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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869. sarepa
10:03 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
im gonna go and take a look at barbara with ma flight simulator be bak in 2 hours
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867. WPBHurricane05
5:59 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Well we don't have any invests in the Atlantic currently but the system in the GOM should bring much needed rainfall. Especially since Lake O has tied the all time record low of 8.97 feet the old record was in 2001.
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866. stormybil
9:57 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
channel 6 news in broward we are keeping close tabs on the devolping system to the south but anyhow it will be bringing alot of rain to so.fla. 2 to 4 inches or more starting on fri .
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865. IKE
4:58 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Pressures have fallen off and are lower then 24 hours ago at buoy 42056 at the Yucatan Basin...Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
864. sammywammybamy
5:51 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
StormW do you see anything Of these Two systems(invests) that might at least become a td and get shoved into florida

WPTV(Newschannel 5 in west palm beach)- "It might become a td really not sure yet but either way it will bring releif"
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862. FloridaScuba
9:45 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
south of cuba are just storms. what circ there is (which is VERY small) appears right off the nw tip of cuba, nne heading

Link
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861. Patrap
4:43 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
50 mile wide gust front here...Link
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860. sammywammybamy
5:40 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: StormW at 5:40 PM EDT on May 30, 2007.

Posted By: sammywammybamy at 9:38 PM GMT on May 30, 2007.

Does anyone Think that that LinkThat it could become a td then Cross over cuba become a Ts and slam into Southwest Florida? What is the senerio for this now

With all respect for weather and hurricanes-Sam

Which part are you asking about...the convection on the western tip of Cuba?


South of cuba storm W
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859. RL3AO
4:42 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: sammywammybamy at 4:38 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
Does anyone Think that that LinkThat it could become a td then Cross over cuba become a Ts and slam into Southwest Florida? What is the senerio for this now

With all respect for weather and hurricanes-Sam


No. It doesnt have 60 hours in light shear conditions to develop.
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858. PBG00
9:42 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Hey everyone..
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857. WPBHurricane05
5:40 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
sammywammybamy-

I doubt that it will develop as shear is too high, but this is expected to bring beneficial rainfall to Central and South Florida.
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856. nolesjeff
9:40 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
good evening everyone
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853. sammywammybamy
5:35 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Does anyone Think that that LinkThat it could become a td then Cross over cuba become a Ts and slam into Southwest Florida? What is the senerio for this now

With all respect for weather and hurricanes-Sam
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852. i12BNEi
9:25 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Hello all.
Looks like the center is not moving much.Pinellas county in west central florida is getting some breeze and my sand (formally known as my yard)is blowing away.

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851. StormJunkie
9:21 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Dang, did not even realize it. We have a tropical wave off of Africa. Looks to be imbedded in the ITCZ around 5N 35W and not likely to do much, but there none the less...
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850. WPBHurricane05
5:22 PM EDT on May 30, 2007

NA

Click on the image to make it larger.
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849. Patrap
4:23 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
GOES IR Loop of Gulf of MexicoLink
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848. moonlightcowboy
9:19 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Thanks, SJ. If she moves east, wouldn't that put it into the Caribbean, instead of the GOM? I know shear's been high in the GOM, but thought it was relaxing in the Caribbean.

Sure, I'm guessing that's all a long shot, but could be our next storm still. Strange things happen sometimes...remember Lenny?
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
847. sammywammybamy
5:19 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Link
That is the gulf infared

Well than it looks like a TD do u see that under cuba looks like it might have a good chance!
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846. WPBHurricane05
5:19 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Well your path RL3AO lies within the cone of error so it is possible.
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845. Patrap
4:18 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Its a topic some can decipher here..Im sure.Link
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844. RL3AO
4:15 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
It will need to take this path and gain some speed if it wants to make it into the GOM.

