Collaborative Research: High-Resolution Underway Air-Sea Observations in Drake Passage for Climate Science

Principal Investigator: 
Proposal Abstract: 

The project comprises the extension and analysis of a unique time series of physical and biogeochemical observations in and above the Southern Ocean in Drake Passage.  Since the late 1990s, high-density sampling of upper ocean temperature and salinity and continuous underway profiling of upper ocean currents have been made from the Antarctic Research and Supply Vessel, the ARSV Laurence M. Gould, that crosses Drake Passage on average 22 times a year. Continuous underway measurements of the near surface partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), together with discrete sea surface samples for total CO2 (TCO2), nutrients, d13C of TCO2 and salinity were added in 2002. Most recently, high-precision continuous measurements of atmospheric O2 and CO2 were added in 2012. Underway meteorological measurements have also been made on all cruises. The combined set of physical and biogeochemical measurements represents one of the most complete, longest running and densely sampled time series in the Southern Ocean with a combination of measurements taken from the atmosphere, the air-sea interface and the upper 1000 m of the ocean. The major goals of this project are to extend the observations in order to resolve the seasonal to decadal variability of both oceanic and atmospheric properties, to investigate the mechanisms driving variability and to detect changes in the ocean and overlying atmosphere.

External Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Britton Stephens, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Dr. Colm Sweeney, University of Colorado at Boulder
Start and End Date: 
September 2014 to August 2016