Jack Barth

3. Your affiliation
Oregon State University

4. Your discipline
physical oceanography

5. Across all ocean science disciplines, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the decade.
What changes will occur in Arctic ocean circulation and marine ecosystems due to a warming climate?

What are the physical mechanisms for exchange between the coast and the open ocean and how do chemical and biological processes act to influence exchange in this region. Examples in include the exchange of nutrients, sediment, larvae, energy and pollutants. One particular example is the supply of offshore water that is becoming increasingly low in pH and dissolved oxygen to the shore and estuaries.

How do physical, chemical and biological processes on the submesoscale influence mixing, biological productivity and transport in the ocean?
 
6. Within your own discipline, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the next decade.
What changes will occur in Arctic ocean circulation due to a warming climate? How do these processes regulate exchange between the very wide Arctic continental shelves and the adjacent deep basin. How do changes in the Arctic influence basin scale processes in adjacent oceans?

What are the physical mechanisms for exchange between the coast and the open ocean, specifically across the nearshore and inner-shelf regions? How might they change in a warming climate that changes ocean stratification? How might they change with increasing sea level and storminess?

How do physical processes work on the submesoscale and how do they carry out the mixing and transport that we know exist in a large-scale sense? What is that link between mesoscale motions (straining, eddies) and mixing? Where are the geographic “hot spots” of submesoscale activity and how are they related to large-scale circulation features, sea-floor topography, etc?

7. Please list 3 ideas for programs, technology, infrastructure, or facilities that you believe will play a major role in addressing the above questions over the next decade. Please consider both existing and new technology/facilities/infrastructure/programs that could be deployed in this timeframe. What mechanisms might be identified to best leverage these investments (interagency collaborations, international partnerships, etc.)?
Increased emphasis on the inner shelf, the region connecting the nearshore, where wave processes dominate, and the continental shelf, where wind and freshwater forcing dominate. This region is important for regulating the health of productive coastal ecosystems, transporting pollutants to and from shore, impacting coastal infrastructure, recreation and search and rescue activities. This is a difficult place to work and will require new technologies and approaches. Many agencies are interested in the region including NSF, ONR, USGS, and state water quality agencies.

Science and technology emphasis on “smart” robotic vehicles carrying advanced sensors. We are learning much with drifting floats and pilot-controlled gliders, but more can be accomplished with vehicles that can make sampling decisions based on the environment.

Maintain support for underwater laboratories capable of providing critical information about the ocean where individual investigators may pursue their own projects.

8. Other comments pertinent to the committee’s charge.