Sea life's importance to the climate

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:45 PM GMT on May 29, 2007

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Does the marine biosphere mix the ocean? A group of oceanographers led by W.K. Dewar of Florida State University argue that the swimming action of fish and other marine organisms may play a critical role in driving ocean currents. If true, large-scale over-fishing or the collapse of the marine food chain due to pollution or ocean acidification may cause significant changes in ocean currents--and Earth's climate.


Figure 1. Rainbow made From a sperm whale using his blowhole. Image taken June 17, 2006 in Kaikora, New Zealand by wunderphotographer jhfelder.

The Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) or Thermohaline Circulation is a well-known feature of the ocean circulation. In the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream current forms a portion of the MOC. Gulf Stream waters flow to the region near Greenland, where an input of fresh, denser water from melting ice and river run-off creates a downward flow of water that then moves southward along the ocean bottom towards the Equator. This deep water eventually returns to the surface in the mid-Atlantic to complete a cell of the MOC. Scientists have long thought that the energy needed to drive the MOC came from winds and tides--about two terrawatts of energy (Munk and Wunsch, 1998). However, Dewar et al. show that the mechanical energy added to the ocean by the swimming action of whales is about 1% of this total, and the swimming action of other marine organisms (primarily zooplankton) adds up to 50% of this total--one terrawatt of energy. While the authors admit that their calculations may have large errors, this research shows that marine life may have a heretofore unappreciated large impact on Earth's climate. Our climate is intimately connected to the sun, life on land, life in the ocean, and human activities in an incredibly complex web of interconnections. It is our challenge to understand this system, even as we change it and it changes of its own accord.

My next blog will be Thursday afternoon, when the new Dr. Bill Gray/Phil Klotzbach Atlantic hurricane season forecast will be released.

Jeff Masters

Dewar, W.K., R.J. Bingham, R.L. Iverson, D.P. Nowacek, L.C. St. Laurent, and P.H. Wiebe, 2006, "Does the marine biosphere mix the ocean?", Journal of Marine Research, 64, 541-561.

Munk, W., and C. Wunsch, 1998, "Abyssal recipes II: Energetics of tidal and wind mixing", Deep-Sea Res., 45, 1976-2009.

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520. ElectricMonk
1:03 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Srt4Man: Popcorn! What a great idea! :-D

Weather Question: where do people find those track-maps that show the projected tracks from all the models at once? I would like to bookmark such a site for when things really start hoppin in the Atlantic!
Thanks!
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519. aardan
1:00 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
FlBoy,

Why does ricderr or anyone else bother you? I enjoy weather discussion but, as I wrote once in the past, I don't understand all the silly bickering. This is a weather discussion group not a playground. If you like to flame people there are much better places to practice that art. Usenet's alt.flame would be a classic starting point. You could learn to be really nasty at alt.alien.religion but ... here?

So silly.
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518. FloorManBroward
8:59 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
Link
Lake Okeechobee on fire.
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517. PensacolaDoug
12:57 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Great googlyooglies! It rained in Pensacola overnite! A little more would be nice!
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516. Srt4Man
12:31 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: ElectricMonk at 12:31 PM GMT on May 30, 2007.

FLBoy,
Maybe I misunderstood...but I thought this blog is here for many to *LEARN* about tropical weather...that is the point of "discussion"...the exchange of ideas and knowledge. That implies not being afraid to ask questions of any time (blog topic related that is).


Its clear that he has issues. Ive been lurking here since early 2005. Its fun to watch the well known names bicker with each other. In the end it all comes down to:

"My weather knowledge is greater than your weather knowledge, No its not, yes it is, not its not."

Do what i do go make a bag of popcorn and then read the blog.

P.S. Right about the time it all gets too crazy to keep up with Gulfscotsman comes in with his pictures and makes it all better. Then everything comes back togather and weather discussion continues.
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515. hurricane23
8:51 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
Not sure what rain your talking about LOL...But hopeing that we can get some rains on the lake and over the areas were its greatly needed keeping fingers crossed.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
514. MisterPerfect
12:53 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Good Morning Carribean


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513. Patrap
7:47 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
A rainy weekend where?.Adrian?..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
512. hurricane23
08:43 EDT le 30 mai 2007
Good morning...

