Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




WATER WORLD
New ocean forecast could help predict fish habitat six months in advance
by Hannah Hickey
Seattle WA (SPX) Sep 05, 2013


A school of sardines in Italy. The tool will soon produce a months-long outlook for Pacific Northwest sardine habitat.

People are now used to long-term weather forecasts that predict what the coming winter may bring. But University of Washington researchers and federal scientists have developed the first long-term forecast of conditions that matter for Pacific Northwest fisheries.

"Being able to predict future phytoplankton blooms, ocean temperatures and low-oxygen events could help fisheries managers," said Samantha Siedlecki, a research scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.

"This is an experiment to produce the first seasonal prediction system for the ocean ecosystem. We are excited about the initial results, but there is more to learn and explore about this tool - not only in terms of the science, but also in terms of its application," she said.

In January, when the prototype was launched, it predicted unusually low oxygen this summer off the Olympic coast. People scoffed. But when an unusual low-oxygen patch developed off the Washington coast in July, some skeptics began to take the tool more seriously. The new tool predicts that low-oxygen trend will continue, and worsen, in coming months.

"We're taking the global climate model simulations and applying them to our coastal waters," said Nick Bond, a UW research meteorologist. "What's cutting edge is how the tool connects the ocean chemistry and biology."

Bond's research typically involves predicting ocean conditions decades in advance. But as Washington's state climatologist he distributes quarterly forecasts of the weather. With this project he decided to combine the two, taking a seasonal approach to marine forecasts.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration funded the project to create the tool and publish the two initial forecasts.

"Simply knowing if things are likely to get better, or worse, or stay the same, would be really useful," said collaborator Phil Levin, a biologist at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Early warning of negative trends, for example, could help to set quotas.

"Once you overharvest, a lot of regulations kick in," Levin said. "By avoiding overfishing you don't get penalized, you keep the stock healthier and you're able to maintain fishing at a sustainable level."

The tool is named the JISAO Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem, which the scientist dubbed J-SCOPE. It's still in its testing stage. It remains to be seen whether the low-oxygen prediction was just beginner's luck or is proof the tool can predict where strong phytoplankton blooms will end up causing low-oxygen conditions, Siedlecki said.

The tool uses global climate models that can predict elements of the weather up to nine months in advance. It feeds those results into a regional coastal ocean model developed by the UW Coastal Modeling Group that simulates the intricate subsea canyons, shelf breaks and river plumes of the Pacific Northwest coastline.

Siedlecki added a new UW oxygen model that calculates where currents and chemistry promote the growth of marine plants, or phytoplankton, and where those plants will decompose and, in turn, affect oxygen levels and other properties of the ocean water.

The end product is a nine-month forecast for Washington and Oregon sea surface temperatures, oxygen at various depths, acidity, and chlorophyll, a measure of the marine plants that feed most fish. Coming this fall are sardine habitat maps. Eventually researchers would like to publish forecasts specific to other fish, such as tuna and salmon.

The researchers fine-tuned their model by comparing results for past seasons with actual measurements collected by the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, or NANOOS. The UW-based association is hosting the forecasts as a forward-looking complement to its growing archive of Pacific Northwest ocean observations.

Siedlecki's analyses suggest the new tool is able to predict elements of the ocean ecosystem up to six months in advance.

Researchers will present the project this year to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the regulatory body for West Coast fisheries, and will work with NANOOS to reach tribal, state, and local fisheries managers.

If the forecasts prove reliable, they could eventually be part of a new management approach that requires knowing and predicting how different parts of the ocean ecosystem interact.

"The climate predictions have gotten to the point where they have six-month predictability globally, and the physics of the regional model and observational network are at the point where we're able to do this project," Siedlecki said.

.


Related Links
University of Washington
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Sea-level rise drives shoreline retreat in Hawaii
Manoa HI (SPX) Sep 05, 2013
Sea-level rise (SLR) has been isolated as a principal cause of coastal erosion in Hawaii. Differing rates of relative sea-level rise on the islands of Oahu and Maui, Hawaii remain as the best explanation for the difference in island-wide shoreline trends (that is, beach erosion or accretion) after examining other influences on shoreline change including waves, sediment supply and littoral proces ... read more


WATER WORLD
NASA spacecraft to study Moon's atmosphere

Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons"

NASA Prepares for First Virginia Coast Launch to Moon

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for OSIRIS-REx Mission

WATER WORLD
NASA Evaluates Four Candidate Sites for 2016 Mars Mission

Examining Rocks Around Boulder Field

We may all be Martians

Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

WATER WORLD
SpaceShipTwo commercial space liner breaks sound barrier in test

Andreas Mogensen set for Soyuz mission to ISS in 2015

NASA awards nearly $1.5B in support contracts

NSBRI and NASA Reduce Space Radiation Risks by Soliciting for Center of Space Radiation Research

WATER WORLD
China civilian technology satellites put into use

China to launch lunar lander by end of year: media

China launches three experimental satellites

Medical quarantine over for Shenzhou-10 astronauts

WATER WORLD
Russian cosmonaut set for space station mission resigns

Russian cosmonauts to start searching for bacterium corroding ISS body

Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk, Unfold Russian Flag in Space

Italian astronaut recounts spacewalk drowning terror

WATER WORLD
Arianespace to "reach for the stars" with its Soyuz launch of Europe's Gaia space surveyor spacecraft

Ariane 5 build-up is completed for Arianespace upcoming flight with EUTELSAT

Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program

The go-ahead is given for Ariane 5 mission to orbit EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7

WATER WORLD
Observations strongly suggest distant super-Earth has water atmosphere

Waking up to a new year

Study: Planets might be 'born free' without a parent star

Distant planet sets speed record by orbiting its star every 8.5 hours

WATER WORLD
World's First Full Color 3D Desktop Printer Destined For High Schools

Lockheed Martin-Built A2100 Satellites: Over 400 Cumulative Years In Orbit And Counting

GSAT-7 Satellite Placed in Geosynchronous Orbit

A completely new atomic crystal dynamic of the white pigment titanium dioxide discovered




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement