Submesoscale Processes in a Changing Environment

Funding: European Commission Horizon 2020, 2 million SEK

August 2021 – August 2023

Host: Prof. S. Swart (University of Gothenburg), Collaborators: Prof. S. Speich (Ecole Normale Supérieure), Dr. Brian Ward (National University of Ireland Galway)

What is SPICE? SPICE is a European Commission Marie Skłodowska Curie Standard European Fellowship. This funding allows me to be a full-time researcher at the University of Gothenburg, where I work with Prof. Sebastiaan Swart. During the project, I will undertake two secondments (Prof. Speich and Dr. Ward).

Read about the project [here] and access my proposal [here].

The goal of SPICE is to 1) quantify the variability of heat and carbon air-sea fluxes in the Southern Ocean and 2) better understand how ocean submesoscale processes modulate heat and carbon exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean interior. I will use primarily novel observational datasets collected by autonomous platforms that are able to sample at the temporal and spatial scales that we currently don’t have much information on. This project aims to provide further evidence of the synergies and interactions between small-scale ocean flows and the rapidly varying atmosphere above.

SPICE is connected to the SO-CHIC project, where I went on the S.A. Agulhas II in the Weddell Sea to deploy two different kinds of autonomous ocean robots, Seagliders and a Sailbuoy. These instruments remained in the Southern Ocean for 6 months, continuously sending valuable data back in real-time.

Deploying two Seagliders and a Sailbuoy on the SO-CHIC cruise to the Southern Ocean that will collect some of the data I will use in SPICE (photos by Theo Spira).

From August, an autonomous surface vehicle called a Saildrone will began collecting vital information to calculate the air-sea heat and carbon fluxes in the northern limits of the Southern Ocean.

Photo of two Saildrones docked in Cape Town before departure to the Southern Ocean, by Sarah Nicholson.
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