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Webinar: A more accurate picture of surface water mass dynamics

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Thursday, 07 July 2022, 12:00

Thursday, July 7, 2022. 12:00 PM. Webinar: A more accurate picture of surface water mass dynamics. Aqeel Piracha, Institute of Marine Sciences. Sponsored by NOAA NOS. More information here. Register here.

Abstract: Ocean Circulation is intimately tied to the movement of unique bodies of water. These bodies of water are known as water masses and they each have distinct properties and histories which can be used to fingerprint them. Their characteristics are set by interactions with the atmosphere. Once set, these characteristics remain unchanged as the water mass sinks into the ocean interior. Meaning, with a knowledge of Ocean-Atmosphere interaction we can trace these surface water masses to infer ocean circulation. Global ocean circulation can be summarized as a progressive change in surface water buoyancy. With equatorial heating creating buoyant water masses which progressively lose their buoyancy through cooling and other atmospheric processes until, at the poles, they ultimately sink to complete a global ocean circulation cell. This surface branch of the circulation is the most crucial as this is where they are created. Estimates of this surface arm traditionally require a direct knowledge of ocean-atmosphere interactions. However, the data describing these interactions are usually biased and prone to various uncertainties and errors. Can we infer knowledge of ocean circulation without this data. By Understanding processes forcing sea surface state changes, the use of these error-prone air-sea fluxes can be avoided allowing for a much more accurate picture of how the oceans are changing in a changing climate.

Bio(s): Aqeel Piracha is a PhD student at the Institute Of Marine Sciences (ICM) Barcelona, Spain. Prior to starting his PhD, he was a trainee at the European Space Agency (ESA) where his specialization in the field of ocean circulation was born. He obtained his bachelor degree from the University of Bangor in Wales, where his dissertation was on analyzing Deuterium/Hydrogen ratios of Planets, Comets and Meteorites to understand the origins of Earth's oceans. His master degree thesis was on understanding the stability of internal tides in coastal regions.

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