Physical Oceanography and Biogeochemistry
The strength of the ocean's heat and carbon reservoirs are intimately tied to the ventilation of the intermediate and deep depths of the ocean through water mass formation. These heat and carbon sinks are subject to important spatial and temporal variability and are governed by complex three-dimensional physical and biogeochemical processes.
Our research is motivated by two overarching questions that are at the heart of these issues:
- What are the principle patterns of spatial and temporal variability in the formation, circulation, and destruction of water masses?
- How does such variability impact the cycling of heat, carbon, and the nutrients that sustain sea life?
Our group uses general circulation models and observational analysis to examine these questions, especially exploiting the large archives of oceanic data collected by ships over the last century, satellites over the last thirty years, and autonomous underwater floats over the last decade.
Some recent publications
Palter JB, Griffies SM, Galbraith ED, Gnanadesikan A. Samuels B, Klocker A. (2013). The driving processes of the deep ocean buoyancy budget and their temporal variability. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00016.1
Palter JB, Sarmiento JL, Marinov I, Gruber N (2013). Large scale nutrient fronts of the world ocean: impacts on biogeochemistry. In Chemical Oceanography of Frontal Zones, ed. Igor Belkin, Springer Publishing. doi: 10.1007/698_2013_241.
Pastor MV, Palter JB, Pelegrí JL, Dunne JP (2013). Physical drivers of interannual chlorophyll variability in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research. doi: 10.1002/jgrc.20254.
Yang S, Galbraith E, Palter JB (2013). Coupled climate impacts of the Drake Passage and Panama Seaway. Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1809-6.
Palter, JB, Lozier MS, Sarmiento JL, and Williams RG (2011). The supply of excess phosphate across the Gulf Stream and the maintenance of subtropical nitrogen fixation, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 25, GB4007, doi: 10.1029/2010GB003955. *most downloaded GBC paper in 2011*
Lozier, MS, Dave AC, Palter JB, Gerber LM, and Barber RT (2011). On the relationship between stratification and primary productivity in the North Atlantic, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L18609, doi:10.1029/2011GL049414.
Griffies SM, Winton M, Donner LJ, Downes SM, Farneti R, Gnanadesekin A, Horowitz L, Hurlin W, Lee H-C, Palter JB, Samuels BL, Wittenberg A, Wyman B, Yin J (2011). GFDL's CM3 Coupled Climate Model: Characteristics of the Ocean and Sea Ice Simulations. Journal of Climate, 24, 3520–3544. doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI3964.1.
Palter JB, Sarmiento JL, Gnanadesikan A, Simeon, J, Slater RD (2010). Fueling primary productivity: Nutrient return pathways from the deep ocean to the low-latitude euphotic zone. Biogeosciences, 7(11), 3549-3568, doi: 10.5194/bg-7-3549-2010.
Marshall J, Andersson A, Dewar W, Doney S, Edson J, Ferrari R, Forget G, Fratantoni D, Gregg M, Joyce T, Kelly K, Lozier S, Lumpkin R, Maze G, Palter JB, Samelson R, Silverthorne K, Skyllingstad E, Straneo F, Talley L, Toole J and Weller R (2009). CLIMODE: A Mode Water Dynamics Experiment in Support of CLIVAR. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90, 1337-1350. doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2706.1.
Palter JB, Lozier MS, Lavender KL (2008). How does Labrador Sea Water enter the Deep Western Boundary Current? Journal of Physical Oceanography, 38(5), 968–983. doi: 10.1175/2007JPO3807.1.
Palter JB, Lozier MS (2008). On the source of Gulf Stream nutrients. Journal of Geophysical Research—Ocean Science, 113, C06018, doi: 10.1029/2007JC004611.
Hanshaw, MN, Lozier MS, and Palter JB (2008). Integrated impact of tropical cyclones on sea surface chlorophyll in the North Atlantic, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L01601, doi:10.1029/2007GL031862.
Palter JB, León SD, Ballestero D (2007). The distribution of nutrients, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a in the Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, 55(2): 427-436. ISSN-0034-7744.
Palter JB, Lozier MS, Barber RT (2005). The effect of advection on the nutrient reservoir of the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre. Nature, 437, 687-692. doi:10.1038/nature03969.