Some Past/Present/Future of Transport Modeling; Eddies; and LOPEC

Don Kobayashi, NOAA/PIFSC
Friday, September 1, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Bilger 150

This talk will cover 3 related themes pertaining to my active research activities at NOAA PIFSC. In the first portion of the talk I will discuss some recent transport modeling applications in the Central Pacific in the past, present, and future time domains. The “past” discussion will focus on a radioactive particle dispersal simulation for the atomic bomb testing at Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls in the 1940’s-1950’s. The results from this set of simulations was used to refine the dates of bomb radiocarbon sequestration in living animal hard parts across the Pacific Ocean (improving age and longevity estimates) and to better understand long distance dispersal of surface and subsurface radioactive particles across the basin. In the “present” discussion I will present work on the challenges of predicting near-real-time movement in the ocean, in this instance lost acoustic listening buoys from a cetacean project in August 2017. An oceanographic approach to aid in the recovery of lost gear is proposed. In the “future” discussion I will present work on predicting patterns of global larval connectivity under the influence of climate change out to the year 2100 using output from an Earth System Model. In the second portion of the talk I will discuss a new PIFSC project on larval connectivity and eddy activity in the Hawaiian Archipelago funded under the NOAA FATE (Fisheries and the Environment) program. This is a collaborative effort between NOAA, UHM, and CUNY/WHOI, and seeks to better quantify the relationship between eddy activity and larval transport/retention throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago.  In the third and final portion of the talk I will discuss a new PIFSC project on plankton and micronekton called LOPEC (Leeward Oahu Pelagic Ecosystem Characterization). LOPEC has 2 principal objectives. The primary objective of LOPEC is to compare plankton and micronekton distribution and abundance to surveys conducted from 1951-1978 by UHM and NOAA researchers. By using similar sampling gear and deployment protocols in the same area, we can determine if there have been any substantial changes in the pelagic ecosystem off leeward Oahu. The second related objective of LOPEC is to establish a practical survey protocol for a standardized time-series of plankton and micronekton. Some preliminary findings from the March/April 2017 LOPEC-I expedition will be presented.