25 Minutes -- February 8-10, 1995
U.S. JGOFS Scientific Steering Committee Meeting
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL
Scientific Steering Committee Members: R. Anderson, R. Bidigare, P. Brewer, O. Brown (chairman), A. Dickson, S. Doney, R. Feely, G. Feldman, W. Gardner, T. Hayward, M. Lewis, D. McGillicuddy, J. Murray, B. Prezelin, W. Smith, B. Ward
Time-Series Programs: D. Karl, A. Knap
U.S. JGOFS Planning Office: M. Bowles, C. Hammond, H. Livingston, M. Zawoysky
NSF: N. Andersen, R. Hanson, B. Lettau, M. Reeve, D. Rice
ONR: R. Tipper
NOAA: J. Todd, R. Fauquet
Guests: F. Millero, J. Sharp
Chairman Otis Brown welcomed steering committee members, guests and government agency representatives to RSMAS and inaugurated introductions around the room. He noted that data systems manager Chris Hammond had set up several computers with the U.S. JGOFS home page and database management system on them and was prepared to demonstrate their uses to anyone who was interested.
For the benefit of the new members, Otis reviewed the current division of labor between the U.S. JGOFS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and the Implementation Committee, which comprises the coordinators of the various process studies as well as members of the Executive Committee. The aim of the division is to split off short-term decision-making and oversight of particular components of the program from the long-term science and policy issues. The latter are the purview of the SSC.
25.2 NSF Budget Projections
Neil Andersen, NSF Program Director for Chemical Oceanography, presented an update on the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences budget for U.S. JGOFS. As the tables in Appendix 1 show, the U.S. JGOFS budget has a $2 million deficit for FY 1995. The level-funding scenario shows a $658,000 deficit for 1996 and roughly $4.4 million available for FY 1997. An incremental funding scenario shows $1.5 million available for FY 1996 and $5.1 million for FY 1997. Monies to cover the deficit have been borrowed from core funds, Neil said, but these will have to be replaced. Thus the deficit will be carried forward. OCE money for new projects will not be available until FY 1997 unless funds are added to the budget. The figures presented do not include support for U.S. JGOFS provided from the NSF Office of Polar Programs.
Mike Reeve, head of NSF Ocean Sciences Research Section, discussed prospects for global change funds in the future. These funds are managed at an interagency level with directives from the White House, he noted, adding that new interest has arisen in spending some portions of these funds on the human dimensions of global change. Global change funding for science may decrease accordingly, he added.
25.3 Time-Series Programs: BATS
Tony Knap began the discussion of U.S. JGOFS time-series programs with an update on the Bermuda-Atlantic Time-Series (BATS) program. BATS participants have made 75 station visits since May, 1988, when the program began, roughly one a month. These include time-series sampling cruises, bloom studies and occasional other projects. Tony discussed new projects underway and showed a list of ancillary studies conducted on BATS cruises, some continuing and some no longer funded. He also discussed a new NASA satellite program that focuses on measuring primary productivity.
BATS data reports 1 through 4 are out, and no. 5 will be out by August. These data sets are available via ftp and the BATS and U.S. JGOFS home pages on the World Wide Web. The fourth version of the BATS methods manual is now available, and the JGOFS methods manual is finally done and in the hands of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Tony noted that working on the U.S. JGOFS Implementation Plan required revisiting the question of the status and role of the time-series programs. Among their intended purposes is to serve as test beds for trying out new ideas. ONR has funded an investigator to deploy a mooring near the BATS site off Bermuda. This mooring, which will be recovered and redeployed every four months, presents an opportunity for researchers interested in testing sensors. Data from the mooring will be transferred via satellite. If the scientific community evinces interest, BBSR will try to find continuing funding for the mooring.
Committee members observed that the mooring was a good addition to the time-series capability, given the need to develop continuously recording, autonomous instruments. The monthly time-series measurements have shown a far higher level of short-term variation in oceanic conditions in the oligotrophic gyres than previously thought.
25.4 Time-Series Programs: HOT
Dave Karl continued the discussion of U.S. JGOFS time-series programs with a presentation on the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program. HOT had a total of nine cruises during 1994, all on R/V Moana Wave, which is more available than in previous years because of the lessening demand for cruises in the Pacific. Moana Wave will be available for nine cruises during 1995; HOT personnel hope to use R/V Polar Duke for a cruise in June and R/V Maurice Ewing for one in July. The slackening demand for Moana Wave has greatly eased the HOT program's previous struggles to obtain ships for the monthly cruises.
Sediment traps were recovered in October, not without adventure, and were to have been redeployed in February. The trap data show the value of continuous measurements, Dave noted. Two years' worth of data show two peaks in the export of particles from surface waters each year, one in early spring and one in late summer. HOT researchers are convinced that these pulses are driven by nitrogen fixing.