Still dont see any real signs of real organized in the NW caribbean but all signs indicate to some much needed rains for florida.If a system were to organize which in my opinion should non-tropical in nature look for all the rain to on the east side of the system.Overall looks like a rainy weekend.Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
510. Patrap
7:45 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
The Good Morning America Weather Guy..LOL
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509. weatherboykris
12:44 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
LOL Patrap
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508. Patrap
7:43 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
7
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
507. weatherboykris
12:44 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
I'm more interested in the potential of TD-2E going into the Carribean.BBL
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506. nash28
12:41 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Bingo Jed. Regardless of whether or not it is a TS, TD, or hybrid it should bring the area rain.
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505. Patrap
7:39 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
GOM 60 Hour Wind Forecast model and more. Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
504. weatherboykris
12:38 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: RL3AO at 12:38 PM GMT on May 30, 2007.

Well. The Good Morning America "weatherman" is expecting a named system near the Yucatan.


Time to buy shutters then.LOL!
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503. RL3AO
7:37 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
Well. The Good Morning America "weatherman" is expecting a named system near the Yucatan.
502. Jedkins
12:34 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
veryinteresting system, I don't think the chances of it becoming ttropical are too high because it will be formed by baroclinic processes, and the the shear will be high.

But because itr will be in a dseep tropical invirnment, it must be watched just in case, but it will likely be a hybrid.


Whether it does or not folks, looks like we got a big rain maker to kick off our wet season here, and thats exactly what we need.
501. HurricaneGeek
8:34 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
Have a good one
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500. Jedkins
12:33 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Current Version Previous Version: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
[Printable]

Links in the discussion text will open a (small) new browser window with more information inside.
A more complete Weather Glossary is Available Here


000
FXUS62 KTBW 300713
AFDTBW

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
313 AM EDT WED MAY 30 2007

.SHORT TERM (TODAY-FRI)...SFC HIGH PRESSURE WILL CONTINUE TO RIDGE
ACROSS THE AREA THROUGH THU AND THEN SHIFT EAST FOR FRI AS LOW
PRESSURE BEGINS TO DEVELOP OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. ALOFT RIDGING
WILL CONTINUE OVER THE EASTERN US AS AN UPPER TROUGH REMAINS OVER
THE NORTHERN GULF REGION. FLOW WILL REMAIN EASTERLY THROUGH
THURSDAY UNDER HIGH PRESSURE AND THEN BECOME MORE SE AS THE LOW
DEVELOPS. DEEP MOISTURE WILL BEGIN TO ADVECT OVER THE AREA FOR FRI
ALLOWING FOR SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS. TEMPS WILL CONTINUE A FEW
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THU AND THEN FALL TO NEAR NORMAL FRI
WITH INCREASED CLOUD COVER AND CONVECTION.

.LONG TERM (FRI NIGHT-TUE)...MODELS COMING INTO AGREEMENT WITH A
STORM SYSTEM FORMING OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO...HOWEVER THERE
IS STILL A GREAT DEAL OF UNCERTAINTY WITH THE EVENTUAL EVOLUTION AND
STRENGTH OF THIS SYSTEM. REGARDLESS...WITH SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE
SLIDING EAST OF THE AREA AND INCREASING SOUTHEAST FLOW OVER WEST
CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA...DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE WILL BE
PULLED NORTH ACROSS THE REGION FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. THIS WILL
BE A DRAMATIC CHANGE TO THE DRY AIR THAT HAS PERSISTED FOR MUCH OF
THE LATTER PART OF MAY...AND SUMMERLIKE HUMIDITY WILL BE FELT AS
WINDS SHIFT SOUTHWEST OFF THE GULF OF MEXICO LATE SATURDAY.
INCREASING CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FRIDAY NIGHT...AND
NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY SATURDAY AS DEEP TROPICAL
MOISTURE WILL HAVE ADVECTED OVER THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. POSSIBILITY
FOR SIGNIFICANT RAIN EVENT SINCE WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
WOULD BE ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE STORM SYSTEM. BUT AGAIN...MUCH
UNCERTAINTY REMAINS...WOULD EXPECT SYSTEM TO BE EXITING THE AREA
SUNDAY WITH WEST TO SOUTHWEST FLOW CONTINUING TO ADVECT WARM MUGGY
AIR OFF THE GULF OF MEXICO. SURFACE RIDGE WILL BUILD ACROSS THE
FLORIDA STRAITS BY TUESDAY WHICH WILL ALLOW WESTERLY FLOW TO PERSIST
INTO NEXT WEEK...WITH VERY WARM STICKY AIRMASS PERSISTING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY...AND ISOLATED AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS EACH DAY.

&&

.AVIATION...NO SIGNIFICANT HAZARDS THROUGH WEDNESDAY...HOWEVER SMOKE
FROM A FIRE JUST NORTHWEST OF LAKE OKEECHOBEE MAY LOCALLY RESTRICT
VISIBILITY TO 3 TO 5 NM FROM ABOUT FORT MYERS TO VENICE.

