Special Issues

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The Three Major Hurricanes of 2017: Harvey, Irma and Maria

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Last updated:
4 January 2018
This special issue will publish original research related to the three major hurricanes that made landfall in the US in 2017: Harvey, Irma and Maria. Topics to advance the understanding of processes associated with any of these hurricanes, in the atmosphere, ocean, earth surface, hydrology, biogeosciences, solid earth, space weather, space physics, as well as their impact, new methodology and datasets will be included.

Oceanic Responses and Feedbacks to Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclones (TC) are among the most intensive atmospheric processes and cause tremendous damage to heavy populated nations, such as China and the US, every year. As such, better understanding, simulation, and forecasting of TC are topics of scientific and social importance. It is well known that the ocean has pronounced responses to TC. However, the detailed processes and physical mechanisms during these responses are still a mystery. In addition, the ocean has a complicated feedback to TC, which can leave clear finger-prints on the intensity, trajectory, and the long-term variability of TC.

All manuscripts about the ocean-TC relationship are welcome, including, but not limited to, physical mechanisms for the ocean-TC interaction, the ocean-TC interaction in the context of climate change, data assimilation techniques during TC, and simulation and forecast studies of TC using coupled models.

Dense water formations in the North Western Mediterranean: from the physical forcings to the biogeochemical consequences

Last updated:
28 December 2017
This is a joint special issue with JGR-Oceans and JGR-Atmospheres.

The North Western Mediterranean is a specific region playing a key role for the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the whole basin due to (1) the deep convection that redistribute organic and inorganic matters all over the water column, and (2) the subsequent intense spring bloom that represents the most important biological process of the basin at the origin of carbon exports. The MerMeX, HyMeX and MOOSE components of the MISTRALS program focus on the impact of winter convection on the water cycle, redistribution and stoichiometry of matter, development and succession of biological community over an annual cycle, and their potential evolutions. This special section compiles the major results of an unprecedented intensive and innovative effort of observation and modelling over a full annual cycle from June 2012 to September 2013. Ship-based operations, autonomous platforms (gliders, Bio-Argo floats, mooring lines), remote-sensing and coupled modelling were combined to better characterize and understand the NWM dense water formation phenomena, including the associated physical processes, and the biogeochemical response of the pelagic ecosystem.

Midlatitude Marine Heatwaves: Forcing and Impacts

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Last updated:
28 December 2017
*This is a Joint Special Collection* 
The following journals are accepting submissions: Geophysical Research Letters, JGR Oceans, JGR Biogeosciences, and JGR Atmospheres.

Persistent, midlatitude marine heatwaves (MHWs), such as the 2013-2014 extreme warming of the Northeastern Pacific (aka “the Blob”), can have dramatic and widespread impacts on ecosystems, fisheries and weather. MHWs have been observed in both hemispheres (e.g., the Ningaloo Niño in Western Australia), including in semi-enclosed basins such as the Mediterranean Sea. MHWs can be caused by a combination of atmospheric and oceanographic processes. It is also expected that they will become more frequent and intense under anthropogenic climate change. This Special Collection welcomes papers investigating the causes, evolution, and impacts of persistent midlatitude MHWs.

The Arctic: An AGU Joint Special Collection

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Last updated:
28 December 2017
The Arctic has become the focus of many new investigations and studies across a number of disciplines. In many cases, this research is integrating diverse new data sets, observations, and modeling, and making connections among and across the biosphere, oceans, atmospheres, space, and geophysical environments. These papers include historical and new research on the Arctic and represent the following AGU journals: Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G-Cubed), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, JAMES (Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems), JGR: Oceans, JGR: Atmospheres, JGR: Solid Earth, JGR: Space Physics, JGR: Biogeosciences, JGR: Earth’s Surface, Reviews of Geophysics, Space Weather, and Water Resources Research.

The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Project: Technologies, Methods, and Early Results

1 October 2016
The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Project was launched in 2014 with the goal of improving our understanding of the role of the Southern Ocean in climate change and biogeochemistry.  Autonomous profiling floats with innovative biogeochemical sensors are being deployed to obtain sustained observations of the carbon cycle, and preparations are underway to use these data to constrain the Southern Ocean State Estimation (SOSE). A climate and biogeochemistry modeling component includes mesoscale eddying coupled climate and Earth System models that will enable us to translate our evolving understanding into an improved ability to model the role of the Southern Ocean in future climate. Contributions are invited on studies that either use SOCCOM products or describe related physical and biogeochemical process studies and Earth System modeling simulations.

Sea State and Boundary Layer Physics of the Emerging Arctic Ocean

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Last updated:
11 December 2017
Surface waves now have a much greater role in the contemporary Arctic Ocean. The specific focus of this issue is on the autumn of 2015, especially the freeze-up of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, which included strong storms and significant open water. Here, waves propagate through the ice pack and affect the evolution of sea ice over large scales. This large-scale pattern feeds back, as wave generation is controlled by the amount of open water fetch. At smaller scales, waves and ice interact to attenuate and scatter the waves while simultaneously fracturing ice into ever changing floe size and thickness distributions. Further complicating these processes are forcing by winds and surface fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere, which are modulated by ice cover and orientation relative to the ice edge. The air-sea-ice interactions are complex, with momentum, energy, heat, gas, and moisture fluxes being moderated or produced by the waves, and impacting upper-ocean mixing. 

Atmosphere-ice-ocean-ecosystem processes in a thinner Arctic sea ice regime: the Norwegian young sea ICE cruise 2015 (N-ICE2015)

Results are presented from a 6-month interdisciplinary field experiment (Norwegian young sea ICE cruise; N-ICE2015) conducted in Arctic first-year sea ice north of Svalbard to understand atmosphere-ice-ocean interaction and the response of the physics, biogeochemistry and the marine ecosystem to the new thinner ice regime in the Arctic basin.

Physical Processes Responsible for Material Transport in the Gulf of Mexico for Oil Spill Applications

Last updated:
22 July 2016
Deepwater Horizon (DwH) in 2010 was the largest accidental marine oil spill. DwH incident  revealed a wide range of oceanic processes, which need to be understood better in order to advance predictive capability and reduce the socioeconomic impact of future oil spills. These include (but not limited to) dynamics of multiphase deep ocean plumes, processes near the air-sea interface including tropical storms, and interaction of bays, estuaries and inlets with coastal flows. An extensive research program ensued  in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the DwH incident. The purpose of this special collection is to present results from  experimental, observational and modeling studies on transport processes that are relevant to marine oil spills.

Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS): results and synthesis of coordinated experiments

Last updated:
20 June 2016
The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians and observationalists. The overall goal of FAMOS is a better understanding of the Arctic climate system through the use of improving numerical models and observational tactics and strategies. This special collection presents a set of project results obtained based on international coordinated observational and numerical experiments associated with: investigation of Pacific and Atlantic water circulation; studies of the processes of freshwater and heat accumulation in the Arctic Ocean and pathways of freshwater from sources toward the North Atlantic; fate of the Arctic sea ice and methods of sea ice modeling and forecasting; ecosystem modeling including both model development and Arctic ecosystem change studies; Investigation of Greenland’s ice melting role in the sea level rise and decadal climate variability.