HOT data reports 1 through 5 are out and available. HOT has its own home page, accessible via Mosaic on the World Wide Web. The HOT home page has links to others, including U.S. JGOFS. Dave also noted that Deep Sea Research will publish a volume on time-series studies next year that will contain papers from both HOT and BATS.
Dave described efforts to affiliate both HOT and BATS with NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, a network of terrestrial research sites and programs. The only current LTER site with a marine focus is the one at Palmer Station, Antarctica.
Dave also reviewed ongoing and future HOT projects and participants. As with the BATS program, a number of ancillary projects make use of HOT cruises. These include core measurements at the HOT site, underway measurements, a drifter program, phosphorus dynamics and a bio-optical mooring. Proposals planned include one with a subset of the original Oligotrophic Pacific (OPAC) study measurements. Plans are underway for a joint HOT-BATS science workshop next summer, probably in Hawaii.
A HOT "science talk" followed the update on current and future activities. Nutrient samples, important to both biologists and chemists making CO2 measurements are generally analysed fresh on board the ship. Dave showed data to support his argument that these samples could be frozen and analysed back in the laboratory. He also described a method for measuring silica, which occurs in the surface ocean in tiny amounts.
Dave also showed results for new and primary production and discussed the relationship between the particle flux as measured by sediment traps and production. He noted the rise in production in surface waters with the ENSO cycle of 1992 and the low flux. Changes in C/N, N/P and C/P ratios in ENSO years suggest a phosphorus-starved system. Dave noted that trichodesmium, a key species in controlling ecosystem element ratios, fixes nitrogen. The system becomes nitrogen-rich and phosphorus-poor.
25.5 Discussion of Program Synthesis
Bob Anderson introduced his talk on steps toward synthesis in U.S. JGOFS with a review of the discussion that occurred during and after the last SSC meeting in June 1994. Although all parties agreed on the importance of synthesizing the findings of the program as part of its legacy to the future, he observed, there was little discussion of objectives, strategy, priorities, oversight and scheduling. These all have implications for the support of synthesis activities.
Bob assembled the correspondence that followed the last SSC meeting and the chapter on modeling and synthesis written by Jorge Sarmiento for the U.S. JGOFS Implementation Plan and created a synopsis of the salient points, which he reviewed with the committee. Noting that Jorge's approach to synthesis was organized in terms of a hierarchy of models, Bob argued that an exclusive focus on modeling omitted important contributions to synthesis that might be made by other forms of scientific activity. He cited as examples developing improved constraints on Redfield ratios and their variability in time and space and developing a better understanding of long-term trends in the spatial distribution and flux of carbon, both within the ocean and between the ocean and the atmosphere. He pointed out that improving our understanding in these areas requires organizing and assessing huge data sets before modeling efforts can take place.
Bob proposed a paradigm as an aid to thinking about how we get from our observations to predictions and testing. He listed a set of tasks: characterization and evaluation, parameterization, understanding, prediction, and testing. He then associated them with three forms of activity: field programs, workshops, and modeling and assessment.
He followed with a scenario detailing synthesis at various levels of activity over time and the points at which further support would be needed (Appendix 2). The principal categories are individual participation in field programs, synthesis workshops for the process studies, science and synthesis workshops for the time-series programs, a summer modeling workshop, and directed synthesis activities requiring new funding. The latter includes: analysis of historical data and modeling in advance of field studies and the transfer of knowledge from one study to the next; development of an overview of the carbon cycle for field programs; incorporation of new information about rates, processes and response to forcing into regional and global modeling for both monitoring and prediction, and new insights into the ocean carbon cycle that makes use of JGOFS and related data.
Noting that he liked Bob's approach and that it was a good way to codify what needs to be done, Otis observed that U.S. JGOFS is already doing a lot of the things needed for synthesis but not others. Which of the latter are necessary now, and which can wait? Barbara Prezelin drew attention to the note on synthesis circulated by Scott Doney after the June SSC meeting and reminded everyone that support for modeling and synthesis would inevitably take resources from other U.S. JGOFS activities. Various committee members discussed the importance of bringing field researchers and modelers together, the value of small topical workshops for this purpose and the potential merits of opening workshops to outsiders. Jim Murray noted the importance of applying the lessons learned in one field study to subsequent ones in other parts of the world.
Otis pointed out that the modeling section of the Implementation Plan would include a discussion of synthesis but that other parts of the plan need to address the topic as well. He also noted that the new planning office budget proposal contained funds for an annual summer workshop designed to address the problem of synthesizing U.S. JGOFS results in a broad way.
Peter Brewer raised several concerns about the process of assessing the possibilities for synthesis in U.S. JGOFS. First, he noted that decisions about allocation of resources are likely to come primarily from the program managers. Second, he raised the problem of data assimilation and pointed out that U.S. JGOFS lacks the sort of operational forecasts and modeling at regional scales that is largely done by Navy laboratories. Finally, he expressed his unease with requesting more money for synthesis, fearing that it would create the impression that investigators were not completing funded projects.
