About the project
Thanks to plankton-based ocean ecosystems, massive amounts of carbon sink out of the surface ocean and are distributed through the ocean’s interior. How much carbon reaches what depths is critical to atmospheric CO2, and therefore climate. You will synthesise existing knowledge to estimate this carbon transport from satellite data. This process of carbon transport is also poorly understood and highly variable.
Recent studies (Cael 2021 L&O:L, Cael et al. 2021 GRL, Cael et al. 2018 GBC) suggest that this process, including its variability, can be predicted accurately from remote sensing data from Earth-observing satellites. You will use these published relationships and combine them with satellite data, along with other published relationships between ocean carbon transport and factors in the environment. Through this effort you will generate the first data-constrained estimate of how much carbon is transported into the ocean interior by plankton ecosystems, the variability of this process, and map these over space, depth, and time. You will then have ample opportunity to pursue further questions that arise from this project, or novel applications of the product that they have created. You will be embedded in a large international consortium project of world-class carbon cycle scientists and will have the opportunity to gain a variety of in-demand computational skills.