Minutes of the Fourth SO GLOBEC Science Investigator Meeting
9-11 December 2002
Hofmann began by indicating that this meeting is the last of the SO GLOBEC meetings that will be supported by Raytheon. She said that additional meetings were likely needed as the program moves into the synthesis and modeling phase. Submission of a proposal to NSF Office of Polar Programs is one possible mechanism for funding additional large group meetings and workshops. This could be done by the SO GLOBEC Planning Office. Hofmann also said that some funds are available from the Planning Office to hold small workshops (8-10 people) and that many of the individual investigator proposals should have funding to support participation in small meetings.
that there is possibility of a special announcement for SO GLOBEC synthesis and
modeling activities and that more information on this would be
forthcoming. She said that it will not
be before the
The meeting then
started with a presentation by Bill Fraser in which he gave results from
satellite tagging of Adélie penguins during the fall 2002 process cruise. He said that two of the Adélie penguins
gave an overview of the seabird observations that were made on the 2001 and
2002 fall and winter survey cruises. He
said that most of the flying seabirds are surface-feeders; whereas, the Adélies and seals are sub-surface feeders. He said that the seabird observations are
made using continuous survey methodology and that 155 transects were made in
fall 2001 and 131 transects were made in winter 2001. An objective of the seabird research
component is to explain the distribution of the seabirds on the basis of
physical variables, such as water mass structure, sea ice, bottom topography,
sea surface temperature and salinity, and distance to land or sea ice
edge. These relationships will then be
used with modeling studies of seabird distribution. Chapman noted that the analyses done to date
show a strong association of some seabird species with certain water mass types
(particularly with inner shelf water).
In the winter the timing of development and extent of sea ice are
important in explaining the observed seabird distributions. The analyses also give a strong indication
that something biologically important is going in the inner shelf waters near
Costa focused his presentation on the seal work in SO GLOBEC on the use of seals to obtain environmental data, such as temperature. He showed results from elephant seal studies in the north Pacific in which environmental sensors that measure temperature and salinity were attached to the seals. The environmental data were then transmitted to satellites at specified intervals. Thus the seals were used as sensors of the environment to provide oceanographic data. He indicated that the elephant seal program had worked well. Costa then presented video of the capture of a seal during the 2002 winter process cruise and the attachment of a satellite transmitter to the seal. He also showed temperature profile obtained from temperature sensors attached to crabeater seals during SO GLOBEC. He said that the next step is to compare the seal-derived temperature data to that obtained from CTD data.
Jenn Burns next gave an overview of the SO GLOBEC seal
program which has as an objective determining the foraging ecology of crabeater
seals during winter. In total 46 seals were handled and 35 satellite tags deployed in the 2001 and
2002 field studies. In 2001 the seal
distribution was mostly inside the shelf break, but in 2002 the seals were
using the shelf break area and seal hot spots were in
John Hildebrand next showed results from the passive acoustic moorings, which provided a continuous record from March 2001 to March 2002. He said that the benefit of the acoustic moorings is that they work day and night, are independent of water motion, can monitor broad areas over long periods and can provide population information. The acoustic recording package (ARP) samples at 500 Hz and is a seafloor mooring with a floating hydrophone. Seven of the eight ARPs were recovered and then re-deployed in February-March 2002. The final recovery will be on the mooring cruise scheduled for February-March 2003. He said that the acoustic records from the first year of the moorings showed calls from fin, minke and humpback whales and a surprising number of calls from blue whales, which are rarely seen. The moorings also recorded crabeater seal vocalizations. The blue whales appear to be present year-round call from the northern locations in the autumn and from the southern locations in summer. Peak calling is in January and February. This is a spatial change in calling for blue whales with season. Hildebrand said that there is evidence of circumpolar blue whale song. Fin whales are seasonal and are present in the austral fall but disappear as the winter sea ice develops. The peak in calling for these whales in fall and the highest number of calls was at the northern mooring sites. The whales appear to come in from the south.
