work shows that upwelling in the interior below about 400 m depth is localized at hot spots associated with major topographic features in the path of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, while upwelling through the surface layer is more broadly distributed. In the ocean interior upwelling is largely isopycnal; Atlantic and to a lesser extent Indian Deep Waters cool and freshen while Pacific deep waters are more stable, leading to a homogenization of water mass properties. As upwelling water approaches the mixed layer, there is net strong transformation toward lighter densities due to mixing of freshwater, but there is a divergence in the density distribution as Upper Circumpolar Deep Water tends become lighter and dense Lower Circumpolar Deep Water tends to become denser. The spatial distribution of transformation shows more rapid transformation at eddy hot spots associated with major topography where density gradients are enhanced; however, the majority of cumulative density change along trajectories is achieved by background mixing. We compare the Lagrangian analysis to diagnosed Eulerian water mass transformation to attribute the mechanisms leading to the observed transformation.

Briggs, EM, Martz TR, Talley LD, Mazloff MR, Johnson KS.  2018.  Physical and biological drivers of biogeochemical tracers within the seasonal sea ice zone of the Southern Ocean from profiling floats. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:746-758.   10.1002/2017jc012846   AbstractWebsite

Here we present initial findings from nine profiling floats equipped with pH, O-2, , and other biogeochemical sensors that were deployed in the seasonal ice zone (SIZ) of the Southern Ocean in 2014 and 2015 through the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) project. A large springtime phytoplankton bloom was observed that coincided with sea ice melt for all nine floats. We argue this bloom results from a shoaling of the mixed layer depth, increased vertical stability, and enhanced nutrient and light availability as the sea ice melts. This interpretation is supported by the absence of a springtime bloom when one of the floats left the SIZ in the second year of observations. During the sea ice covered period, net heterotrophic conditions were observed. The rate of uptake of O-2 and release of dissolved inorganic carbon (derived from pH and estimated total alkalinity) and is reminiscent of biological respiration and is nearly Redfieldian for the nine floats. A simple model of mixed layer physics was developed to separate the physical and biological components of the signal in pH and O-2 over one annual cycle for a float in the Ross Sea SIZ. The resulting annual net community production suggests that seasonal respiration during the ice covered period of the year nearly balances the production in the euphotic layer of up to 5 molCm(-2) during the ice free period leading to a net of near zero carbon exported to depth for this one float.

2017
Snyder, S, Franks PJS, Talley LD, Xu Y, Kohin S.  2017.  Crossing the line: Tunas actively exploit submesoscale fronts to enhance foraging success. Limnology and Oceanography Letters. 2:187-194.   10.1002/lol2.10049   Abstract

Fronts—i.e., the boundaries between water masses—are ubiquitous in the world oceans and have been shown to significantly influence pelagic ecosystems with enhanced local productivity and increased abundances of forage fish and top predators. Here we use data from archival tags to document how four juvenile albacore tunas foraged at and exploited a thermal front. Of the 3098 observed trips, the albacore mainly swam across the front between the warm side above the thermocline and the cold side below the thermocline with an average of 78 ± 20.4 cross-frontal trips per fish per day. The warm frontal surface waters provided a thermal resource, allowing the tuna to maintain higher body temperatures and thus forage more efficiently in the food-rich waters of the cold side of the front. Foraging success of the tunas decreased as the cross-front thermal gradient weakened. This first look into small-scale use of fronts by a top predator demonstrates that ephemeral, submesoscale oceanic features can play a significant role in pelagic ecology.

