Williams William J.

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William J.

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Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
  • Article
    Variations in rates of biological production in the Beaufort Gyre as the arctic changes: Rates from 2011 to 2016
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-04-30) Ji, Brenda Y. ; Sandwith, Zoe O. ; Williams, William J. ; Diaconescu, Oana ; Ji, Rubao ; Li, Yun ; Van Scoy, Emma ; Yamamoto-Kawai, Michiyo ; Zimmermann, Sarah ; Stanley, Rachel H. R.
    The Arctic Ocean is experiencing profound environmental changes as the climate warms. Understanding how these changes will affect Arctic biological productivity is key for predicting future Arctic ecosystems and the global CO2 balance. Here we use in situ gas measurements to quantify rates of gross oxygen production (GOP, total photosynthesis) and net community production (NCP, net CO2 drawdown by the biological pump) in the mixed layer in summer or fall from 2011 to 2016 in the Beaufort Gyre. NCP and GOP show spatial and temporal variations with higher values linked with lower concentrations of sea ice and increased upper ocean stratification. Mean rates of GOP range from 8 ± 1 to 54 ± 9 mmol O2·m−2·d−1 with the highest mean rates occurring in summer of 2012. Mean rates of NCP ranged from 1.3 ± 0.2 to 2.9 ± 0.5 mmol O2·m−2·d−1. The mean ratio of NCP/GOP, a measure of how efficiently the ecosystem is recycling its nutrients, ranged from 0.04 to 0.17, similar to ratios observed at lower latitudes. Additionally, a large increase in total photosynthesis that occurred in 2012, a year of historically low sea ice coverage, persisted for many years. Taken together, these data provide one of the most complete characterizations of interannual variations of biological productivity in this climatically important region, can serve as a baseline for future changes in rates of production, and give an intriguing glimpse of how this region of the Arctic may respond to future lack of sea ice.
  • Article
    Changes in the arctic ocean carbon cycle with diminishing ice cover
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-05-24) DeGrandpre, Michael D. ; Evans, Wiley ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; Williams, William J. ; Steele, Michael
    Less than three decades ago only a small fraction of the Arctic Ocean (AO) was ice free and then only for short periods. The ice cover kept sea surface pCO2 at levels lower relative to other ocean basins that have been exposed year round to ever increasing atmospheric levels. In this study, we evaluate sea surface pCO2 measurements collected over a 6‐year period along a fixed cruise track in the Canada Basin. The measurements show that mean pCO2 levels are significantly higher during low ice years. The pCO2 increase is likely driven by ocean surface heating and uptake of atmospheric CO2 with large interannual variability in the contributions of these processes. These findings suggest that increased ice‐free periods will further increase sea surface pCO2, reducing the Canada Basin's current role as a net sink of atmospheric CO2.
  • Technical Report
    The 1995 Georges Bank Stratification Study and moored array measurements
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2001-08) Alessi, Carol A. ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Caruso, Michael J. ; Churchill, James H. ; Irish, James D. ; Lentz, Steven J. ; Limeburner, Richard ; Werner, R. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Williams, Albert J. ; Williams, William J. ; Manning, James P. ; Smith, P.
    The 1995 Geoges Bank Stratification Study (GBSS) was the first intensive process study conducted as part of the U.S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic/Georges Bank field program. The GBSS was designed to investigate the physical processes which control the seasonal development of stratification along the southern flank of Georges Bank during spring and summer. Past work suggested that during this period, larval cod and haddock tended to aggregate to the thermocline on the southern flank where higher concentrations of their copepod prey were found. A moored array was deployed as part of GBSS to observe the onset and evolution of sesonal stratification over the southern flank with sufficient vertical and horizontal resolution that key physical processes could be identified and quantified. Moored current, temperature, and conductivity (salinity) measurements were made at three sites along the southern flank, one on the crest, and one on the northeast peak of the bank. Moored surface meteorological measurements were also made at one southern flank site to determine the surface wind stress and heat and moisture fluxes. The oceanographic and meteorological data collected with the GBSS array during January-August 1995 are presented in this report. Meteorological data collected on National Data Buoy Center environmental buoys 44011 (Georges Bank), 44008 (Nantucket Shoals), and 44005 (Gulf of Maine) are included in this report for completeness and comparison with the GBSS southern flank meteorological measurements.