1
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843. StormJunkie
9:16 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
moonlight, I think shear is forecasted to increase across that area over the next week, but am not certain.
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842. stormybil
9:10 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
of corse by crossing over it should be downgraded but the specs show 15 n 94 west in 120 hr as ats with 70mph winds now question if that holds true and with the steering currents set would it still track east ang get stronger it is a longrange but anbyone want to post a track they think will be in play
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841. WPBHurricane05
5:09 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
Thanks for the correction.

Anyway one of the more recent storm to crossover is Hurricane Cesar-Douglas
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840. moonlightcowboy
9:08 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Obviously, it's likely to lose its LLC, but isn't very possible, considering its location, little shear, that indeed it could re-emerge as Barry?
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
839. RL3AO
4:09 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Normally when you have storms crossing oceans its crossing north of Panama. I doubt a storm has ever crossed the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and remained tropical.
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838. StormJunkie
9:08 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Sweet, so we could have two B storms in one year...Not gonna happen though...
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837. RL3AO
4:08 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 4:06 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
The name will be changed and it has happened before.


Not if it keeps its CoC.
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836. MichaelSTL
4:08 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
The name will be changed and it has happened before

Not anymore (since 2001).
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835. StormJunkie
9:06 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Evening y'all

Good question, although I highly doubt it will make the crossing intact.

So anyone know why it is taking the GFS so long to update on the FSU experimental site?
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834. WPBHurricane05
5:05 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
The name will be changed and it has happened before. But what I can remember it was from the Atlantic to the EPAC.
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833. RL3AO
4:04 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
If it made it into the GOM, it would be called Barbara if it keeps its center of circulation. And I dont believe a storm has gone from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but an Atlantic storm has gone into the Pacific numerous times.
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832. MichaelSTL
4:05 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: moonlightcowboy at 4:01 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
...if Barbara crosses over into the Caribbean, will it undergo a sex change and become Barry???

Posted By: stormybil at 4:02 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
if barbra does go east ad makes it to the gulf as hurricane will it still be called barbra or will become barry ?. and has this ever happen before


Only if the LLC doesn't dissipate:

(source)
A tropical storm crosses from the Atlantic into the Pacific, or vice versa
It was the policy of National Hurricane Center (NHC) to rename a tropical storm which crossed from Atlantic into Pacific, or vice versa. Examples include Hurricane Cesar-Douglas in 1996, Hurricane Joan-Miriam in 1988,[15] and Hurricane Cosme-Allison in 1989.[16] Should a tropical cyclone during its passage over Mexico or Central America maintain its area of low pressure without dissipation into the adjacent tropical cyclone basin, it retains its name. However, a new name is given if the original surface circulation dissipates.[17] Up to now, there has been no tropical cyclone retaining its name during the passage from the Northeast Pacific to the Atlantic basin, or vice versa, since the policy change in 2001.
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831. weatherboyfsu
9:01 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Hey you guys...What are you talking about? Theres nothing to be blogging about.....The fact that we could be making history with Barbara, thats nothing to be blogging about.... Im sorry i couldnt stand not picking at people....Have a good evening....
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830. stormybil
8:59 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
if barbra does go east ad makes it to the gulf as hurricane will it still be called barbra or will become barry ?. and has this ever happen before dam moonlight posted the same time lol
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829. moonlightcowboy
8:58 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
...if Barbara crosses over into the Caribbean, will it undergo a sex change and become Barry???
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
828. Patrap
3:56 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Barbara RAMSDIS Link
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827. MichaelSTL
3:55 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
But that could still be bad, seeing as she's only moving at 4 mph. =O


This could be really bad...

