IOCCG Project Office Hit by Hurricane

Hurricane Juan slammed into Atlantic Canada on Sunday 28 September 2003. Winds of approximately 150 km/hr winds knocked down thousands of trees and power lines, leaving over 100,000 homes without electricity. The IOCCG Secretariat, which is located in the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, was closed for 8 days due to the power outage.

The MODIS instrument onboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-colour image of Hurricane Juan approximately 600 km south of Halifax. At the time this image was taken on September 28, 2003, Juan was packing sustained winds near 160 km/hr. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.


Bio-optical Program

IOCCG has created a new web page detailing the Bio-optical Program for the BEAGLE 2003 expedition. JAMSTEC, IOCCG, POGO and IOC are sponsoring a number of students to receive hands-on training on each of the six legs. Legs 1 and 2 have been successfully completed (see web page for student reports) and Leg 3 is currently underway (Valparaiso, Chile to Santos, Brazil).

The goal for the Bio-optical Program on board the R/V Mirai is to collect water samples for various bio-optical measurements (phytoplankton absorption, CDOM, HPLC pigments etc.) as well as carry out light measurements using SIMBAD, SIMBADA and Ocean Optics radiometers. In addition, two PI experiments will be carried out each day. The measurements collected during the cruise will provide an invaluable database of high quality data for the Southern Hemisphere, since this part of the world's oceans are greatly under sampled and there is a paucity of bio-optical data from the region. The data can be used to validate satellite ocean-colour data and to improve satellite-derived estimates of phytoplankton standing stocks and primary production. A number of institutes (CSIRO Australia, BIO Canada, University of Concepción Chile, INIDEP Argentina and Scripps Institution of Oceanography USA) are collaborating in the bio-optical program of BEAGLE 2003.

IOCCG Working Groups

Ocean-Colour Algorithms

The Ocean-Colour Algorithm Working Group recently synthesised a data-set containing both inherent optical properties (IOPs) and apparent optical properties (AOPs) to be used for algorithm cross-comparison and evaluation. The HydroLight numerical code was used for the simulation of AOPs, while various models were used for IOP generation. This data set, created by Dr. Zhongping Lee (NRL, Stennis Space Center) and Dr. Keping Du (Beijing Normal University) is now available on the IOCCG website [view data set]

Biogeographical Methods

A new working group dealing with the development of biogeographical methods for application of ocean-colour data was recently established by the IOCCG. The group, chaired by Dr. Mark Dowell (University of New Hampshire) held its first exploratory meeting in Villefranche (15-17 October 2003), with the aim of revising the technical aspects of this topic. A longer meeting on applications will be held in 2004. The primary deliverable from the working group will be an IOCCG Report outlining the significance of biogeographical methods in ocean-colour applications.

IOCCG Training Courses & Workshops

Training Course in South East Asia

University of Udayana

An International symposium cum training course on "Remote Sensing and Ocean Science in South East Asia" was held from September 2 to 5, 2003, at the Center for Remote Sensing and Ocean Science (CReSOS) University of Udayana, Bali, Indonesia. The symposium was organized under the auspices of the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), the University of Udayana (UNUD), the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), and the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG). IOCCG sponsored a number of students from China, India, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia to attend the training course, and also funded Prof. Pan Delu (SIO, China) and Dr. R.M Dwivedi (ISRO, India) to attend the course as instructors. [View Details]

Remote Sensing for Management of Coral Reefs and Sustainable Fisheries

The 2nd Pacific Ocean Remote Sensing Capacity Building Workshop recently took place at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia from September 30 - October 3, 2003. Delegates from a number of Pacific Island Nations were sponsored by various agencies, including IOCCG to attend the workshop. IOCCG also sponsored Dr. Robert Frouin (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) to attend the workshop as a lecturer.

The objectives of this workshop were to gain an appreciation of the use of remotely sensed information for monitoring and managing marine ecosystems with a specific emphasis on coral reefs. Participants also explored the use of remotely sensed data for the management of sustainable fisheries. Furthermore, one of the goals of the workshop was to develop strategies for capacity building with various regional agencies to support marine management programs in the Pacific. A follow-up practical workshop will be scheduled next year, to allow participants to analyse data for their particular region. [View Details]


'Hands on' Workshop on MODIS Ocean-Colour Products

An outreach workshop for the science community interested in using MODIS-derived ocean data products was held at the University of Oregon (4-5 September 2003) by members of the MODIS Ocean Science Team and the NASA Goddard DAAC. Presentations from the workshop can be viewed on their website.

Science Focus!

A recent Science Focus! article entitled "The Sea of Marmara: Where Ancient Myth and Modern Science Mix" examines the Sea of Marmara, which is located between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. [View Details]

The MODIS image above shows the Sea of Marmara at the peak of a coast-to-coast bloom of the ubiquitous coccolithophorid species Emiliania huxleyi.

New References

In Search of Long-term Trends in Ocean Color

Among the new references added to the Ocean-Colour Bibliography is an article by Dr. David Antoine and colleagues from Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, France, and from the University of Miami, RSMAS, USA, which appeared in a recent issue of EOS trans AGU (Vol 84, No. 32, 12 August 2003). The article, entitled "In Search of Long-term Trends in Ocean Color", focuses on the issues that need to be addressed to improve the accuracy and consistency of the phytoplankton pigment fields derived from ocean-colour observations by various satellite sensors. It is imperative to ensure coherency among data sets from different satellite missions in order to assess long-term trends in ocean biogeochemistry, but this is a difficult task because the instruments, the data-processing algorithms, and the calibration techniques all are different. As a major contribution to the generation of a long-term, global, multi-sensor ocean-colour archive, the authors have re-processed the entire CZCS archive (1979-1986) using new algorithms that are currently being applied to the full SeaWiFS archive (1997-2002), making both data sets compatible. The CZCS pigment concentration maps were revised, and new variables were derived; namely, the aerosol optical thickness, and the aerosol Ångstrøm exponent. This revised CZCS archive can now be used as a baseline to study long-term trends in ocean colour and represents a reference for the bio-optical state of the global ocean in the 1980s.

Ocean Primary Production and Climate

In another recent reference appearing in Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Watson Gregg (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and colleagues compared data from the CZCS and SeaWiFS ocean-colour sensors. They found that global ocean annual primary production has declined by more than 6% in the past couple of decades. Most of the reduction in primary production occurred in the high latitudes. In the northern high latitudes this could be related to increases in sea surface temperature, which would reduce mixing and thus decrease the supply of nutrients to the surface. On the other hand, equatorial waters exhibited decadal increases in annual primary production. The authors conclude that ocean photosynthetic uptake of carbon may be changing as a result of climatic changes, which will have major implications for the global carbon cycle. [View Abstract]

Please consult the Recent Ocean Colour References (2002-2003) section of the IOCCG website for additional new references.

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