Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, by Josefino Comiso

By Josefino Comiso


Only a couple of centuries in the past, we knew little or no approximately our planet Earth. The Earth used to be thought of flat through many even though it used to be postulated through a couple of like Aristotle that it's round in keeping with observations that integrated the examine of lunar eclipses. a lot later, Christopher Columbus effectively sailed to the West to find the hot international and Ferdinand Magellan’s send circumnavigated the globe to end up as soon as and for all that the Earth is certainly a sphere. world wide navigation and explorations that made it transparent that the Earth is massive and quite very unlikely to review completely by way of foot or by means of water. the arrival of air trip made it much more straightforward to do exploratory reviews and enabled the mapping of the limits of continents and the oceans. yet plane assurance was once restricted and it was once now not till the satellite tv for pc period that complete cov- erage of the Earth’s floor grew to become available.

Many of the early satellites have been learn satellites and that intended partly the improvement of engineering dimension platforms with out convinced purposes in brain. The Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) used to be a vintage for instance. The sensor was once outfitted with the concept that it can be valuable for meteorological learn and particularly rainfall reviews over the oceans, yet luck during this sector of research was once very constrained. It grew to become out that the most interesting purposes of this sensor was once within the examine of the ocean ice hide because the emissivi- ties of frozen and liquid sea water grew to become out to be very assorted. for hundreds of years, the ocean ice hide used to be simply considered as part of the frozen North (or South) and no-one to check it other than the few curious scientists and explorers who felt that it should be vital because it is so sizeable. through the chilly conflict, the army did loads of examine at the topic yet such experiences have been in most cases categorized as the ice lined Arctic Ocean was once a part of a strategic war and used to be an excellent position for a good armed nuclear submarine to move with out being detected. It was once quickly learned that the ocean ice disguise and the polar oceans are very important entities to review, not only for army but additionally for fiscal, environmental, and climatic reasons.

ESMR used to be one of the first sensors to photo and represent the whole polar areas every day. It was once the 1st sensor to bare the genuine volume and distribu- tion of the worldwide sea ice conceal in addition to its seasonal variability. information from ESMR ended in many unforeseen discoveries, together with the lifestyles of an surprisingly huge iciness Polynya (unfrozen floor water in the ice pack) within the Weddell Sea within the Seventies, the dimensions and endurance of that's counter intuitive and nonetheless a topic of clinical inquiry as much as at the present time. we've come a ways considering ESMR. Many sensors even more complex than ESMR were introduced delivering us with huge, immense services for learning the complex procedures taking place within the polar areas and the range of a few of the parameters which are being measured by means of satellite tv for pc sensors. satellite tv for pc facts are actually able to delivering a close background of the evolution of our planet over the last 3 a long time together with that of the polar regions.

This publication offers introductory fabric concerning the polar oceans, extra specifi- cally the ice lined parts and peripheral seas as saw via satellite tv for pc sensors. I owe loads of fabrics for this booklet from many specialists within the box a few of whom I labored with as co-investigators and collaborators. I specifically are looking to show my gratitude to my NASA/Goddard colleagues together with, Drs. Jay Zwally, in step with Gloersen, Claire Parkinson, Chuck McClain, Frank Carsey, Bob Bindschadler, and Don Cavalieri for a few years of collaborative experiences. My past love was once particle physics and it was once Jay who made me observe that the learn of the polar areas and weather is a vital and a truly interesting continuation of physics study. The encouragements and aid of Drs. Stan Wilson, Bob Thomas and extra lately, Waleed Abdalati, Seelye Martin, and Tom Wagner who controlled or manages the Cryospheric Sciences software at NASA headquarters made it attainable for me to do polar study at GSFC through the years. i'm specifically thankful to Dr. Norbert Untersteiner and Dr. Willy Weeks for lots of in-depth discussions in regards to the polar weather process and the problematic approaches linked to the ocean ice disguise. i've got benefited from shut collaborations with Drs. Arnold Gordon, Peter Wadhams, Stan Jacob, Steve Ackley, Manfred Lange, Neal Sullivan, Walker Smith, Koni Steffen, Rob Massom, and Ron Kwok. The writing of this ebook used to be began in 2006 whereas i used to be a fellow of the japanese Society for the promoting of technology and dealing as a visitor Professor at Chiba college, and i'm thankful to Prof. Fumihiko Nishio, who was once my host, for his encouragements and type hospitality. Larry inventory of SGT and Robert Gersten of Adnet/RSIS have supplied me first-class software- ming and research help at GSFC over the last a number of years, and that i delight in greatly their devoted efforts. final yet now not least, I desire to thank my spouse, Diana, my sons Glen and David and my daughter Melissa for encouragements and persistence not only through the interval of e-book writing yet all through my complete occupation as a polar researcher and adventurer. many beneficial reviews and recommendations have been supplied by means of Drs. Arthur Cracknell of the collage of Dundee, united kingdom, Markus Thorston, Head of the NASA Cryospheric Sciences department, Lawrence Mysak of McGill collage and Edward Hanna of the collage of Sheffield, united kingdom. My daughter Melissa, daughter-in-law Cindy, and my spouse Diana additionally supplied a few editorial help.

While penning this publication, my mom, who have been a good resource of notion all my lifestyles, died on the age of a hundred years. It was once a big own loss for me, my brothers, and sisters however it is remarkable to gain that we will stay to be centenarians and may be able to event an important window of our altering planet and its altering weather. Our present number of non-stop satellite tv for pc info is just a couple of a long time lengthy yet we've definitely discovered much from them concerning the Earth’s environmental and weather method and individually saw the sophisticated yet vital adjustments because the release of Sputnik within the past due Nineteen Fifties. With the entire satellite tv for pc information we've got and with the arrival of foreign ventures just like the international Earth commentary procedure of all structures (GEOSS), we are going to locate the solutions of a lot of our present questions, yet while, we'll certainly locate many extra questions that must be replied. The advances in our knowing of the Earth’s weather engine, together with the impression of the polar oceans were tremen- dous and we glance ahead to having the ability to forecast successfully the country of our planet within the instant and foreseeable destiny.

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Additional resources for Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, Polar Oceans from Space

Sample text

At the same time, phytoplankton growth and therefore marine life in the euphotic zone is enhanced due to the abundance of nutrients. Surface cooling causes the release of heat fluxes to the sub-Antarctic atmosphere causing the latter to be relatively warm. A number of distinct fronts along the ACC based primarily from studies by Orsi et al. 8. One is the subtropical front indicated by the northernmost contour line. This is the boundary between the subtropical waters that are warm and salty and the subpolar waters that are relatively cooler.

4 (Rudels et al. 1994). It has been observed that the contributions to the intermediate water from the Fram Strait and the Barents Sea are about of equal strengths. The contributions from the warmer, more saline Fram Strait are of relatively lower densities while those of the fresher, colder Barents Sea are of higher densities. Ocean circulation is driven mainly by changes in water mass density, wind, current, and topography. The density of water changes with location and season and is influenced mainly by salinity and temperature.

The farthest contour to the south is the Southern Boundary Front which is the location where very dense abyssal waters upwell to at least above the 100 m depth. The complex processes occurring in the polar regions make the surface deviate significantly from average geopotential heights. Such deviations are often referred to as relative dynamic topography. There are some semipermanent features such as the ACC and the Antarctic Fronts that stand out in relative dynamic topography maps. There are also transient features like internal waves and mesoscale eddies that perturb the ocean surface and cause the surface height to significantly deviate from average climatic conditions.

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