Scott Doney agreed that operational forecasting had many uses, including data assimilation, but argued that models of this scale did not have the capability that JGOFS needs. If you want to look at long-term feedback between, for example, climate and CO2, you can't do it with these models, Scott said.
Otis asked the committee to consider where and when it should hand off the setting of priorities to the program managers. It was the committee's job to provide a general guide for the federal sponsors, he said, and it was not beyond its ability to build on Bob Anderson's good beginning. He would like to see the Implementation Plan address synthesis issues effectively and to develop an announcement of opportunity that will serve as a guideline for proposal review.
Barney Balch asked how WOCE was dealing with the problem of synthesis. Scott said that WOCE was at the same stage. Its modeling program had been disengaged from the field program; efforts were now being made to connect the two.
Mike Reeve noted that he was regularly asked about the progress of US JGOFS: its milestones, its products and its timetable. The subsequent discussion suggested that specific advances were beginning to emerge from the work of the small groups organized to synthesize the results of EqPac research. Bob Bidigare mentioned a better understanding of the factors that regulate biomass turnover, for example. Otis noted that EqPac results were helping to set limits on ocean carbon system parameters. Although we don't yet have a good mental model of the system, he said, we are beginning to be able to balance budgets.
Jim Murray asked about efforts at synthesis in earlier large programs such as GEOSECS or TTO. Peter observed that the atlases from these programs represented a real advance, but that times have changed. The political climate that brought about the global change funding has also brought a demand for "products" beyond models and predictions.
Concluding the discussion, Otis solicited and obtained SSC agreement with Bob's framework for thinking about synthesis in U.S. JGOFS. Bob agreed to include various suggestions in the outline he has put together. This framework will be used to guide the completion of the Implementation Plan and the formulation of an announcement of opportunity for synthesis projects.
25.6 Synthesis Revisited
The second day of the meeting began with further discussion of synthesis. Neil Andersen asked what the group had decided to do in response to Bob Anderson's presentation the previous day. Otis Brown suggested that the Implementation Plan be reworked to reflect the incremental approach Bob proposed. He also suggested that, rather than budgeting funds for synthesis as a separate activity, the program should build upon current activities and move into synthesis by degrees. After noting that ideas are not yet well enough defined to issue an announcement of opportunity for specific synthetic projects, Bob Anderson agreed to work through correspondence with other SSC members to refine the approach presented at the meeting.
Bob Bidigare asked whether it was premature to convene a mini-workshop of EqPac modelers and field researchers. Otis said that it was not premature but that it was up to the EqPac investigators, not the SSC, to propose such an activity to the planning office.
Otis then asked SSC members how they felt about a synthesis agenda that comprised a series of small topical workshops and one large meeting a year. He also asked whether synthesis in U.S. JGOFS should be a distinct activity with a chair and an announcement of opportunity. He pointed out the need to generate a plan and reiterated that the issue for the SSC was deciding whether this incremental approach to synthesis was the appropriate one. Spelling out a beginning effort in the planning office budget will get us started in this direction, he added, noting that this approach will fit within a constrained budget rather than disrupting other parts of the program by reallocating resources. He expressed his preference for an intersession discussion to refine specifics and stressed the need to build ties between synthesis activities and the rest of the program.
25.7 Time-Series Oversight Committee
Otis announced that Jim McCarthy has agreed to head the time-series oversight committee. The membership of the committee is not entirely settled as yet. The list will be circulated via email when it is complete. Discussion of plans for HOT and BATS after 1997 was deferred.
25.8 DOC Intercalibration Activities
Jon Sharp of the University of Delaware reviewed the progress to date of the steering committee charged with assessing the accuracy and comparability of DOC measurements. The measurement of DOC in ocean waters has attracted international interest over the last five years because of the wide differences in values obtained by different methods of measurement. The discovery that some of these measurements were inaccurate has added to the impetus to examine the way DOC is measured and to improve the accuracy of the methods.
The results from a workshop held in Seattle in 1991 to review methods for measuring DOC and DON revealed a problem with the blanks used to calibrate the instruments. The evaluation process that began with that meeting has grown into an international effort involving some 50 researchers in laboratories in a number of countries. In a recent exercise, the committee sent out blanks and "blind" water samples to participating analysts and compared the results. Participants used both high-temperature combustion (HTC) and wet chemical oxidation methods. As precision and accuracy improve, Jon said, the differences in results from these two methods are decreasing.
Although the reliability of instruments is increasing and measurements are becoming more precise and accurate, the analysis of DOC is difficult. Jon mentioned Ed Peltzer of WHOI and Craig Carlson of Horn Point as the most successful analysts at present. He concluded with a plea for more support for measurements of DOC and other hard-to-measure variables at the time-series stations. Supporting Jon's comments, Bob Bidigare noted that a high-quality, low-level technique for measuring ammonium is badly needed.
