Local fishermen, surfers, and beachgoers know that ocean temperatures off California’s coast vary, often expectedly, and sometimes unexpectedly – you know, when the water is suddenly below sixty-degrees in the middle of an August heatwave! Join Scripps oceanographer and remote observation vehicle expert Katherine Zaba to learn how scientists deploy innovative ocean technology and just how these ingeniously built sentinels work to monitor and help us understand ocean warming phenomena, like marine heatwaves, the well-known “blob” and El Niño events, that affect not only California’s coastline, but our entire climate regime.
California’s unique geography, with some of the continent’s highest mountains situated close to the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean helps make California’s precipitation regime the most volatile in the country. This volatility, characterized by large natural swings between drought and extremely rainy years make water resource management in California notoriously difficult. Global climate change is expected to exacerbate the volatility by decreasing the frequency of regional precipitation while increasing its intensity. Join meteorologist Alexander Gershunov to learn how he and other researchers quantify and analyze this volatility to understand the mechanisms behind these changes, and project their anticipated impacts on California.
Ocean oxygen levels are changing globally as a result of both natural and human-influenced processes, and in some areas low oxygen events are becoming more common. While research on terrestrial animals has shown that low oxygen levels can affect vision – a vital function for finding food and shelter and avoiding predators – the impact of low oxygen on marine life is much less well understood.
Join Scripps postdoctoral scholar Lillian McCormick for an in depth look at how and why oxygen is changing in the ocean and how her research is providing insight into the impacts of low oxygen on vision in marine invertebrates. Learn about her stunning new research results, her plans for future investigations and what we can do about oxygen decline in the ocean.
Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) are regions of the global ocean that present low dissolved oxygen concentrations. Although they represent only a small fraction of the global ocean volume, they are considered to be an important sink for fixed nitrogen, contributing 30-50% of the oceanic nitrogen removal. They are important sources of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the latter also involved in the destruction of stratospheric ozone.
Focusing on his work in the tropical Pacific, Eddebbar explains what causes OMZs, how they are likely to change in response to climate change, and their potential to impact marine ecosystems and fisheries as climate warms.
Jeff Bowman is a biological oceanographer who studies marine microbial communities. In this presentation at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography he describes his group’s work in the Arctic as they seek to understand the ecological implications of changing sea ice conditions.
They are also preparing to participate in the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) Expedition, an unprecedented multi-national effort to study the high Arctic across a complete seasonal cycle.