Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, by Josefino Comiso

By Josefino Comiso

Preface

Only a number of centuries in the past, we knew little or no approximately our planet Earth. The Earth used to be thought of flat by means of many even though it was once postulated via a couple of like Aristotle that it really is round according to observations that integrated the research of lunar eclipses. a lot later, Christopher Columbus effectively sailed to the West to find the hot global and Ferdinand Magellan’s send circumnavigated the globe to turn out as soon as and for all that the Earth is certainly a sphere. around the world navigation and explorations that made it transparent that the Earth is massive and quite very unlikely to check exclusively through foot or by way of water. the arrival of air go back and forth made it much more uncomplicated to do exploratory stories and enabled the mapping of the bounds of continents and the oceans. yet airplane assurance was once constrained and it was once now not till the satellite tv for pc period that complete cov- erage of the Earth’s floor turned available.

Many of the early satellites have been study satellites and that intended partly the improvement of engineering size platforms without convinced functions in brain. The Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) was once a vintage working example. The sensor used to be equipped with the concept it can be invaluable for meteorological examine and particularly rainfall reports over the oceans, yet good fortune during this sector of research used to be very restricted. It grew to become out that some of the most exciting purposes of this sensor used to be within the research of the ocean ice disguise because the emissivi- ties of frozen and liquid sea water became out to be very diverse. for hundreds of years, the ocean ice hide was once simply considered as part of the frozen North (or South) and no-one to check it other than the few curious scientists and explorers who felt that it needs to be very important because it is so enormous. through the chilly struggle, the army did loads of examine at the topic yet such reviews have been commonly categorized as the ice coated Arctic Ocean used to be a part of a strategic struggle and was once a fantastic position for a good armed nuclear submarine to move with no being detected. It used to be quickly learned that the ocean ice hide and the polar oceans are very important entities to check, not only for army but additionally for monetary, environmental, and climatic reasons.

ESMR was once one of the first sensors to photo and signify the whole polar areas each day. It used to be the 1st sensor to bare the genuine quantity and distribu- tion of the worldwide sea ice hide in addition to its seasonal variability. information from ESMR ended in many unforeseen discoveries, together with the life of an strangely huge iciness Polynya (unfrozen floor water in the ice pack) within the Weddell Sea within the Seventies, the scale and endurance of that is counter intuitive and nonetheless a subject matter of clinical inquiry as much as this present day. we've got come a ways considering ESMR. Many sensors even more complicated than ESMR were introduced delivering us with huge, immense services for learning the complex tactics taking place within the polar areas and the range of some of the parameters which are being measured via satellite tv for pc sensors. satellite tv for pc info at the moment are in a position to offering an in depth historical past of the evolution of our planet over the past 3 a long time together with that of the polar regions.

This e-book offers introductory fabric concerning the polar oceans, extra specifi- cally the ice coated parts and peripheral seas as saw by means of satellite tv for pc sensors. I owe loads of fabrics for this booklet from many specialists within the box a few of whom I labored with as co-investigators and collaborators. I particularly are looking to exhibit my gratitude to my NASA/Goddard colleagues together with, Drs. Jay Zwally, in keeping with Gloersen, Claire Parkinson, Chuck McClain, Frank Carsey, Bob Bindschadler, and Don Cavalieri for a few years of collaborative experiences. My past love used to be particle physics and it used to be Jay who made me observe that the examine of the polar areas and weather is a vital and a really fascinating continuation of physics examine. The encouragements and help of Drs. Stan Wilson, Bob Thomas and extra lately, Waleed Abdalati, Seelye Martin, and Tom Wagner who controlled or manages the Cryospheric Sciences software at NASA headquarters made it attainable for me to do polar study at GSFC through the years. i'm in particular thankful to Dr. Norbert Untersteiner and Dr. Willy Weeks for plenty of in-depth discussions in regards to the polar weather method and the complicated tactics linked to the ocean ice hide. i've got benefited from shut collaborations with Drs. Arnold Gordon, Peter Wadhams, Stan Jacob, Steve Ackley, Manfred Lange, Neal Sullivan, Walker Smith, Koni Steffen, Rob Massom, and Ron Kwok. The writing of this booklet used to be began in 2006 whereas i used to be a fellow of the japanese Society for the promoting of technology and dealing as a visitor Professor at Chiba collage, and i'm thankful to Prof. Fumihiko Nishio, who used to be my host, for his encouragements and sort hospitality. Larry inventory of SGT and Robert Gersten of Adnet/RSIS have supplied me very good application- ming and research aid at GSFC over the last numerous years, and that i get pleasure from a great deal their devoted efforts. final yet now not least, I desire to thank my spouse, Diana, my sons Glen and David and my daughter Melissa for encouragements and endurance not only in the course of the interval of e-book writing yet all through my complete occupation as a polar researcher and adventurer. many helpful reviews and proposals have been supplied via Drs. Arthur Cracknell of the college of Dundee, united kingdom, Markus Thorston, Head of the NASA Cryospheric Sciences department, Lawrence Mysak of McGill collage and Edward Hanna of the college of Sheffield, united kingdom. My daughter Melissa, daughter-in-law Cindy, and my spouse Diana additionally supplied a few editorial help.

While scripting this booklet, my mom, who have been an outstanding resource of proposal all my existence, died on the age of a hundred years. It used to be a tremendous own loss for me, my brothers, and sisters however it is amazing to gain that we will stay to be centenarians and may be able to event an important window of our altering planet and its altering weather. Our present choice of non-stop satellite tv for pc information is simply a couple of many years lengthy yet we have now unquestionably realized much from them concerning the Earth’s environmental and weather method and in my view saw the delicate yet vital alterations because the release of Sputnik within the overdue Fifties. With all of the satellite tv for pc facts now we have and with the arrival of overseas ventures just like the worldwide Earth remark process of all platforms (GEOSS), we are going to locate the solutions of a lot of our present questions, yet even as, we are going to certainly locate many extra questions that must be replied. The advances in our knowing of the Earth’s weather engine, together with the effect of the polar oceans were tremen- dous and we glance ahead to having the ability to forecast successfully the country of our planet within the speedy and foreseeable destiny.

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Extra resources for Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, Polar Oceans from Space

Example text

3 Chemical and Biological Properties of Polar Waters The oceans have been referred to as the origin of life. Although not so apparent at the surface, the ocean has an ecology the diversity of which is unmatched even by 40 2 Fundamental Characteristics of the Polar Oceans and Their Sea Ice Cover Fig. 11 Typical temperature, salinity and potential density profiles in the Antarctic from measurements during the Polarstern Antarctic V/2 winter experiment. 12 (a) Mean dynamic height (in meters) from historical data as put together by Olbers et al.

2. The sea ice cover is generally classified as either perennial ice or seasonal ice. By perennial ice, we refer to ice that survives the summer melt and consists mainly of multiyear ice floes which are the mainstay of the ice cover. By seasonal ice, we refer to ice that forms and decays during the same ice season. 1, the average location of the seasonal sea ice is represented in gray, while that of the perennial ice is represented in light gray. It is apparent that geographical settings for sea ice are very different in the two hemispheres.

Such process is one of the means by which water masses are modified within the deep central Arctic Ocean but keeps these chemical constituents from being available in the upper part of the ocean. Because of largely varying topography in the Arctic, the impact of this process on productivity varies from region to region. When conditions are right, enhanced primary production usually follows the retreating ice edge. The primary production extends into the pack where the ice concentration is relatively low.

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