25.9 CO2 Survey
Frank Millero of RSMAS reported on the field program of the U.S. JGOFS CO2 survey, supported by DOE and carried out on WOCE Hydrographic Program (WHP) cruises. Cruises are currently underway in the Indian Ocean. A Brookhaven (BNL) team headed by Ken Johnson collected samples on WHP sections I8S and I9S during December and early January. A Princeton group headed by Chris Sabine was participating in a cruise along section I9N at the time of the SSC meeting. Princeton will cover I10 as well, and BNL will cover I5W and I4. Researchers from Hawaii will cover I7N, I8N and I5E; a WHOI group will cover I1; RSMAS will cover I3, and I2 will be shared by BNL and Lamont. Frank indicated that NOAA would carry out repeat surveys on some of these lines.
Standard references, provided by Andrew Dickson's laboratory at Scripps, are available for measurements of both TCO2 and alkalinity now. Research teams from eight countries got together at Scripps in June 1994 for an intercomparison of seagoing systems for measuring pCO2.
In response to a question from Peter Brewer on the status of the CO2 survey data, Frank said that the data were getting to CDIAC in a timely manner and that the managers at CDIAC were very helpful. The difficulty in getting the data reports out has been with WOCE, which has not been quick to release salinity and nutrient data from the survey cruises. Frank added that JGOFS investigators are now carrying their own salinometers on cruises.
Scott Doney noted that WOCE investigators participating in the Indian Ocean cruises are attempting to improve their communications. Andrew Dickson expressed the view that interactions with WOCE were improving this year. Otis Brown observed that there was no mechanical reason why the WOCE data should not be able to meet standards and be released within the six months that JGOFS has committed itself to. He also noted that all proposals end this year.
Andrew Dickson continued the presentation on the CO2 survey with an update on quality control activities, including standard methods, inter-laboratory comparisons and the use of reference materials. CDIAC has recently published a Handbook on Methods authored by Dickson and Catherine Goyet, another member of the CO2 survey team. Reference materials have been distributed to 11 labs in the U.S. and nine in other countries.
Andrew also described the workshop on seagoing pCO2 systems mentioned above. He noted that one of the obstacles to achieving truly comparable results is that different analysts use different units for presenting their data, wet versus dry air, for example.
Peter Brewer concluded the discussion of the CO2 program with a few comments on the split between IAPSO and IUGG over the 1995 meeting. Participants interested in interdisciplinary CO2 discussions are being forced to pick between meetings in separate locations. The consensus is that atmospheric and terrestrial scientists are likely to attend the IUGG meeting in Boulder, and oceanographers are likely to attend the IAPSO meeting in Hawaii. No one is happy about the split.
25.10 Buoys and Sensor Technology: Activities at MBARI
Peter Brewer reported on work at MBARI with various forms of sensors designed for continuous monitoring on buoys. MBARI has two buoys in Monterey Bay, one inshore and one offshore. He pointed out that these buoys offer a time-series site for investigators interested in testing sensors of various kinds. Instruments currently on the buoys include pCO2 sensors, fluorometers, spectrophotometers, nitrate sensors, ADCP, GPS, PAR sensors and atmospheric instruments. MBARI scientists involved are Gernot Friedrich, Francisco Chavez and Hans Jannasch.
MBARI is undertaking a cooperative program with NOAA, which plans to mount a gas-phase pCO2 sensor on a TOGA/TAO mooring in the equatorial Pacific in the fall of 1996. The aim is to get a good picture of seasonal variation and to extend the EqPac record. Jannasch has continuously recorded nitrate data from the buoy near Bermuda as well, Peter said.
The instrument builders at MBARI are working with counterparts in Silicon Valley on developing chips for chemical analysis. Peter showed slides and a sample of a multiple water sampler with a 25 ml syringe that can go in an ROV or AUV instrument package as well as on a buoy or a CTD. Biofouling presents a problem for these very small samplers, he noted. He concluded by pointing out that these technologies offer new opportunities for developing inexpensive and effective ways of observing the ocean.
25.11 Process Studies
25.11.1 North Atlantic
Scott Doney presented a timetable leading to a U.S. JGOFS study proposed for the North Atlantic in 1998 and reviewed both U.S. and international plans for research in the region. Two questions dominated his presentation and the discussion that followed: whether other demands on U.S. JGOFS resources precluded a return to the North Atlantic within the lifetime of the program, and whether a study could be designed and carried out that integrated earlier findings and addressed in a definitive way the question of oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2.
Scott described various studies planned by European JGOFS programs for the North Atlantic during 1996-97, noting that the U.S. would miss coordination with these efforts but that it could benefit from the results. They include a British project in the Irminger Sea, a German return to the North Atlantic Bloom Experiment (NABE) site, a time-series project in the Canary Islands and the Norwegian CARDEEP program.
WOCE plans field work in the North Atlantic during the same period (the Atlantic Climate Change Experiment). Because WOCE plans include a smaller focus on the WHP one-time survey, there will be fewer opportunities to collect JGOFS CO2 survey data.
