skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Newton, Robert"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract. Free-drift estimates of sea ice motion are necessary to produce a seamless observational record combining buoy and satellite-derived sea ice motionvectors. We develop a new parameterization for the free drift of sea ice based on wind forcing, wind turning angle, sea ice state variables(thickness and concentration), and estimates of the ocean currents. Given the fact that the spatial distribution of the wind–ice–ocean transfercoefficient has a similar structure to that of the spatial distribution of sea ice thickness, we take the standard free-drift equation and introducea wind–ice–ocean transfer coefficient that scales linearly with ice thickness. Results show a mean bias error of −0.5 cm s−1(low-speed bias) and a root-mean-square error of 5.1 cm s−1, considering daily buoy drift data as truth. This represents a 35 %reduction of the error on drift speed compared to the free-drift estimates used in the Polar Pathfinder dataset (Tschudi et al., 2019b). Thethickness-dependent transfer coefficient provides an improved seasonality and long-term trend of the sea ice drift speed, with a minimum (maximum)drift speed in May (October), compared to July (January) for the constant transfer coefficient parameterizations which simply follow the peak inmean surface wind stresses. Over the 1979–2019 period, the trend in sea ice drift in this new model is +0.45 cm s−1 per decadecompared with +0.39 cm s−1 per decade from the buoy observations, whereas there is essentially no trend in a free-driftparameterization with a constant transfer coefficient (−0.09 cm s−1 per decade) or the Polar Pathfinder free-drift input data(−0.01 cm s−1 per decade). The optimal wind turning angle obtained from a least-squares fitting is 25∘, resulting in a meanerror and a root-mean-square error of +3 and 42∘ on the direction of the drift, respectively. The ocean current estimates obtained from theminimization procedure resolve key large-scale features such as the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift Stream and are in good agreement with oceanstate estimates from the ECCO, GLORYS, and PIOMAS ice–ocean reanalyses, as well as geostrophic currents from dynamical ocean topography, with aroot-mean-square difference of 2.4, 2.9, 2.6, and 3.8 cm s−1, respectively. Finally, a repeat of the analysis on two sub-sections of thetime series (pre- and post-2000) clearly shows the acceleration of the Beaufort Gyre (particularly along the Alaskan coastline) and an expansion ofthe gyre in the post-2000s, concurrent with a thinning of the sea ice cover and the observed acceleration of the ice drift speed and oceancurrents. This new dataset is publicly available for complementing merged observation-based sea ice drift datasets that include satellite and buoydrift records. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Sea ice will persist longer in the Last Ice Area (LIA), north of Canada and Greenland, than elsewhere in the Arctic. We combine earth system model ensembles with a sea‐ice tracking utility (SITU) to explore sources of sea ice (the “ice shed”) to the LIA under two scenarios: continued high warming (HW) rates and low warming (LW) rates (mean global warming below ca. 2°C) through the 21st century. Until mid‐century, the two scenarios yield similar results: the primary ice source shifts from the Russian continental shelves to the central Arctic, mobility increases, and mean ice age in the LIA drops from about 7 years to less than one. After about 2050, sea ice stabilizes in the LW scenario, but continues to decline in the HW scenario until LIA sea ice is nearly entirely seasonal and locally formed. Sea ice pathways through the ice shed determine LIA ice conditions and transport of material, including biota, sediments, and pollutants (spilled oil and industrial or agricultural contaminants have been identified as potential hazards). This study demonstrates that global warming has a dramatic impact on the sources, pathways and ages of ice entering the LIA. Therefore, we suggest that maintaining ice quality and preserving ice‐obligate ecologies in the LIA, including the Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area north of Nunavut, Canada, will require international governance. The SITU system used in this study is publicly available as an online utility to support researchers, policy analysts, and educators interested in past and future sea ice sources and trajectories.