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AGU journal highlights - 6 January 2004

The following highlights summarize research papers in Earth Interactions (EI), Geophysical Research Letters (GL), and Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans (JC). The papers related to these Highlights are printed in the next paper issue of the journal following their electronic publication.

1. Oceanic monitor may help predict fish population
A new method to monitor sea surface temperatures and height in the North Pacific may help in measuring wind patterns and ocean dynamics and could provide insight into better managing fisheries located in the mid-latitudes. Robin Tokmakian developed an algorithm to monitor changes in the sub-surface ocean's heat content from shifts in the Alaskan and California currents, as the water follows its circulation pattern over the central and eastern North Pacific. Such sea temperature and height changes have been shown to affect the marine ecosystem and fish populations by affecting the density and mixing of nutrient-rich waters. Tokmakian proposes a space-based system that can monitor the circulation patterns from changes in the sea surface height and predict the size of various fish stocks by observing the North Pacific heat content progression during its typical southwesterly shift.

Title: Monitoring North Pacific heat content variability: An indicator of fish quantity?
Author: Robin Tokmanian, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.
Source: Earth Interactions (EI) paper 10.1029/2002EI000063, 2003
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2. Vegetation's affect on summer warming may not last
Surface temperatures in North America and Eurasia are balanced by atmospheric feedback from increased vegetation during summer, which lowers the temperature, and reduced snow cover during winter, which increases annual average temperatures. Kaufmann et al. analyzed the effect of vegetation on surface temperatur
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Contact: Harvey Leifert
hleifert@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
6-Jan-2004


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