Deb Thiele gave
an overview of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) efforts on the SO
GLOBEC cruises. She said that biopsy
samples had been obtained from 5 minke and 18 humpback whales. Also individual
photo identification (photo matching) had been done for many individuals. The visual surveying effort has been a
success with humpbacks and minkes most commonly
sighted. She said that no humpbacks were
sighted in winter. The areas with high
abundances of whales correlate with the hot spots for seals, penguins, and
krill. She noted that a group of
humpbacks was seen off
Ari Friedlaender next gave a review of the objectives of the IWC and SO GLOBEC collaboration. He said that a goal of the collaboration was to model the effect of climate change on cetacean distribution. He next gave an overview of a GIS that can be used to investigate linkages between biological processes and physical processes and their effect on cetacean distribution. He showed the application of the GIS to whale sighting data and discussed how it can be used to develop empirical models for whale habitat. He also noted that the SO GLOBEC whale, seal, seabird data are tightly correlated.
The presentation by Friedlaender marked the end of the formal presentations and a brief general discussion occurred prior to adjournment for lunch.
Wiebe started the discussion by saying that there is a need for a common grid to intercompare the different SO GLOBEC data sets. Ashjian commented that there is also a need for common definition of the region, water masses (similar to what Erik Chapman is now using), and sea ice conditions. Wiebe agreed that the definitions of the sea ice edge need to agree. Hofmann suggested that these issues might provide the topic for a smaller workshop. Daly asked if a base map with the revised bathymetry was available for the study area. Ashjian said that Tom Bolmer had made this available on the GLOBEC data management web site and on a website dedicated to the bathymetry.
Thiele said that the Australians have a standard ice edge definition. Wiebe said that the Danish remote sensing sea ice images could also be used to define the sea ice edge. Hofmann said that she will check with Joey Comiso for a definition of the sea ice edge. Wiebe said that the trick to defining the ice edge is to get daily images.
Allison reminded everyone to submit their data to the GLOBEC management office. The meeting was then adjourned for lunch.
Following lunch the meeting participants who remained reconvened for an informal discussion session.
the discussion prior to lunch, the suggestion was made to have a small data
workshop (about 10 people) during the third or fourth week of January
2003. Hofmann offered to host this
meeting at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at
The issue is what data products should be common to the entire program. One start would be to put Erik Chapman's water mass scheme on the SO GLOBEC data website. Hofmann said that this might need modification because it does not differentiate between Upper and Lower Circumpolar Deep Water and may not include what others need. The question was then raised as to the availability of standard temperature-salinity plots. Hofmann said that this could be done.
The need to talk
with Joey Comiso about an ice edge definition was
raised again. Limeburner
suggested have a plain x,y
file with the ice edge latitudes and longitudes. The need for access to SeaWiFS
ocean color data was raised. These data
are generally available now. Beardsley
said that the AWS meteorological data is on
The issue of ice concentration analysis was again raised and such products as an estimation of leads were indicated as being useful. Hofmann asked for an indication of which ice products would be most useful so that a coherent request could be made to Joey Comiso.
The consensus was that the data products needed in the short term are: hydrography, sea ice maps, bathymetry, meteorology, and SeaWiFS ocean color data.
Hofmann asked for suggestions of figures the DSR special topics volume cover. The individual cruise tracks can go on the CD to be included in the volume.
Hofmann said that data reports with the SO GLOBEC CTD data at standard depths will be available soon.
Hofmann said that Julie Morgan will send an electronic mail message in the next few days about participation in a data workshop in January. This message will ask for input on data products, and gridding for data set compatibility.
Gallager gave a brief discussion in which he suggested the possibility of establishing a long-term data observatory off Palmer Station (cable observatory). He said that this would need to be done through something like a National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP arrangement with NSF and NASA. He mentioned this because it might be something to pursue in programs that follow SO GLOBEC. He also suggested that such an autonomous mooring might be part of the proposal for the Southern Ocean initiative that is being proposed as part of the IGBP-SCOR OCEANS program.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.