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.
TENATSO Web Site
Thus far, TENATSO involves 3 main partners:
- project management
and biogeochemistry at IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel Germany under the
lead of Doug Wallace;
- atmospheric studies, led by Lucy
Carpenter at Univ. of York (http://www.york.ac.uk/capeverde/);
- 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
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!
» TENATSO Web Site
» TENATSO- Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory
» Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofísica
» Ocean and Climate Change Institute