Scott also summarized the results of a JGOFS North Atlantic Planning Group (NAPG) meeting held in Bermuda in April 1994. A report of this meeting is included in the briefing book. The main points were:
1. The carbon balance at Bermuda is not closed by a factor of two to three;
2. Modeling and data assimilation tools are currently available for a controlled volume experiment;
3. A controlled volume approach would be useful for time-series efforts but not for a basin-scale study.
Following this introductory summary, he presented a draft plan for the steering committee to consider. It had the following components:
1. a seasonal and basin-scale focus (beyond NABE II or Irminger Sea plans),
2. use of novel techniques and a pilot program for monitoring:
- including drifters, buoys, underway systems and data assimilation,
3. a combination of process, time-series and survey components to tie in with a seasonal pCO2 survey and the global CO2 survey,
4. a study of meridional chemical fluxes and gas exchange.
Scott next raised the question of whether U.S. JGOFS could or should consider a North Atlantic Field Study, noting both the competing demands for U.S. JGOFS resources and some of the major scientific arguments for doing such a study. He argued that a second North Atlantic study of the sort proposed would be much more synthetic than other JGOFS process studies in its scale and characteristics.
Meeting participants discussed the arguments for and against a North Atlantic process study, indicating considerable support for the idea of a basin-scale study with synthetic goals. Among the points raised was that a North Atlantic study able to address the question of oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 definitively would be really valuable. The question is whether this problem is tractable or not.
The committee agreed on several points: Scott would lay out the goals for the study and a plan for a full-day discussion on it. These items would be circulated to the SSC. A North Atlantic workshop would be held just before the next steering committee meeting and would evaluate the tractability of the anthropogenic CO2 flux question. Scott would include his plans for this workshop in his outline to the SSC.
25.11.2 Equatorial Pacific
Jim Murray reviewed U.S. EqPac activities since the last steering committee meeting, including presentations at the TOS meeting in July and progress toward completing the special issue of Deep-Sea Research. He noted that 48 papers have been submitted for this issue and that he expects a few more. Most of these are primary data papers, but several involve some level of synthesis and modeling.
Planning is underway for a NATO Advanced Research Workshop, to be held at ORSTOM Noumea in New Caledonia in June. Organizers are Murray, Robert LeBorgne, Yves Dandonneau and Mikhail Vinogradov. The product of the workshop is to be syntheses of various sorts; Jim plans to invite the leaders of the U.S. EqPac synthesis teams to participate.
Jim raised the question of producing an atlas from the equatorial Pacific studies. Peter Brewer noted that atlases are very expensive. Jim and Dick Feely agreed that PMEL could easily put existing figures on the U.S. JGOFS home page on the World Wide Web.
Asked to comment on the international JGOFS mid-life review, Jim mentioned the recommendation for more time-series studies and suggested that the new technologies discussed by Peter would aid the conversion from process studies to time-series studies in the Pacific. Dick showed a figure of data from a TOGA-TAO array in the equatorial Pacific and discussed a plan to install chemical sensors developed at MBARI on a NOAA buoy to be deployed in 1996 or 1997. The committee discussed the question of JGOFS endorsement for a time-series approach using NOAA buoys and MBARI instruments and decided that more information was needed.
The mid-life review also assessed some of the uncertainties in measurements that remain. They include the discrepancies in carbon flux as measured by 234Th versus sediment traps, primary productivity as measured by 14C versus net/gross production, Total Suspended Matter and Particulate Organic Carbon. Jim pointed out that the Arabian Sea studies will not address the first of these, but perhaps the second.
Finally, the JGOFS review noted that more modeling effort needs to be directed toward the effects of global change on fluxes. Jim discussed EqPac results in the light of that comment. He pointed to the changes observed in export of CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere during El Nino years as well as to shifts in winds and the warm pool and their relationship to El Nino conditions. Dick showed figures for CO2 fluxes in the central equatorial Pacific that corroborated Jim's comments.
Neil Andersen raised the question of resolving the discrepancies between Thorium-234 and sediment trap measurements of carbon flux, emphasizing his interest in seeing a resolution to this problem before more funds are committed to floating sediment trap studies. He expressed his hope that the topic would be addressed at the JGOFS symposium in Villefranche in May and his frustration at its absence from the list of topics to be covered.
After a discussion of some of the differences in U.S. and European perceptions of the merits of trap measurements, Jim reviewed some of the results from thorium and trap measurements of carbon flux in U.S. EqPac. He pointed out the areas of greatest convergence and divergence and noted the importance of depth as a factor in comparing results. He also reviewed the effects of different trap designs on the proportion of the particulate flux captured. Jim presented a set of calculations of average carbon fluxes for the spring and fall survey cruises in EqPac (primary production, new production, POC, potential DOC) and argued that many fluxes are no better known than the POC flux.
