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Seasonal and interannual trends of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll submesoscale fronts in the South Atlantic Ocean

Grant number: 13/18333-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2014
Effective date (End): March 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Physical Oceanography
Principal researcher:Olga Tiemi Sato
Grantee:Marouan Bouali
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/58101-9 - Impact of the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean on South American climate for the 20th and 21st centuries, AP.PFPMCG.TEM

Abstract

There is growing evidence that submesoscale processes play a key role in the ocean dynamics and its interaction with the atmosphere. The resulting impact on weather forecast, climate change studies, environmental monitoring and its socio-economic implications are all incentives to improve the understanding and modelling of ocean dynamics occuring at spatial scales of the order of 1 km. The primary objective of this research project is to investigate the impact of climate change and climate variability on the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean by characterizing seasonal and interannual trends in submesoscale fronts of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Chlorophyll (CHL) concentration. So far, the analysis of submesoscale fronts from NASA's MODIS instrument have been hindered by the limited quality of high resolution (1 km) ocean products because the level of noise obscures small scale structures associated with ocean turbulence. To enhance the interpretability of the results, this research project will rely on innovative algorithms specifically designed to improve the detection of oceanic features. This study will contribute towards a better understanding of past and present ocean dynamics and subsequent projections of future changes in its biophysical properties. (AU)

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