Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, by Josefino Comiso

By Josefino Comiso


Only a number of centuries in the past, we knew little or no approximately our planet Earth. The Earth was once thought of flat via many even though it was once postulated through a couple of like Aristotle that it really is round in keeping with observations that integrated the research of lunar eclipses. a lot later, Christopher Columbus effectively sailed to the West to find the recent global and Ferdinand Magellan’s send circumnavigated the globe to end up as soon as and for all that the Earth is certainly a sphere. all over the world navigation and explorations that made it transparent that the Earth is massive and relatively very unlikely to review exclusively by means of foot or via water. the arrival of air trip made it much more uncomplicated to do exploratory reports and enabled the mapping of the bounds of continents and the oceans. yet plane assurance used to be constrained and it was once now not until eventually the satellite tv for pc period that complete cov- erage of the Earth’s floor grew to become available.

Many of the early satellites have been study satellites and that intended partly the improvement of engineering size platforms with out certain functions in brain. The Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) was once a vintage working example. The sensor used to be equipped with the concept that it can be priceless for meteorological learn and particularly rainfall reviews over the oceans, yet good fortune during this zone of research was once very constrained. It became out that the most interesting purposes of this sensor used to be within the examine of the ocean ice disguise because the emissivi- ties of frozen and liquid sea water grew to become out to be very varied. for hundreds of years, the ocean ice hide used to be simply considered as part of the frozen North (or South) and no-one troubled to check it other than the few curious scientists and explorers who felt that it should be vital because it is so sizeable. throughout the chilly warfare, the army did loads of learn at the topic yet such experiences have been generally categorized as the ice lined Arctic Ocean used to be a part of a strategic struggle and used to be a terrific position for a good armed nuclear submarine to move with no being detected. It used to be quickly learned that the ocean ice conceal and the polar oceans are vital entities to review, not only for army but additionally for financial, environmental, and climatic reasons.

ESMR was once one of the first sensors to snapshot and signify the whole polar areas each day. It used to be the 1st sensor to bare the genuine quantity and distribu- tion of the worldwide sea ice disguise in addition to its seasonal variability. facts from ESMR ended in many unforeseen discoveries, together with the life of an surprisingly huge wintry weather Polynya (unfrozen floor water in the ice pack) within the Weddell Sea within the Nineteen Seventies, the dimensions and patience of that is counter intuitive and nonetheless a subject matter of medical inquiry as much as this present day. we have now come far considering that ESMR. Many sensors even more complicated than ESMR were introduced supplying us with huge, immense features for learning the complex methods taking place within the polar areas and the range of a few of the parameters which are being measured via satellite tv for pc sensors. satellite tv for pc facts at the moment are in a position to offering a close heritage of the evolution of our planet over the past 3 many years together with that of the polar regions.

This e-book offers introductory fabric in regards to the polar oceans, extra specifi- cally the ice coated components and peripheral seas as saw via satellite tv for pc sensors. I owe loads of fabrics for this publication from many specialists within the box a few of whom I labored with as co-investigators and collaborators. I specifically are looking to exhibit my gratitude to my NASA/Goddard colleagues together with, Drs. Jay Zwally, in step with Gloersen, Claire Parkinson, Chuck McClain, Frank Carsey, Bob Bindschadler, and Don Cavalieri for a few years of collaborative reviews. My old flame was once particle physics and it was once Jay who made me detect that the learn of the polar areas and weather is a crucial and a truly interesting continuation of physics examine. The encouragements and aid of Drs. Stan Wilson, Bob Thomas and extra lately, Waleed Abdalati, Seelye Martin, and Tom Wagner who controlled or manages the Cryospheric Sciences application at NASA headquarters made it attainable for me to do polar study at GSFC through the years. i'm particularly thankful to Dr. Norbert Untersteiner and Dr. Willy Weeks for plenty of in-depth discussions concerning the polar weather approach and the complex methods linked to the ocean ice disguise. i've got benefited from shut collaborations with Drs. Arnold Gordon, Peter Wadhams, Stan Jacob, Steve Ackley, Manfred Lange, Neal Sullivan, Walker Smith, Koni Steffen, Rob Massom, and Ron Kwok. The writing of this booklet used to be all started in 2006 whereas i used to be a fellow of the japanese Society for the promoting of technological know-how and dealing as a visitor Professor at Chiba collage, and i'm thankful to Prof. Fumihiko Nishio, who was once my host, for his encouragements and type hospitality. Larry inventory of SGT and Robert Gersten of Adnet/RSIS have supplied me very good software- ming and research help at GSFC over the past numerous years, and that i savor a great deal their devoted efforts. final yet now not least, I desire to thank my spouse, Diana, my sons Glen and David and my daughter Melissa for encouragements and endurance not only in the course of the interval of booklet writing yet all through my whole profession as a polar researcher and adventurer. many helpful reviews and recommendations have been supplied by means of Drs. Arthur Cracknell of the college of Dundee, united kingdom, Markus Thorston, Head of the NASA Cryospheric Sciences department, Lawrence Mysak of McGill collage and Edward Hanna of the collage of Sheffield, united kingdom. My daughter Melissa, daughter-in-law Cindy, and my spouse Diana additionally supplied a few editorial help.

While scripting this booklet, my mom, who have been a very good resource of suggestion all my lifestyles, died on the age of a hundred years. It used to be an incredible own loss for me, my brothers, and sisters however it is remarkable to achieve that we will be able to reside to be centenarians and may be able to event an important window of our altering planet and its altering weather. Our present selection of non-stop satellite tv for pc facts is just a number of a long time lengthy yet we've certainly discovered much from them in regards to the Earth’s environmental and weather approach and for my part saw the sophisticated yet vital alterations because the release of Sputnik within the past due Nineteen Fifties. With the entire satellite tv for pc facts we have now and with the arrival of overseas ventures just like the worldwide Earth commentary method of all structures (GEOSS), we are going to locate the solutions of a lot of our present questions, yet even as, we are going to unquestionably locate many extra questions that must be spoke back. The advances in our knowing of the Earth’s weather engine, together with the influence of the polar oceans were tremen- dous and we glance ahead to having the ability to forecast successfully the kingdom of our planet within the fast and foreseeable destiny.

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Additional resources for Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, Volume 41, Polar Oceans from Space

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Many countries want the region to be extended further north (mostly to 50° S), while some including many scientific societies do not accept the official designation and continue to assume that the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans extends to the shores of Antarctica. 1 Ocean Bathymetry, Circulation and Dynamic Topography The depth of the oceans, called bathymetry, is a parameter that does not change much over thousands of years, but its short and long term influences on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the oceans can be profound.

The deep layer is relatively cold in part because a large fraction of the water comes from coastal polynya regions in the polar regions as discussed in Chap. 8. Salinity is usually defined as the total quantity of dissolved materials in sea water. The unit for salinity had been “parts-per-thousand” for many years, but the name has been changed and is now almost universally referred to as “practical salinity units” (psu). The fraction of dissolved materials, which consist generally of about 87% sodium chloride and 13% of other types of particulates, changes depending on history, environment and location of the water mass.

In the Arctic, much of the available data were derived from submarine measurements. During the period 1957–1997, about 480,000 km of submarine data were incorporated in the record. In addition, 37,800 km of multibeam data were acquired between 1998 and 1999. , Schenke et al. 1998) which is almost ice free in the summer. Although there are still gaps in the observations and the quantity and quality of data in the polar oceans are not as good as those in temperate waters, the bathymetry maps in the polar regions that are currently available are quite impressive in scope and already considered very useful.

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