Steering committee members agreed that U.S. JGOFS wanted to see a discussion of floating sediment traps at the Villefranche meeting and that there should be a review of current status of trapping technology.
25.11.3 Arabian Sea
Since Sharon Smith was in Oman and unable to attend the meeting, Otis gave a short report on the status of the Arabian Sea Expedition. Cruises completed to date on R/V Thompson include an initial training and intercalibration cruise, deployment of the five air-sea interaction moorings, deployment of moored sediment traps, a SeaSoar cruise and the first process study cruise. The satellite receiving station has been installed in Muscat as well. During the first SeaSoar cruise, scientists aboard R/V Thompson carried out an intercomparison exercise with British colleagues aboard RRS Discovery, also conducting a study in Arabian Sea waters. All appears to be going well, Otis reported.
25.11.4 Southern Ocean
Walker Smith gave a brief talk on results from a late 1994 cruise in the Southern Ocean aboard the new icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. The focus of interest was the genesis and control of the phytoplankton bloom in the Ross Sea polynya. Researchers encountered a bloom of Phaeocystis, an unusual colonial alga, which gave way to a diatom bloom later in the season.
Bob Anderson brought the committee up to date on the status of the Southern Ocean process study. NSF's Office of Polar Programs (OPP) and Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) are providing support for modeling studies focused on the Southern Ocean; a joint JGOFS/GLOBEC announcement of opportunity is about to go out. A joint modeling workshop was held at Oregon State University in January; the goal was a set of recommendations on strategy for answering the scientific questions of the Southern Ocean study. Among the recommendations were a hierarchy of models rather than an attempt to develop a single model for the Southern Ocean, models with high spatial resolution, diagnostic techniques to be used to design sampling strategy, and rate measurements in addition to standing stock measurements.
Bob noted that the parameters that go into coupled biological-physical models do not come from JGOFS core measurements. His own recommendation is to focus resources on studying biogeochemical parameters and on measuring rates associated with them. He restated the major goals: developing an accurate picture of the air-sea flux of CO2 and figuring out why the phytoplankton do not use nutrients more efficiently (what limits productivity in the Southern Ocean?).
The next topic was MESH, (Marine Earth System History). This program, supported by the Geology and Geophysics division of NSF, has proposed a formal collaboration with JGOFS in the Southern Ocean; Bob has received a letter from Nick Pisias of Oregon State University on the subject. MESH wants JGOFS approval to lobby NSF for "directed research" relevancy review of proposals . MESH objectives are to look at proxies of past ocean conditions in the context of major biogeochemical process studies. The program will use isotopes, trace elements and species assemblages to glean information on past levels of nutrients, temperature, salinity, production, gas exchange and the like.
Bob noted that MESH had its own money and was not looking for JGOFS resources, but rather for access to ship space. Mike Reeve, Neil Andersen and Phil Taylor said they knew nothing about this proposal. Mike noted that MESH was a new global change program being supported by all three divisions of Geosciences. Otis noted the need for more information and asked for guidance from the NSF managers. He agreed to write a letter to Pisias expressing interest but specifying that Bob and Walker must be involved in planning any actual collaboration.
The draft announcement of opportunity for a U.S. JGOFS process study in the Southern Ocean is ready to go to NSF. It should go out by summer with a Sept. 1 deadline for proposals. In answer to a question about whether proposals should go to OCE or OPP or both, Bob and Otis reiterated that there was one announcement and thus proposals would be directed accordingly.
Field work is expected to start in October 1996. The plan has been to work at five locations along a transect that follows 175°W from the Chatham Islands to the Ross Sea, Bob said, although one zone could be eliminated without changing the research plan. The highest priority is the shelf system and polar front; the convergence zone is next in priority. The need to get a good look at the beginning of the annual bloom is driving the ship schedule, Bob added. The aim is to get right into the Ross Sea in October.
Original plans for the Southern Ocean study called for two ships, based on assumptions of joint support from OPP and OCE. But OCE funds are more constrained now; the only funds likely to be available in October 1996 will come from OPP, Bob said. Because there will not be enough money for two ships, research in the frontal zone will be delayed until 1997-98, extending the overall research period to 18 months.
Bob pointed out that the impact of this extension will be to delay U.S. JGOFS work in the North Atlantic for a year. NSF managers agreed that there was no choice but to do so. Otis observed that this necessity indicated that there might not be a North Atlantic study within the timeframe of U.S. JGOFS as it is currently figured. He noted further that it leads into a discussion of how and when U.S. JGOFS comes to a close. Wilf Gardner asked how this was being determined. Otis said that the committee had extended U.S. JGOFS until 2003 at a previous meeting and reiterated the importance of being clear about both schedule and resources in thinking about both Southern Ocean and North Atlantic studies as well as the final years of the program.
Scott Doney observed that the North Atlantic plans were too nebulous to be used to hold up the Southern Ocean study. Go with the Southern Ocean and don't worry about the North Atlantic for now, he suggested. Bob responded that the plan presented earlier by Scott for a North Atlantic study was the one that brought all the pieces of JGOFS together and did the most to meet the goals of the program. The study should be done, whatever we call it, he said.
