OCB Science Highlights

OCB Science Highlights

If you would like to have your recent publications featured on the OCB website and eNewsletter please contact ocb_news@whoi.edu. View our guidelines for writing a OCB Science Highlight.

OCB Joint Newsletter issue with US CLIVAR

February 16, 2017

A recent workshop co-sponsored by US CLIVAR, OCB, NOAA, PICES, and ICES, Forecasting ENSO impacts on marine ecosystems of the US West Coast, attempted to develop a framework for using ENSO forecasts from climate and statistical models in order to predict changes in key components of the marine ecosystem in the California Current System. Click […]

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A framework for ENSO predictability of marine ecosystem drivers along the US West Coast

February 16, 2017

The US West Coast eastern boundary upwelling system supports one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and is a primary source of ecosystem services for the US (e.g., fishing, shipping, and recreation). Long-term historical observations of physical and biological variables in this region have been collected since the 1950s (e.g., the CalCOFI […]

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ENSO impacts on ecosystem indicators in the California Current System

February 16, 2017

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events activate long-distance teleconnections through the atmosphere and ocean that can dramatically impact marine ecosystems along the West Coast of North America, affecting diverse organisms ranging from plankton to exploitable and protected species. Such ENSO-related changes to marine ecosystems can ultimately affect humans in many ways, including via depressed plankton and […]

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Dominant physical mechanisms driving ecosystem response to ENSO in the California Current System

February 16, 2017

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a dominant driver of interannual variability in the physical and biogeochemical state of the northeast Pacific, and, consequently, exerts considerable control over the ecological dynamics of the California Current System (CCS). In the CCS, upwelling is the proximate driver of elevated biological production, as it delivers nutrients to the […]

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ENSO diversity and its implications for US West Coast marine ecosystems

February 16, 2017

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant mode of tropical Pacific climate variability at interannual timescales, with profound influences on seasonal weather and ecosystems worldwide. In particular, the physical and biological conditions along the US West Coast, an area that supports one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, are strongly influenced […]

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Impact of ENSO on biogeochemistry and lower trophic level response in the California Current System

February 16, 2017

El Niño events are one of the “most spectacular instances of interannual variability in the ocean” with “profound consequences for climate and the ocean ecosystem” (Cane 1986). Perturbations in the atmosphere directly influence the ocean with long-term effects on environmental variability in the tropical Pacific Ocean as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) shifts between El […]

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Modeling to aid management of marine top predators in a changing climate

February 16, 2017

Marine top predators can include species that occupy a high trophic level (e.g., predatory sharks), have few predators (e.g., marine turtles), or can exert top-down control on food webs due to their large energetic demands (e.g., whales). While many species in the open ocean are widely distributed (e.g., Read et al. 2013; Reygondeau et al. […]

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Seasonal forecasts of ocean conditions in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

February 16, 2017

The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a productive coastal ecosystem extending from Baja California, Mexico, to British Columbia, Canada. High primary productivity is sustained by inputs of cooler, nutrient-rich waters during seasonal wind-driven upwelling in spring and summer. This high productivity fuels higher trophic levels, including highly valued commercial ($3.5B yr-1) and recreational […]

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A New Explanation for the Marine Methane Paradox

February 2, 2017

A large fraction of the ocean-to-atmosphere flux of methane occurs in well-oxygenated, open ocean oligotrophic gyres, a phenomenon seemingly at odds with well-known pathways of archaeal methane production under strictly anaerobic conditions. Nearly a decade ago, David Karl and colleagues at the University of Hawaii proposed that water column methane could arise from bacterial metabolism […]

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Subtropical Gyre Productivity Sustained by Lateral Nutrient Transport

December 20, 2016

Vertical processes are thought to dominate nutrient resupply across the ocean, however estimated vertical fluxes are insufficient to sustain observed net productivity in the thermally stratified subtropical gyres. A recent study by Letscher et al. (2016) published in Nature Geoscience used a global biogeochemical ocean model to quantify the importance of lateral transport and biological […]

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