&&

.MARINE...GENERALLY EAST WINDS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY UNDER
HIGH PRESSURE AND THEN BECOME MORE S/SE THROUGH THE WEEKEND AS LOW
PRESSURE DEVELOPS IN THE GULF. SCEC WILL CONTINUE THROUGH 10AM
WITH WINDS THEN SUBSIDING THROUGH THE AFTERNOON TO 10 TO 15 KNOTS.
WILL AGAIN HAVE AN EVENING SURGE TO NEAR SCEC VALUES TONIGHT.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...RHS AGAIN EXPECTED TO FALL BELOW 35 PERCENT ACROSS
THE NORTH FOR 1 TO 3 HOURS THIS AFTERNOON. MOISTURE THEN EXPECTED
TO INCREASE THROUGH THE REST OF THE WEEK. WILL CONTINUE TO
HEADLINE LOW RHS ACROSS THE NORTH IN THE FWF BUT NO WARNINGS
REQUIRED ATTM.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
TPA 90 69 90 71 / 10 10 10 10
FMY 90 68 90 69 / 20 10 20 20
GIF 90 67 90 70 / 10 10 10 10
SRQ 90 67 90 68 / 10 10 10 10
BKV 90 62 90 64 / 10 10 10 10
SPG 88 73 89 74 / 10 10 10 10

&&

.TBW WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
FL...NONE.
GULF WATERS...SMALL CRAFT EXERCISE CAUTION UNTIL 10 AM EDT THIS MORNING FOR
BONITA BEACH TO ENGLEWOOD OUT 20 TO 60 NM-ENGLEWOOD TO
TARPON SPRINGS OUT 20 TO 60 NM-TARPON SPRINGS TO SUWANNEE
RIVER OUT 20 TO 60 NM.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM/MARINE...24
LONG TERM/AVIATION...13



498. Patrap
7:30 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
A few words about Tropical Model consensus...Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
497. ElectricMonk
12:16 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
FLBoy,
Maybe I misunderstood...but I thought this blog is here for many to *LEARN* about tropical weather...that is the point of "discussion"...the exchange of ideas and knowledge. That implies not being afraid to ask questions of any time (blog topic related that is).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
496. RL3AO
7:30 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
TD-2E is looking pretty good this morning.
495. nash28
12:28 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Morning all. I am sure you have all seen that wacky CMC run this morning....

TS into Tampa Bay.
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494. Patrap
7:28 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
GOES IR Loop of Gulf of Mexico Link
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493. cajunkid
7:27 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
Maybe this will work Link

rough start today in OK
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491. weatherboykris
12:26 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
I liked HurricaneGeek's comment better!LOL
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489. NRAamy
5:22 AM PDT on May 30, 2007
Yeah, double ouch!!!
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488. weatherboykris
12:20 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: FLBoy at 12:08 PM GMT on May 30, 2007.

Guys like ricderr only know how to ask stupid questions on here. Because they know absolutely nothing about tropical weather.


Ouch
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487. Patrap
7:17 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
GOES Water Vapor Loop of Gulf and Caribbean Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
486. IKE
7:08 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
The only thing I'll say...instead of waiting for someone else to post the Melbourne, Miami and Key West updates...it's quicker to simply type in the cities and do it yourself.
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484. HurricaneGeek
8:02 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
The only stupid question is a question not asked!!!!
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483. groundman
12:01 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Thanks IKE and weatherboykris, we do need rain, only place the grass is really green is where the dog has watered it. LOL

479. HurricaneGeek
7:58 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
thanks IKE sorry...i ment development or no do u know
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477. IKE
6:57 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: HurricaneGeek at 6:56 AM CDT on May 30, 2007.
Good morning...whats up with the thunderstorms in the Yucatan cannel?


Looks like their moving east.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
475. IKE
6:54 AM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: groundman at 6:50 AM CDT on May 30, 2007.
Has anyone looked @ the gfs in 180 hr?? Being in S MS I'd like to know what the heck it means?
Link


It had the tropical/non-tropical low heading toward the Florida panhandle. It's back to moving it across southern Florida on the 06UTC run.
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474. HurricaneGeek
7:55 AM EDT on May 30, 2007
Good morning...whats up with the thunderstorms in the Yucatan cannel?
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473. ricderr
11:54 AM GMT on May 30, 2007
thanx flboy...you're approval means much...hows the salerno this morning?...by the way....the house there backed up to the water with the great anemometer wouldn't be yours would it?
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472. weatherboykris
11:52 AM GMT on May 30, 2007
Eh,it's a rainmaker groundman.Non-tropical too,which is odd given it's origins.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.