The steering committee voted unanimously to accept the Southern Ocean plan that Bob had proposed. He asked members to look at the announcement of opportunity and to comment right away. Otis suggested that the announcement spell out the relationship between OPP and OCE and noted that this announcement was different from earlier JGOFS ones.
Scott Doney gave a brief presentation on the modeling section of the Implementation Plan. He listed types of models discussed in the plan and noted that the Southern Ocean study will require a class of model unlike the usual GCM. A different level of resolution will be needed, he added, suggesting that margin-basin models, coupled high-resolution models and complex ecosystems models would be useful.
Scott also described an international workshop on one-dimensional models planned for the fall. It will be held near Toulouse, France. All participants will receive a set of conditions beforehand with which to run their models to try to find areas of agreement and disagreement.
25.13 Status of SeaWiFS
Gene Feldman reviewed the status of the long-delayed SeaWiFS project. The launch date is still not certain. Testing of the spacecraft is beginning in February and continuing through April. SeaWiFS is currently scheduled for a Pegasus launch in December, although efforts are being made to get it moved to July. Gene encouraged the committee to put pressure on Orbital Sciences to devote more resources to the SeaWiFS project in order to speed up the launch of the satellite.
25.14 Implementation Plan
Hugh Livingston reviewed the status of the U.S. JGOFS Implementation Plan. The current version is included in the briefing book for the meeting. The major change since the last version was circulated is in the section on modeling and synthesis, written by Jorge Sarmiento, which incorporates comments from Bob Anderson and others.
Hugh pointed out that most of the plan was written before the committee began the current attempt to incorporate synthesis into U.S. JGOFS planning. All sections must be rewritten to include specific references to synthesis efforts of all sorts, not just modeling. The final plan should have standardized references to allocation of resources, including percentages of each annual budget to be allocated to each category of activity, as well as a time-line for each component of the program. The plan should track expected increases in synthesis efforts as the various fieldwork projects are completed. Hugh recommended that the committee reach a decision on future work in the North Atlantic before trying to complete a plan for allocating resources over time to each component of the program. He also listed the individuals responsible for completing each section of the plan and expressed his hope that the plan could be completed by late spring. These authors were to send their sections to Otis Brown for final editing before sending to the Planning Office for distribution.
Otis called for comments and questions on completing the Implementation Plan. In response to an observation from Andrew Dickson that it was difficult to use percentages of budget for allocating resources as opposed to real dollars, Otis pointed out that it was hard to know what the actual budget level would be each year. The operating assumption is that funding will remain level or possibly decrease slightly, he said.
Dennis McGillicuddy expressed difficulty in understanding, as a new member of the committee, how the pieces of the U.S. JGOFS program are linked. How do survey "snapshots" relate to time-series measurements, for example? He asked how the links would be made in the final analysis.
Otis observed that Dennis had hit upon the central problem with synthesizing results from the components of U.S. JGOFS. Efforts to link time-series and process studies have not really materialized. Process studies provide a look at coupling in oceanic systems. And time-series studies can be used to validate conceptual models. Peter Brewer reviewed some of the reasons for undertaking the different sorts of studies that make up JGOFS. Mike Reeve observed that part of the problem was the lack of the data expected from the SeaWiFS ocean color instrument, which should have provided some links between survey, time-series and process study observations.
Dennis asked whether the program was implementing the activities needed to carry out the synthesis that participants wanted. A discussion followed on the merits and problems of trying to balance the carbon budget on any particular oceanic scale. Otis noted that everyone had expected to have global satellite coverage to integrate the study.
Discussion continued on how to make the Implementation Plan more realistic and synthetic. Scott Doney suggested cutting out projects that would not get done but leaving the North Atlantic study in the plan as a contingency. He argued in favor of leaving the door open for smaller-scale process studies such as a controlled-volume study at Bermuda. He also suggested that the current proposal for spending and effort on modeling and synthesis was unrealistically high. Wilf Gardner agreed and noted that other forms of synthesis in addition to modeling should be included in the section of the plan that Jorge is working on. Bob Anderson noted that Jorge had agreed to do so and was looking for input from others. Otis asked that all revisions be submitted to the planning office by the end of March.
25.15 Data Management Report
Hugh Livingston presented a brief review of the history of U.S. JGOFS data management for the benefit of the new members of the committee. An operational data management system did not exist when the fieldwork programs began, he said. George Heimerdinger, liaison officer in the Northeast for the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), undertook the provision of traditional data management on an interim basis for both the North Atlantic Bloom Experiment and the Equatorial Pacific Process Study. At the same time, a team of scientists developed an object-oriented, distributed database system for U.S. JGOFS with support from NSF. As options were explored, the need for project data management became evident.