Rosso, I, Mazloff MR, Verdy A, Talley LD.  2017.  Space and time variability of the Southern Ocean carbon budget. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 122:7407-7432.   10.1002/2016jc012646   AbstractWebsite

The upper ocean dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration is regulated by advective and diffusive transport divergence, biological processes, freshwater, and air-sea CO2 fluxes. The relative importance of these mechanisms in the Southern Ocean is uncertain, as year-round observations in this area have been limited. We use a novel physical-biogeochemical state estimate of the Southern Ocean to construct a closed DIC budget of the top 650 m and investigate the spatial and temporal variability of the different components of the carbon system. The dominant mechanisms of variability in upper ocean DIC depend on location and time and space scales considered. Advective transport is the most influential mechanism and governs the local DIC budget across the 10 day-5 year timescales analyzed. Diffusive effects are nearly negligible. The large-scale transport structure is primarily set by upwelling and downwelling, though both the lateral ageostrophic and geostrophic transports are significant. In the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the carbon budget components are also influenced by the presence of topography and biological hot spots. In the subtropics, evaporation and air-sea CO2 flux primarily balances the sink due to biological production and advective transport. Finally, in the subpolar region sea ice processes, which change the seawater volume and thus the DIC concentration, compensate the large impact of the advective transport and modulate the timing of biological activity and air-sea CO2 flux.

Johnson, KS, Plant JN, Dunne JP, Talley LD, Sarmiento JL.  2017.  Annual nitrate drawdown observed by SOCCOM profiling floats and the relationship to annual net community production. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 122:6668-6683.   10.1002/2017jc012839   AbstractWebsite

Annual nitrate cycles have been measured throughout the pelagic waters of the Southern Ocean, including regions with seasonal ice cover and southern hemisphere subtropical zones. Vertically resolved nitrate measurements were made using in situ ultraviolet spectrophotometer (ISUS) and submersible ultraviolet nitrate analyzer (SUNA) optical nitrate sensors deployed on profiling floats. Thirty-one floats returned 40 complete annual cycles. The mean nitrate profile from the month with the highest winter nitrate minus the mean profile from the month with the lowest nitrate yields the annual nitrate drawdown. This quantity was integrated to 200 m depth and converted to carbon using the Redfield ratio to estimate annual net community production (ANCP) throughout the Southern Ocean south of 30 degrees S. A well-defined, zonal mean distribution is found with highest values (3-4 mol C m(-2) yr(-1)) from 40 to 50 degrees S. Lowest values are found in the subtropics and in the seasonal ice zone. The area weighted mean was 2.9 mol C m(-2) yr(-1) for all regions south of 40 degrees S. Cumulative ANCP south of 50 degrees S is 1.3 Pg C yr(-1). This represents about 13% of global ANCP in about 14% of the global ocean area. Plain Language Summary This manuscript reports on 40 annual cycles of nitrate observed by chemical sensors on SOCCOM profiling floats. The annual drawdown in nitrate concentration by phytoplankton is used to assess the spatial variability of annual net community production in the Southern Ocean. This ANCP is a key component of the global carbon cycle and it exerts an important control on atmospheric carbon dioxide. We show that the results are consistent with our prior understanding of Southern Ocean ANCP, which has required decades of observations to accumulate. The profiling floats now enable annual resolution of this key process. The results also highlight spatial variability in ANCP in the Southern Ocean.

Johnson, KS, Plant JN, Coletti LJ, Jannasch HW, Sakamoto CM, Riser SC, Swift DD, Williams NL, Boss E, Haentjens N, Talley LD, Sarmiento JL.  2017.  Biogeochemical sensor performance in the SOCCOM profiling float array. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 122:6416-6436.   10.1002/2017jc012838   AbstractWebsite

The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) program has begun deploying a large array of biogeochemical sensors on profiling floats in the Southern Ocean. As of February 2016, 86 floats have been deployed. Here the focus is on 56 floats with quality-controlled and adjusted data that have been in the water at least 6 months. The floats carry oxygen, nitrate, pH, chlorophyll fluorescence, and optical backscatter sensors. The raw data generated by these sensors can suffer from inaccurate initial calibrations and from sensor drift over time. Procedures to correct the data are defined. The initial accuracy of the adjusted concentrations is assessed by comparing the corrected data to laboratory measurements made on samples collected by a hydrographic cast with a rosette sampler at the float deployment station. The long-term accuracy of the corrected data is compared to the GLODAPv2 data set whenever a float made a profile within 20 km of a GLODAPv2 station. Based on these assessments, the fleet average oxygen data are accurate to 1 +/- 1%, nitrate to within 0.5 +/- 0.5 mu mol kg(-1), and pH to 0.005 +/- 0.007, where the error limit is 1 standard deviation of the fleet data. The bio-optical measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence and optical backscatter are used to estimate chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon concentration. The particulate organic carbon concentrations inferred from optical backscatter appear accurate to with 35 mg C m(-3) or 20%, whichever is larger. Factors affecting the accuracy of the estimated chlorophyll a concentrations are evaluated.