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    This study traces dissolved organic matter (DOM) in different water masses of the Arctic Ocean and its effect on the distributions of trace elements (TEs; Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, Zn, Cd) using fluorescent properties of DOM and the terrigenous biomarker lignin. The Nansen, Amundsen, and Makarov Basins were characterized by the influence of Atlantic water and the fluvial discharge of the Siberian Rivers with high concentrations of terrigenous DOM (tDOM). The Canada Basin and the Chukchi Sea were characterized by Pacific water, modified through contact with productive shelf sediments with elevated levels of marine DOM. Within the surface layer of the Beaufort Gyre, meteoric water (river water and precipitation) was characterized by low concentrations of lignin and tDOM fluorescence proxies as DOM is removed during freezing. High‐resolution in situ fluorescence profiles revealed that DOM distribution closely followed isopycnals, indicating the strong influence of sea‐ice formation and melt, which was also reflected in strong correlations between DOM fluorescence and brine contributions. The relationship of DOM and hydrography to TEs showed that terrigenous and marine DOM were likely carriers of dissolved Fe, Ni, Cu from the Eurasian shelves into the central Arctic Ocean. Chukchi shelf sediments were important sources of dCd, dZn, and dNi, as well as marine ligands that bind and carry these TEs offshore within the upper halocline in the Canada Basin. Our data suggest that tDOM components represent stronger ligands relative to marine DOM components, potentially facilitating the long‐range transport of TE to the North Atlantic.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Determining the proportions of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean seawater entering the Arctic Ocean is important both for understanding the mass balance of this basin as well as its contribution to formation of North Atlantic deep water. To quantify the distribution and amount of Pacific and Atlantic origin seawater in the western Arctic Ocean, we used dissolved Ga in a four‐component linear endmember mixing model. Previously, nutrients, combined in their Redfield ratios, have been used to separate Pacific‐ and Atlantic‐derived waters. These nutrient tracers are not conservative in practice, and there is a need to find quantities that are conserved. Dissolved Ga concentrations show measurable contrast between Atlantic and Pacific source waters, shelf‐influenced waters show little impact of shelf processes on the dissolved Ga distribution, and dissolved Ga in the Arctic basins is conserved along isopycnal surfaces. Thus, we explored the potential of Ga as a new parameter in Arctic source water deconvolution. The Ga‐informed deconvolution was compared to that generated with the NO3:PO4relationship. While distributions of the water masses were qualitatively similar, the Ga‐based deconvolution predicted higher amounts of Pacific water at depths between 150 and 300 m. The Ga‐based decomposition yields a smoother transition between the halocline and Atlantic layers, while nutrient‐based solutions have sharper transitions. A 1‐D advection‐diffusion model was used to constrain estimates of vertical diffusivity (Kz). The Ga‐based Kzestimates agreed better with those from salinity and temperature than the nutrient method. The Ga‐based approach implies greater vertical mixing between the Pacific and Atlantic waters.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract. Tritium and helium isotope data provide key information on oceancirculation, ventilation, and mixing, as well as the rates of biogeochemicalprocesses and deep-ocean hydrothermal processes. We present here globaloceanic datasets of tritium and helium isotope measurements made by numerousresearchers and laboratories over a period exceeding 60 years. The dataset'sDOI is, and the data are available at (last access: 15 March2019) or alternately access: 13 March 2019) and includes approximately 60 000 valid tritiummeasurements, 63 000 valid helium isotope determinations, 57 000 dissolvedhelium concentrations, and 34 000 dissolved neon concentrations. Somequality control has been applied in that questionable data have been flaggedand clearly compromised data excluded entirely. Appropriate metadata havebeen included, including geographic location, date, and sample depth. Whenavailable, we include water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. Dataquality flags and data originator information (including methodology) arealso included. This paper provides an introduction to the dataset along withsome discussion of its broader qualities and graphics. 
