Twisting, criss-crossing, dip-diving around each other, read about the wild work of Graduate StudentSamuel Levang, who follows sea paths that may help us predict climate change - an unexpected Hitchhikers Guide to the ocean.
"Synthetic" trajectories in the North Atlantic created with two ocean circulation models: At left, a coarse-resolution model without eddies. At right, a high-resolution model with vigorous eddies. Water parcels spread to distant regions much faster with eddies than in the smooth circulation, and they carry their water properties with them. This behavior affects the ocean's response to changes in climate. (Sam Levang, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Story Image: Synthetic” floats are used to generate trajectories in computer simulations of ocean circulation. Here, a group of floats are released near Cape Hatteras, with the three panels showing float locations after one month, one year, and ten years. The complexity of the ocean’s currents causes these floats to rapidly spread apart, and the details of this spreading are important to predict the ocean’s response to climate change. Colors indicate the depth of the floats, with red trajectories near the surface and blue ones in deeper waters. (Sam Levang, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)