Finally a year or so ago, the planning office submitted a proposal to NSF to fund a data management office. The proposal was put together in consultation with the U.S. GLOBEC planning office, since the two programs had similar data management needs. It was funded last November, and the planning office is in the process of building a full-scale data management program. The data management team includes David Glover, who provides scientific oversight and a link to the data management system team; Chris Hammond, who serves as systems manager and technical director; George Heimerdinger, who provides liaison with NODC as well as quality control, and a new person (Kathryn Elder), who works part-time on general data management and provides liaison with investigators. The data management team meets regularly with Peter Wiebe, who is actively involved in U.S. GLOBEC data management.
Hugh stressed the importance of input from the committee and from U.S. JGOFS investigators. Marlon Lewis asked about links to the international program. Chris Hammond attended the JGOFS Data Management Task Team meeting in Tokyo last November and works closely with Roy Lowry, chairman of the task team.
Ron Fauquet of NODC said that the center would publish any CD ROMs the program wants without charge. He also brought to the committee's attention the NODC ocean bulletin board and said that NODC could serve as host for a U.S. JGOFS bulletin board as well.
Chris Hammond thanked Otis and the RSMAS staff for providing a work station and a MacIntosh, which she used to introduce those interested to the U.S. JGOFS Home Page and the data management system. She showed a picture of the home page and described links to various program elements. The system includes a way to go directly to data files as well as through various levels of information first. She noted that data can be served from both office and home work stations. At this point, Canada is the only other country with a JGOFS home page, but other programs are working on the matter.
Time-series data are available via the home pages of BATS and HOT as well as via the U.S. JGOFS Home Page. And global survey data are available via a link to the Carbon Dioxide Information and Analysis Center (CDIAC). A number of data sets are available from other programs as well. The main point is that users can get access to all U.S. JGOFS datasets and a number of others via the U.S. JGOFS Home Page and data management system.
Meeting participants also discussed Sybase, a relational database system that operates with a structured query language, in terms of searching, accessing and merging datasets.
Other national JGOFS programs do want to access and share data, Chris said. Programs in Norway, France and Canada have downloaded World Wide Web browsing software. Chris and Roy Lowry plan to test the system to make sure that the U.K. data are available via the World Wide Web.
Tom Hayward raised the question of security and access to U.S. JGOFS data. Chris said that she had given U.S. JGOFS data submission and access guidelines to U.S. GLOBEC representatives at their last joint meeting. Using the question of who gets access to Arabian Sea data as an example, she noted that the system was still evolving.
Dave Karl asked whether it was still necessary to publish annual reports for BATS and HOT, given the Web and the data management system. Tom said that the oversight committee had discussed this issue. Otis pointed out that annual reports currently serve several purposes and noted that we are not yet ready to do everything electronically. He suggested taking NODC up on its offer and publishing a five-year CD ROM.
Bob Anderson asked Chris whether she felt overwhelmed with historical data sets. Chris pointed out that there was no problem at all as long as data sets were served from their place of residence. The only problem would be if users wanted all data sets to reside with the data management office. The point is to be able to work with data where they are via the data management system. Otis said that the Arabian Sea data set was being served from RSMAS. Jim Murray said that PMEL had a home page and could provide access to a NOAA data set that Bob had expressed interest in. Chris Hammond said she would contact PMEL and add a link from the U.S. JGOFS Home Page to PMEL's to facilitate access.
25.16 International Program
Otis passed around a summary prepared by Hugh Ducklow (Appendix 3), who was unable to attend the meeting. It provided some details about the scientific symposium to be held in Villefranche in May and the search for a new core project officer to replace Duck and a new home for the JGOFS office. Neil Andersen reinforced Duck's observations on the failure of the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) to provide adequate support for IGBP core projects, noting his personal frustration with IGFA's ineffectiveness. Bob Corell of NSF, the originator of IGFA, is going to try to revitalize it.
Otis asked committee members whether they felt that the SSC should take any action on the matter. Neil pointed out the value of the international connection and suggested arming Corell with information from the U.S. JGOFS perspective. Otis agreed that the executive committee would put together information on the program and a statement of support for the international JGOFS structure.
25.17 U.S. JGOFS 10th Anniversary Plans
Otis reported that the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) reconsidered proposed plans for a 10th anniversary event and decided that now was not the time to do it. The board suggested that preparation was needed: a scientific assessment of where we are going and how we got here (a "white paper" approach). Otis notified the committee that he would work with the ExecPlus group to try to set up small groups to write papers on specific ocean flux topics that show where we are and where we might go. This review should encompass a broad look at the field, the place of JGOFS in it and possible future directions for ocean flux studies. The idea is to produce a set of papers like the ones from the 1984 workshop.
25.18 Other Business
The final piece of business before adjourning was to set a date and place for the next SSC meeting. The place will be Woods Hole and the date will be in the latter half of October, possibly Oct. 25-27.
Appendix 1Appendix 2.1Appendix 2.2Appendix 3