Research


Myself, Louise and Seb during trials of a Sailbuoy in the Kattegat, Sweden.
CURRENTLY FUNDED PROJECTS

Submesoscale Processes in a Changing Environment
August 2021 – August 2023
2 million SEK

Funding call: European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Standard European Fellowship

Read more about the project from the official EU webpage here.

SPICE was born out of my curiosity to understand how small scale ocean currents impact how the ocean absorbs heat and carbon from the atmosphere. The goal of this research is to ultimately reduce uncertainties in future global climate model projections.

In December 2021, we plan to deploy autonomous ocean robots called gliders that profile the top 1km of the ocean (Seagliders) and harness the energy of the wind to move and collect values measurements at the air-sea interface (Sailbuoy & Saildrone). This will all occur in the Weddell Sea of the Southern Ocean as a part of the SO-CHIC project (see below).

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 ocean interior.

Seagliders. Credit: Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory.
Sailbuoy deployed in the Kattegat during a VOTO training exercise.
Saildrone. Credit: www.saildrone.com

PROJECTS THAT CO-INVESTIGATE/COLLABORATE ON

Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate
March 2020 – Present

Funding call: EU Horizon 2020
Principle Investigator: Prof. J.B. Salleé (Sorbonne University)
My role: collaborator on WP1: observing air-sea fluxes

You can visit the SO-CHIC website here.

I worked on the SO-CHIC project as Postdoctoral Researcher with Prof. Sebastiaan Swart at the University of Gothenburg from March 2020 until I started my Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship in August 2021. Prof. Swart (lead for WP1) on observing air-sea fluxes of heat, freshwater, momentum and carbon.

Below is a webinar given by the SO-CHIC WP1 principle investigators:


Robotic Observations and Modelling of the Marginal Ice Zone
December 2018 – Present

Funding: Wallenberg Foundation, STINT-NRF
Principle Investigator: Prof. Sebastiaan Swart (University of Gothenburg)

You can visit the ROAM-MIZ glider missions website here.

The seas surrounding Antarctica are where vast amounts of heat and carbon exchange between the atmosphere and the deep ocean. The physical processes in the Southern Ocean that underpin these exchanges ultimately determine the rate of climate change and therefore mitigation measures. Despite outstanding progress in observational techniques, there are extremely few observations, which has led to arguably the largest knowledge ‘blind spot’ in global ocean-climate research and predictability.

Specifically, new evidence suggests we urgently require to understand highly energetic upper ocean flows and instabilities (called submesoscale eddies and fronts, which evolve at scales of 0.1-10 km and hours-days). Through enhanced vertical exchange of properties, these phenomena change upper ocean mixing and stratification, thereby amplifying heat and carbon exchange at the air-sea interface. The changes in stratification by submeoscale processes can directly alter the transport of these climate-acute properties to the ocean interior, where they are stored at centennial timescales. Critically, contemporary understanding of these processes occurring in the sea ice regions surrounding Antarctica are severely poor due to a dearth of field data. This, in turn, has led to global climate models experiencing the greatest biases of key processes in the Southern Ocean.

To undertake this scientific challenge, we will coordinate state-of-the-art field observations and fit-for-purpose modelling experiments, including deploying under-ice capable ocean robots from ice breaker expeditions. A new ocean topography satellite mission will provide unprecedented high-resolution ‘surface views’ of the submesoscale processes. These cornerstone observations will be combined with models, of varying complexity, to provide new knowledge on how sensitive ocean-ice processes are to our changing climate and thereby improve climate prediction.

First seatrials for Semla (Seaglider 640) during the Training Internationally on Gliders course.
Isabelle and Johan preparing Semla for deployment in the Southern Ocean. Photo: Hanna Rosenthal.

Seasonal Turbulence Observations from Robotics and Modelling in the Southern Ocean
March 2021 – Present

Funding: South African National Antarctic Program
Principle Investigator: Dr Sarah Nicholson (CSIR)

I began working on STORMS during my postdoc at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa and am now a co-investigator on work package 2 titled “Investigating the proposed mechanisms that drive variability of contemporary heat and CO2 in the Southern Ocean“.

Slocum glider undergoing seatrials before deployment in the Southern Ocean.

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