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New Research Finds Climate-Critical Ocean Current System is Slowing

The global ocean has been heating up for decades, with records from the 1960s reporting a substantial rise in upper ocean heat content. Rising ocean temperatures also affect ocean currents, though there has yet to be a consensus on the strength or extent of those changes, or whether these changes will continue in the future. However, a new paper led by Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) scientist Alexey Mishonov documents, for the first time, a significant slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a crucial ocean current system that plays a vital role in regulating Earth’s climate.

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WOA23 annual mean sea water temperature for the 2015-2022 time period on 0.25 grid.

World Ocean Atlas 2023 Released

ESSIC/CISESS scientist Alexey Mishonov is one of the authors of the newly released World Ocean Atlas 2023. The World Ocean Atlas 2023 (WOA23) is a set of temperature, salinity, oxygen, phosphate, silicate, and nitrate means based on profile data from the World Ocean Database (WOD). WOA23 includes approximately 1.8 million new oceanographic casts added to the WOD since WOA18’s release, as well as renewed and updated quality controls. The database can be used to create boundaries and/or initial conditions for a variety of ocean models, verify numerical simulations of the ocean, and corroborate satellite data.

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Figure: Blue crabs spend their early larval stages in off-shore water, making them vulnerable to ocean circulation and other highly variable environmental phenomena. (Graphic from Maryland Sea Grant Chesapeake Quarterly, 2012.)

ESSIC at Blue Crab Data Workshop

The Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee held a Blue Crab Data Workshop from Dec 5-7 to review sources of environmental and biological data that may help model the blue crab population for improving the management of this important marine resource and iconic Chesapeake Bay delicacy. Ron Vogel, ESSIC/CISESS senior faculty specialist, participated in the workshop as a subject matter expert on environmental data sources from satellites to be used in the modeling research.

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Updated High-Resolution Northern North Pacific Regional Climatology Released

On November 7th, ESSIC/CISESS Scientist Alexey Mishonov and the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) released the Northern North Pacific regional climatology, version 2. This is a collection of high-resolution quality-controlled temperature and salinity fields retrieved from the latest World Ocean Database (WOD23) on standard depth levels from the sea surface to 5,200 m depth covering the period from 1955 to 2022.

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