Haentjens, N, Boss E, Talley LD.  2017.  Revisiting Ocean Color algorithms for chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon in the Southern Ocean using biogeochemical floats. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 122:6583-6593.   10.1002/2017jc012844   AbstractWebsite

The Southern Ocean (SO) ecosystem plays a key role in the carbon cycle by sinking a major part (43%) of the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2, and being an important source of nutrients for primary producers. However, undersampling of SO biogeochemical properties limits our understanding of the mechanisms taking place in this remote area. The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project has been deploying a large number of autonomous biogeochemical floats to study the SO (as of December 2016, 74 floats out of 200 have been deployed). SOCCOM floats measurements can be used to extend remote sensing chlorophyll a (chl a) and particulate organic carbon (POC) products under clouds or during the polar night as well as adding the depth dimension to the satellite-based view of the SO. Chlorophyll a concentrations measured by a sensor embedded on the floats and POC concentrations derived from backscattering coefficients were calibrated with samples collected during the floats' deployment cruise. Float chl a and POC were compared with products derived from observations of MODIS and VIIRS sensors. We find the Ocean Color Index (OCI) global algorithm to agree well with the matchups (within 9%, on average, for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and 12%, on average, for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Aqua (MODIS)). SO-specific algorithms estimating chl a are offset by similar to 45% south of the Sea Ice Extent Front (similar to 60 degrees S). In addition, POC estimates based on floats agree well with NASA's POC algorithm.

Tamsitt, V, Drake HF, Morrison AK, Talley LD, Dufour CO, Gray AR, Griffies SM, Mazloff MR, Sarmiento JL, Wang J, Weijer W.  2017.  Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean. Nature Communications. 8:172.   10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0   Abstract

Upwelling of global deep waters to the sea surface in the Southern Ocean closes the global overturning circulation and is fundamentally important for oceanic uptake of carbon and heat, nutrient resupply for sustaining oceanic biological production, and the melt rate of ice shelves. However, the exact pathways and role of topography in Southern Ocean upwelling remain largely unknown. Here we show detailed upwelling pathways in three dimensions, using hydrographic observations and particle tracking in high-resolution models. The analysis reveals that the northern-sourced deep waters enter the Antarctic Circumpolar Current via southward flow along the boundaries of the three ocean basins, before spiraling southeastward and upward through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Upwelling is greatly enhanced at five major topographic features, associated with vigorous mesoscale eddy activity. Deep water reaches the upper ocean predominantly south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, with a spatially nonuniform distribution. The timescale for half of the deep water to upwell from 30° S to the mixed layer is ~60–90 years.

Holte, J, Talley LD, Gilson J, Roemmich D.  2017.  An Argo mixed layer climatology and database. Geophysical Research Letters. 44:5618-5626.   10.1002/2017gl073426   AbstractWebsite

A global climatology and database of mixed layer properties are computed from nearly 1,250,000 Argo profiles. The climatology is calculated with both a hybrid algorithm for detecting the mixed layer depth (MLD) and a standard threshold method. The climatology provides accurate information about the depth, properties, extent, and seasonal patterns of global mixed layers. The individual profile results in the database can be used to construct time series of mixed layer properties in specific regions of interest. The climatology and database are available online at . The MLDs calculated by the hybrid algorithm are shallower and generally more accurate than those of the threshold method, particularly in regions of deep winter mixed layers; the new climatology differs the most from existing mixed layer climatologies in these regions. Examples are presented from the Labrador and Irminger Seas, the Southern Ocean, and the North Atlantic Ocean near the Gulf Stream. In these regions the threshold method tends to overestimate winter MLDs by approximately 10% compared to the algorithm.

