LPL Colloquium: Dr. Joellen Russell

Ocean World: Measuring and Predicting the Winds and Ocean Mixing that Set Our Transient Climate Response

Dr. Joellen Russell
University Distinguished Professor
University of Arizona, Dept. of Geosciences

Strong winds in storms over the ocean drive significant, two-way air-sea exchanges of carbon and heat. These spatially and temporally varying fluxes are vital to Earth’s climate system; this is especially true during the ongoing transient response to anthropogenic forcing where the ocean moderates the pace of carbon and heat increases in the atmosphere. Evaluating the ability of fully coupled climate models to accurately simulate the circulation and biogeochemistry relative to observations is crucial for closing the global carbon budget and for building confidence in climate model projections and advancing model fidelity. The lack of historical observations of key metrics associated with the circulation and biogeochemistry has led to large disagreement among Earth system model simulations, but the recent revolutions in autonomous ocean float technology and sensor design allow us to estimate ocean carbon and heat inventory changes in near real time. This shift from decadal surveys to a continual global ocean biogeochemistry data stream, in conjunction with satellite wind measurements and the latest Earth system models has moved ocean carbon into our operational oceanographic toolkit which is critical for enabling global carbon budget constraints and carbon accounting.

Host: Dr. Tyler Robinson


Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 3:45pm