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TENATSO - Cape Verde time-series

Establishing Long-term Ocean-atmospheric Observations on Cape Verde
Observation is fundamental to understanding global change. Atmospheric changes impact marine ecosystems and the atmosphere is influenced by ocean physical and biogeochemical processes. Many impacts and feedbacks on climate change are associated with the tropics. For the ocean’s role as a C sink, upwelling and high productivity regions in the western Atlantic off Africa are of particular importance.

Image 1. An example from a short-term winter S-type dust plume above the eastern North Atlantic (SeaWiFS, February 2002, taken from Fisher et al., 2007)

We are at an exciting moment when a new ocean and atmospheric time-series program is being established on Cape Verde Island (16°N 24°W). European colleagues have initiated the launch of “TENATSO”, the Tropical Eastern North Atlantic Time-Series Observatory. The TENATSO site is situated in one of the dustiest ocean regions, so it is an ideal site to be looking at dust input to the ocean and transport of mineral particles through the ocean twilight zone. We are also interested in the supply of iron to marine surface waters. The question of iron supply to the ocean and the balance of vertical vs. horizontal sources remains a key unresolved question in our understanding of ocean productivity and possible climate induced changes to the Fe and C cycle.

Thus far, TENATSO involves 3 main partners:

  1. project management and biogeochemistry at IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel Germany under the lead of Doug Wallace;
  2. atmospheric studies, led by Lucy Carpenter at Univ. of York (; and
  3. atmospheric and ocean time-series sampling and primary analyses at Cape Verde under supervision of Drs. J. Pimenta and O. Melicio on Cape Verde.

Image 2. INDP research ship (R/V Islandia) in dry dock at Mindelo.

A WHOI Ocean and Climate Change Institute Institute proposal was recently awarded to Ken Buesseler and Jim Valdes to join with Cape Verde scientists on their new research vessel, the R/V Islandia for sampling. So expect more news, updates and research results as this project takes off in 2007.

Image 3. Location of new TENATSO atmospheric and ocean sampling sites on Cape Verde.

What is SIRENA?
SIRENA is a "what", not a "who". It's the acronym for a project to investigate the influence of the continental margin as a source of iron to the open ocean, and it includes sampling near Cape Verde, including the TENATSO site and collaborationwith scientists in the Instituto Nacional De Desenvolvimento Das Pescas (INDP).

Image 4. Cape Verde is a dusty place indeed!

Related Links
» TENATSO Web Site
» TENATSO- Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory
» Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofísica
» Ocean and Climate Change Institute

U.S. National Science Foundation

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation.



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