Centurioni, LR, Hormann V, Talley LD, Arzeno I, Beal L, Caruso M, Conry P, Echols R, Fernando HJS, Giddings SN, Gordon A, Graber H, Harcourt RR, Jayne SR, Jensen TG, Lee CM, Lermusiaux PFJ, L'Hegaret P, Lucas AJ, Mahadevan A, McClean JL, Pawlak G, Rainville L, Riser SC, Seo H, Shcherbina AY, Skyllingstad E, Sprintall J, Subrahmanyam B, Terrill E, Todd RE, Trott C, Ulloa HN, Wang H.  2017.  Northern Arabian Sea Circulation Autonomous Research (NASCar): A research initiative based on autonomous sensors. Oceanography. 30:74-87.   10.5670/oceanog.2017.224   AbstractWebsite

The Arabian Sea circulation is forced by strong monsoonal winds and is characterized by vigorous seasonally reversing currents, extreme differences in sea surface salinity, localized substantial upwelling, and widespread submesoscale thermohaline structures. Its complicated sea surface temperature patterns are important for the onset and evolution of the Asian monsoon. This article describes a program that aims to elucidate the role of upper-ocean processes and atmospheric feedbacks in setting the sea surface temperature properties of the region. The wide range of spatial and temporal scales and the difficulty of accessing much of the region with ships due to piracy motivated a novel approach based on state-of-the-art autonomous ocean sensors and platforms. The extensive data set that is being collected, combined with numerical models and remote sensing data, confirms the role of planetary waves in the reversal of the Somali Current system. These data also document the fast response of the upper equatorial ocean to monsoon winds through changes in temperature and salinity and the connectivity of the surface currents across the northern Indian Ocean. New observations of thermohaline interleaving structures and mixing in setting the surface temperature properties of the northern Arabian Sea are also discussed.

Williams, NL, Juranek LW, Feely RA, Johnson KS, Sarmiento JL, Talley LD, Dickson AG, Gray AR, Wanninkhof R, Russell JL, Riser SC, Takeshita Y.  2017.  Calculating surface ocean pCO(2) from biogeochemical Argo floats equipped with pH: An uncertainty analysis. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 31:591-604.   10.1002/2016gb005541   AbstractWebsite

More than 74 biogeochemical profiling floats that measure water column pH, oxygen, nitrate, fluorescence, and backscattering at 10 day intervals have been deployed throughout the Southern Ocean. Calculating the surface ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2sw)) from float pH has uncertainty contributions from the pH sensor, the alkalinity estimate, and carbonate system equilibrium constants, resulting in a relative standard uncertainty in pCO(2sw) of 2.7% (or 11 mu atm at pCO(2sw) of 400 mu atm). The calculated pCO(2sw) from several floats spanning a range of oceanographic regimes are compared to existing climatologies. In some locations, such as the subantarctic zone, the float data closely match the climatologies, but in the polar Antarctic zone significantly higher pCO(2sw) are calculated in the wintertime implying a greater air-sea CO2 efflux estimate. Our results based on four representative floats suggest that despite their uncertainty relative to direct measurements, the float data can be used to improve estimates for air-sea carbon flux, as well as to increase knowledge of spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability in this flux. Plain Language Summary The Southern Ocean is a key player in the global flow of carbon, yet it is hard to reach, and there are relatively few measurements there, especially in winter. Measuring the amount of carbon dioxide gas in seawater is key to advancing our understanding of the Southern Ocean. More than 74 robotic floats that use sensors to measure seawater properties have been deployed throughout the Southern Ocean, and each has a lifetime of around 5 years. It is currently not possible to directly measure carbon dioxide gas from these floats; however, it is possible to estimate carbon dioxide from things that the float can measure, like pH, a measure of ocean acidity. Here surface ocean carbon dioxide is estimated from several floats and compared to two ship-based estimates. In some locations, the floats closely match the existing estimates, but in other locations the floats see significantly higher surface ocean carbon dioxide in the wintertime, reinforcing the idea that the Southern Ocean's role in the global carbon cycle needs a closer look. Our results show that despite not measuring carbon dioxide directly, these floats will help scientists learn a lot about the Southern Ocean's part in the global flow of carbon.