TROPICAL STORM BARBARA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022007
200 PM PDT WED MAY 30 2007

BARBARA HAS BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED THIS AFTERNOON...WITH THE
DEVELOPMENT OF TIGHTLY-CURVED BANDS NEAR THE CENTER. SATELLITE
INTENSITY ESTIMATES AT 18Z WERE 35 KT FROM SAB...45 KT FROM
TAFB...AND 47 KT FROM THE CIMSS ADT. BECAUSE A TRMM PASS AT 17Z
SUGGESTED THAT THE LOW-LEVEL AND MID-LEVEL CIRCULATIONS WERE NOT
YET WELL CONNECTED...I'M LEANING ON THE LOW SIDE OF THE SATELLITE
ESTIMATES FOR THE ADVISORY INTENSITY OF 40 KT. THE UPPER-LEVEL
OUTFLOW PATTERN IS STRONG AND BARBARA WILL REMAIN OVER VERY WARM
WATERS FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE SHIPS GUIDANCE TAKES BARBARA TO
HURRICANE STRENGTH IN A LITTLE OVER 24 HOURS...WHILE THE GFDL TAKES
48 HOURS TO DO SO. IN THE SHORT TERM...NORTHERLY FLOW CURRENTLY
UNDERCUTTING THE OUTFLOW SHOULD REACH THE CENTER OF BARBARA IN THE
NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO...WHICH COULD SLOW THE INTENSIFICATION...BUT I
SEE NO OTHER INHIBITING FACTORS AT THE MOMENT. THE OFFICIAL
INTENSITY FORECAST IS CLOSE TO A BLEND OF THE GFDL AND SHIPS
GUIDANCE.

THE EXPECTED SOUTHWARD MOTION HAS OCCURRED...AND THE INITIAL MOTION
IS NOW ESTIMATED AS 170/4. NORTHERLY FLOW BEHIND A MID- TO
UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH IN THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD RESULT IN A
CONTINUED SLOW SOUTHWARD MOTION OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE MODEL
GUIDANCE HAS SHIFTED CONSIDERABLY EASTWARD...AND MOSTLY NOW LIFTS
BARBARA NORTHWARD OR NORTHEASTWARD IN RESPONSE TO THE TROUGH. THE
12Z ECMWF HAS THE MOST EXTREME SOLUTION...BRINGING BARBARA ACROSS
GUATEMALA IN THREE DAYS
. THE ONLY REMAINING GUIDANCE FAVORING THE
NORTHWEST TRACK...INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...IS THE NOT QUITE YET
OPERATIONAL HWRF MODEL. AS MODELS OFTEN FLIP IN THESE KINDS OF
SITUATIONS...I'M NOT PREPARED TO MOVE AS FAR EAST AS MY
GUIDANCE...BUT I HAVE MADE A SIGNIFICANT EASTWARD ADJUSTMENT IN THE
OFFICIAL TRACK.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 30/2100Z 13.3N 97.1W 40 KT
12HR VT 31/0600Z 12.9N 97.1W 45 KT
24HR VT 31/1800Z 12.4N 96.9W 50 KT
36HR VT 01/0600Z 12.4N 96.7W 60 KT
48HR VT 01/1800Z 13.0N 96.4W 70 KT
72HR VT 02/1800Z 13.7N 96.4W 75 KT
96HR VT 03/1800Z 14.5N 96.5W 75 KT
120HR VT 04/1800Z 15.5N 97.0W 70 KT


Here is why.
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826. RL3AO
3:54 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 3:52 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
And still no public advisory.


I just think the NHC is getting lazy. :)
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825. IKE
3:54 PM CDT on May 30, 2007
Posted By: FloridaScuba at 3:52 PM CDT on May 30, 2007.
Things about to get interesting in Mexico.

it's ok, there isn't anyone there anymore


True...their all here at the local Wal-Mart in their SUV's.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
824. AnnOminous
3:51 PM EST on May 30, 2007
If Barbara does it Mexico (it appears she will), then at least she's only a cat 1. But that could still be bad, seeing as she's only moving at 4 mph. =O
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822. WPBHurricane05
4:51 PM EDT on May 30, 2007
And still no public advisory.

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821. FloridaScuba
8:51 PM GMT on May 30, 2007
Things about to get interesting in Mexico.

it's ok, there isn't anyone there anymore
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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.

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