North Atlantic Plankton Dynamics – contributing to NAAMES
The Menden-Deuer Lab gets to participate in a large, collaborative study resolving key processes controlling the abundance and distribution of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic and of course the ramifications of plankton dynamics for the coupled ocean ecosystem and atmosphere. We were funded to contribute rate measurements on the dynamics of phytoplankton growth and mortality within the context of this exciting project, funded by the NASA Earth Venture Suborbital Program and is the first EV-S mission focused on studying the coupled ocean ecosystem and atmosphere.
Within the context of NAAMES we will participate in several ship campaigns, first one November 2015. The ship based measurements characterize plankton population abundance, distribution, rates of change and community composition alongside measurements of sea water volatile organic compounds and concentrations and properties of gases and particles in the atmosphere. Parallel airborne and remote sensing measurements extend the spatial and temporal scales of the observations and link to simultaneously recorded satellite observations. These data will deliver process-based metrics to enhance marine ecological models, and will improve climate and predictive models that will help anticipate climate change effects on ocean ecosystems and ultimately anticipating their societal impacts.
For more information on this project check out: http://naames.larc.nasa.gov/