The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs

Ocean Studies Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C. 1994



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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs Ocean Studies Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with the general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The work was sponsored by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations's Office of Global Programs through the National Science Foundation Grant No. OCE-9313563-R. Such support does not constitute an endorsement of the views in this report by the sponsors. Cover art by Winslow Homer, titled "Eight Bells." Etching sculpted by John Dois Andrews, the Intaglio Guild. Special thanks to John Morrell. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 94-65573 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05043-X Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Box 285, Washington, DC 20055. B-320 Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs OCEAN STUDIES BOARD Current Members WILLIAM MERRELL, JR., Texas A&M University, Chair DONALD F. BOESCH, University of Maryland KENNETH BRINK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ROBERT CANNON, Stanford University BILIANA CICIN-SAIN, University of Delaware WILLIAM CURRY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution GORDON EATON, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory RANA FINE, University of Miami MICHAEL FREILICH, Oregon State University GORDON GREVE, Amoco Production Company ARTHUR R. M. NOWELL, University of Washington FRANK RICHTER, University of Chicago BRIAN ROTHSCHILD, University of Maryland PAUL STOFFA, University of Texas Members until December 31, 1993 CARL I. WUNSCH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair PETER G. BREWER, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute SALLIE W. CHISHOLM, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography ARNOLD L. GORDON, Columbia University DENNIS A. POWERS, Stanford University Staff MARY HOPE KATSOUROS, Director EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Staff Officer ROBIN PEUSER, Research Associate DAVID WILMOT, Research Associate MARY PECHACEK, Administrative Associate LAVONCYÉ MALLORY, Senior Secretary CURTIS TAYLOR, Office Assistant

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, The Johns Hopkins University, Chair PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Administrative Assistant

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs Contents     PREFACE   vii     INTRODUCTION   1     THE CONTEMPORARY SYSTEM   7     Global Ocean Observing System   9     Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Program   10     World Ocean Circulation Experiment   15     Joint Global Ocean Flux Study   21     Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics   24     Atlantic Climate Change Program   28     Arctic Systems Science   32     Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate Project   35     A Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction Program   36     Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone   38     THE GEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE   39     Ocean Drilling Program   41     Ridge Inter-Disciplinary Global Experiments   45

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs     The Global Change and Climate History Program of the U.S. Geological Survey   51     Marine Aspects of Earth System History   54     CROSSCUTTING ISSUES   57     Platforms for Observation and Collection   57     Long Time Series   58     Satellites   59     Data Management and Availability   60     CONCLUSIONS   61 APPENDIX I-   List of Acronyms   63 APPENDIX II-   Parameters of Importance for Understanding the Ocean's Role in Global Change   67 APPENDIX III-   Bibliography, Program Documents, and Addresses   71

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs Preface The ocean plays a predominant role in regulating both natural and human-induced changes in the planet. The role of ocean circulation and the coupling of the ocean and the atmosphere are basic to understanding Earth's changing climate. Regional events such as El Niño and ocean margin and equatorial upwelling influence climate on both seasonal and longer time scales. The world's population is now large enough to alter the chemical composition of the ocean and atmosphere and to impact the biological composition of Earth. (Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1992) The Ocean Studies Board (OSB) report, Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships, highlighted the research programs that contribute to an understanding of the ocean's role in Earth systems. It stressed the importance of developing new partnerships between the federal government and the academic oceanographic community. These partnerships must be based on information transfer among participants. The Ocean Studies Board has strived to accomplish this communication and education in the form of brief

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs summaries of the major research programs, first in 1990, and now at the beginning of 1994. The OSB published The Ocean's Role in Global Change: The Contemporary System—An Overview of Major Research Programs in 1990. It described the major research programs that were ongoing or planned at that time, specifically those designed to study the role of the ocean in short-term climate variability. Since that time, many of the programs described have made substantial progress, and new programs that contribute to the study of global change have been planned and initiated. In addition, the 1990 report did not describe research programs that seek to understand long-term variations ranging from thousands to millions of years—the geological perspective. The OSB has written The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs to report the progress of the major oceanographic research programs in the past few years. The information necessary for this update was provided by program offices, federal agencies that fund these programs, and the scientists who lead the research efforts, with guidance and overview provided by OSB members. This document does not evaluate or review the research programs. It is intended to serve as an educational reference document for scientists, administrators, managers, Congress, and the public. The OSB anticipates a follow-up study to look at the out-years of the research programs and anticipate where the next-generation projects relating to the ocean's role in global change should be focused. The OSB also looks forward to working closely with the National Research Council's Board on Global Change as it continues to study the ocean's role in global change. WILLIAM MERRELL Ocean Studies Board, Chairman

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The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs The Ocean's Role in Global Change: Progress of Major Research Programs

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