Introduction
Ocean Observing for Long-term Ocean Change
GCOOS Product Examples
Other Product Examples
Feedback
References


Introduction

The overall goal of GCOOS is to empower people, communities and businesses to improve decision-making about our lives, work, and play along the Nation’s Gulf Coast. The aim of the Long-term Ocean Change focus is to detect and predict climate variability and its consequences. The Long-term Ocean Change focus cross-cuts the other four focal areas. For example, ocean change will affect public health and safety by altering species of algal blooms, sea surface temperature, and circulation patterns. Ocean change will also affect the frequency and intensity of storm events, and the impacts that these storm events will have on our low-lying Gulf Coast (Figures 1 and 2). Long-term ocean change may alter how ecosystems function in ways that are not currently observable or predictable because of the limited availability of long-term environmental data sets. Finally, long-term ocean change may also alter circulation patterns and shipping routes, as well as reduce the availability of ports due to sea-level rise in areas where important ports now exist.

U.S. coasts are expected to see:

  • Increased sea level rise and storm surges;
  • More spring runoff plus warmer waters resulting in decreased oxygen;
  • Higher water temperatures and increased ocean acidification; and
  • Changing ocean current patterns.
Figure 1. USGS Map showing the Gulf Coast vulnerability to the impacts of sea-level rise (USGS, 2000).

Figure 1. USGS Map showing the Gulf Coast vulnerability to the impacts of sea-level rise (USGS, 2000).

Figure 2. NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services' Map of Sea Level Trends for the Gulf of Mexico. The Louisiana coast is particularly vulnerable. Select Gulf Coast (NOAA, 2006).

Figure 2. NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services’ Map of Sea Level Trends for the Gulf of Mexico. The Louisiana coast is particularly vulnerable. Select Gulf Coast (NOAA, 2006).

Needs related to long-term ocean change include, for example:

  • Planning for roads and urban development along the coast as sea level rises and land subsides;
  • Monitoring the biodiversity in the coastal waters to improve fisheries and ecosystem management;
  • Understanding: ocean acidification, HAB events, eutrophication/hypoxia, anoxia (“dead zones”), as well as losses of coral reefs, wetlands, mangroves, seagrasses, and nurseries for fisheries; and
  • Detecting and predicting climate variability and consequences.


Ocean Observing for Long-term Ocean Change

To help meet these needs, ocean observations are needed on:

  • Sea-level rise;
  • Shoreline and coastal topographic changes;
  • River discharge;
  • Sea surface temperature and circulation patterns;
  • Weather time series and forecast data;
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem health data;
  • HAB event information; and
  • Bio-chemical oceanographic measurements of dissolved oxygen, pCO2, pH, chlorophyll, and turbidity.

GCOOS is helping to provide these observations and data products.


GCOOS Product Examples

The following listing includes examples of GCOOS products related to Long-Term Ocean Change. Most GCOOS products include mobile map versions.

  GCOOS Data Portal – for current conditions on in situ (air temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, water temperature, salinity, winds, dissolved oxygen, solar radiation, water level) and remotely sensed (currents) data.
  Recent Observations – for recent observations at stations; images on surface conditions for sea surface pressure, sea surface temperature, air temperature, and winds at 10 m depth and above; and images of sub-surface currents for 2-600 m depth.
  Model Forecasts – for forecast images and animations on weather, waves-currents-surge, sea surface temperature and more.
  Hurricane Tracker Map – interactive map on hurricanes and other storm events.
  GCOOS Glider Maps – For interactive maps showing glider tracks and data in the Gulf of Mexico
  Satellite Data Images – for images of sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, water vapor, visible, low cloud (lower atmospheric) conditions, and more.
  Real-Time High Frequency Radar Data in the Northeastern Gulf – for real-time data on surface currents in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico
  Real-Time High Frequency Radar Data in the Eastern Gulf – for real-time data on surface currents in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
  River Discharge Data Set – data from 55 rivers that discharge into the Gulf of Mexico
  The Phytoplankton Time Series at Port Aransas, part of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MANEER) program – images of phytoplankton species taken from an Imaging FlowCytobot, along with chlorophyll flourescence data.
  Modeling Information Sheet – information on GCOOS modeling efforts.
  Integrated Water Quality Network – Coming soon! This in-development product will be an interactive map with integrated water quality monitoring data, from rivers-to-oceans, for the U.S. Gulf Coast States. A pilot project is currently underway in Southwest Florida with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation. SCCF’s water quality data is currently available through the GCOOS Data Portal. GCOOOS water quality experts are also initiating similar efforts in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
  Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIOS) – Coming soon! This in-development product will be an interactive map with integrated station and AUV data on harmful algal blooms along the Gulf coast and Continental Shelf. A plan is available at http://gcoos.org/?page_id=2612.
  Interactive Map of Sea Level Rise Potential Impacts to Coastal Habitats – Coming Soon!


Other Product Examples


Your Feedback

What products would help you? Please send us your feedback.


References

NOAA. 2006. Sea Levels Online. http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/index.shtml.

USGS.2000. National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast. USGS Open-file Report 00-179. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2000/of00-179/”.