    more » « less
  6. Seasonal predictability of the minimum sea ice extent (SIE) in the Laptev Sea is investigated using winter coastal divergence as a predictor. From February to May, the new ice forming in wind-driven coastal polynyas grows to a thickness approximately equal to the climatological thickness loss due to summer thermodynamic processes. Estimating the area of sea ice that is preconditioned to melt enables seasonal predictability of the minimum SIE. Wintertime ice motion is quantified by seeding passive tracers along the coastlines and advecting them with the Lagrangian Ice Tracking System (LITS) forced with sea ice drifts from the Polar Pathfinder dataset for years 1992–2016. LITS-derived landfast ice estimates are comparable to those of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute ice charts. Time series of the minimum SIE and coastal divergence show trends of −24.2% and +31.3% per decade, respectively. Statistically significant correlation ( r = −0.63) between anomalies of coastal divergence and the following September SIE occurs for coastal divergence integrated from February to the beginning of May. Using the coastal divergence anomaly to predict the minimum SIE departure from the trend improves the explained variance by 21% compared to hindcasts based on persistence of the linear trend. Coastal divergence anomalies correlate with the winter mean Arctic Oscillation index ( r = 0.69). LITS-derived areas of coastal divergence tend to underestimate the total area covered by thin ice in the CryoSat-2/SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) thickness dataset, as suggested by a thermodynamic sea ice growth model.

    more » « less
Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences. They gain skills, interests, knowledge, aspirations, and motivation to learn more. But how can we provide these rich opportunities in densely populated urban areas where resources and access to natural areas are limited? This project will develop and test a model of curriculum and community enterprise to address that issue within the nation's largest urban school system. Middle school students will study New York harbor and the extensive watershed that empties into it, and they will conduct field research in support of restoring native oyster habitats. The project builds on the existing Billion Oyster Project, and will be implemented by a broad partnership of institutions and community resources, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and others.
The project focuses on an important concept in the geological, environmental, and biological sciences that typically receives inadequate attention in schools: watersheds. This project builds on and extends the Billion Oyster Project of the New York Harbor School. The project model includes five interrelated components: A teacher education curriculum, a student learning curriculum, a digital platform for project resources, an aquarium exhibit, and an afterschool STEM mentoring program. It targets middle-school students in low-income neighborhoods with high populations of English language learners and students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields and education pathways. The project will directly involve over forty schools, eighty teachers, and 8,640 students over a period of three years. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods research plan will be used to assess the individual and collective effectiveness of the five project components. Regression analyses will be used to identify effective program aspects and assess the individual effectiveness of participation in various combinations of the five program components. Social network mapping will be used to further asses the overall "curriculum plus community" model. 
    more » « less
  8. Abstract

    Early studies revealed relationships between barium (Ba), particulate organic carbon and silicate, suggesting applications for Ba as a paleoproductivity tracer and as a tracer of modern ocean circulation.But, what controls the distribution of barium (Ba) in the oceans?Here, we investigated the Arctic Ocean Ba cycle through a one‐of‐a‐kind data set containing dissolved (dBa), particulate (pBa), and stable isotope Ba ratio (δ138Ba) data from four Arctic GEOTRACES expeditions conducted in 2015. We hypothesized that margins would be a substantial source of Ba to the Arctic Ocean water column. The dBa, pBa, and δ138Ba distributions all suggest significant modification of inflowing Pacific seawater over the shelves, and the dBa mass balance implies that ∼50% of the dBa inventory (upper 500 m of the Arctic water column) was supplied by nonconservative inputs. Calculated areal dBa fluxes are up to 10 μmol m−2 day−1on the margin, which is comparable to fluxes described in other regions. Applying this approach to dBa data from the 1994 Arctic Ocean Survey yields similar results. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago did not appear to have a similar margin source; rather, the dBa distribution in this section is consistent with mixing of Arctic Ocean‐derived waters and Baffin Bay‐derived waters. Although we lack enough information to identify the specifics of the shelf sediment Ba source, we suspect that a sedimentary remineralization and terrigenous sources (e.g., submarine groundwater discharge or fluvial particles) are contributors.

    more » « less