|Michael Adam Alexander
The objective of this position is to better understand the processes that influence ocean variability and change, and their potential predictability on seasonal time scales, with a focus on conditions along US coasts. The coastal oceans provide critical habitat for invertebrates, fish and marine mammals. Physical as well as living marine resources are critical to commerce, human health and coastal tourism. Fluctuations in coastal sea level influence natural and manmade systems, and can cause flooding and damage infrastructure on multiple timescales. Coastal ocean conditions are influenced by basin-scale phenomena associated with ENSO and more regional processes such as upwelling, eddies and interactions with complex bathymetry.
Research on this project may involve using satellite derived data sets, coastal observations, high-resolution ocean reanalyses, empirical models and regional ocean models. The goal will be to better understand and predict sea surface and bottom temperature, biogeochemical variables such as oxygen, and sea level and its related impacts on coastal inundation. Ocean models, including a regional version of the Modular Ocean Model – version 6 (MOM6) currently under development, may be used to predict conditions in US coastal regions on seasonal to interannual time scales (Jacox et al. 2020) and also used to make future projections (Alexander et al. 2020). Hypotheses, such as how ENSO and other climate modes influence the coastal ocean or what is the role of ocean processes in generating and maintain marine heatwaves, may also be explored.
Alexander, M. A., S. Shin, J. D. Scott, E. Curchitser, C. Stock, 2020: The Response of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to Climate Change J. Climate, 33, 405–428, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0117.1
Jacox, M. G., and Coauthors, 2020: Seasonal-to-interannual prediction of U.S. coastal marine ecosystems: Forecast methods, mechanisms of predictability, and priority developments. Prog Oceanogr, 183, 102307, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2020.102307.
air-sea interaction; coastal processes; seasonal prediction; empirical models; regional ocean models