  • Article
    Geochemistry of small Canadian Arctic rivers with diverse geological and hydrological settings
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-01-03) Brown, Kristina A. ; Williams, William J. ; Carmack, Eddy C. ; Fiske, Gregory J. ; Francois, Roger ; McLennan, Donald ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard
    A survey of 25 coastal‐draining rivers across the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) shows that these systems are distinct from the largest Arctic rivers that drain watersheds extending far south of the Arctic circle. Observations collected from 2014 to 2016 illustrate the influences of seasonal hydrology, bedrock geology, and landscape physiography on each river's inorganic geochemical characteristics. Summertime data show the impact of coincident gradients in lake cover and surficial geology on river geochemical signatures. In the north and central CAA, drainage basins are generally smaller, underlain by sedimentary bedrock, and their hydrology is driven by seasonal precipitation pulses that undergo little modification before they enter the coastal ocean. In the southern CAA, a high density of lakes stores water longer within the terrestrial system, permitting more modification of water isotope and geochemical characteristics. Annual time‐series observations from two CAA rivers reveal that their concentration‐discharge relationships differ compared with those of the largest Arctic rivers, suggesting that future projections of dissolved ion fluxes from CAA rivers to the Arctic Ocean may not be reliably made based on compositions of the largest Arctic rivers alone, and that rivers draining the CAA region will likely follow different trajectories of change under a warming climate. Understanding how these small, coastal‐draining river systems will respond to climate change is essential to fully evaluate the impact of changing freshwater inputs to the Arctic marine system.
  • Thesis
    The adjustment of barotropic currents at the shelf break to a sharp bend in the shelf topography
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1996-02) Williams, William J.
    During January-March, Scotian Shelf water has been observed to flow episodically from the southwestern Scotian Shelf directly across the Northeast Channel to Georges Bank. The possible factors that allow Scotian Shelf water to break the topographic constraint presented by the Northeast Channel and flow directly to Georges Bank are considered. As a simple analog to the flow over the southwestern Scotian Shelf near the Northeast Channel, the adjustment of a barotropic current near a shelf-break to a sharp bend in the shelf topography is studied numerically. For parameters within the oceanographic range, the adjustment to the bend is smooth and steady with no eddies shed at the corner. The vorticity dynamics allow a balance between the vortex stretching in the flow and the curvature in the flow. This is possible since the bend is a right-hand one facing downstream, a similar balance not being possible for a left-hand bend, in which case eddy formation is likely. A simple model of this balance clarifies the vorticity dynamics and provides the scaling rc = √eL/0.765 for any streamline in the flow, where rc is the radius of curvature at the corner, E = u0/fL and L = h0/b, where uo is the initial speed, f the coriolis parameter, h0 the initial depth and b the bottom slope. These results show that other factors such as stratification, wind stress, and time-dependent inflow must play a role in any flow across the Northeast Channel.
  • Article
    Deterioration of perennial sea ice in the Beaufort Gyre from 2003 to 2012 and its impact on the oceanic freshwater cycle
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-02-22) Krishfield, Richard A. ; Proshutinsky, Andrey ; Tateyama, Kazutaka ; Williams, William J. ; Carmack, Eddy C. ; McLaughlin, Fiona A. ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise
    Time series of ice draft from 2003 to 2012 from moored sonar data are used to investigate variability and describe the reduction of the perennial sea ice cover in the Beaufort Gyre (BG), culminating in the extreme minimum in 2012. Negative trends in median ice drafts and most ice fractions are observed, while open water and thinnest ice fractions (<0.3 m) have increased, attesting to the ablation or removal of the older sea ice from the BG over the 9 year period. Monthly anomalies indicate a shift occurred toward thinner ice after 2007, in which the thicker ice evident at the northern stations was reduced. Differences in the ice characteristics between all of the stations also diminished, so that the ice cover throughout the region became statistically homogenous. The moored data are used in a relationship with satellite radiometer data to estimate ice volume changes throughout the BG. Summer solid fresh water content decreased drastically in consecutive years from 730 km3 in 2006 to 570 km3 in 2007, and to 240 km3 in 2008. After a short rebound, solid fresh water fell below 220 km3 in 2012. Meanwhile, hydrographic data indicate that liquid fresh water in the BG in summer increased 5410 km3 from 2003 to 2010 and decreased at least 210 km3 by 2012. The reduction of both solid and liquid fresh water components indicates a net export of approximately 320 km3 of fresh water from the region occurred between 2010 and 2012, suggesting that the anticyclonic atmosphere-ocean circulation has weakened.
  • Article
    The rapid response of the Canada Basin to climate forcing : from bellwether to alarm bells
    (Oceanography Society, 2011-09) McLaughlin, Fiona A. ; Carmack, Eddy C. ; Proshutinsky, Andrey ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; Guay, Christopher K. ; Yamamoto-Kawai, Michiyo ; Jackson, Jennifer M. ; Williams, William J.
    Sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean diminished significantly during the first decade of the 2000s, most particularly in the Canada Basin where the loss of both multiyear and first-year ice was greater than in the other three subbasins. Using data collected during basin-wide surveys conducted from 2003–2010 together with data collected during the 1990s and 2000s at one station in the southern Canada Basin, we investigate the response of the Canada Basin water column to this significant decrease in ice cover. Changes were evident from the surface down to the Atlantic layer: some changes were the result of Beaufort Gyre forcing on regional processes, others were the result of Arctic Ocean atmospheric forcing on a hemispheric scale and large-scale advection. These changes have troubling consequences for the ecosystem.
  • Article
    Rates of summertime biological productivity in the Beaufort Gyre : a comparison between the low and record-low ice conditions of August 2011 and 2012
    (Elsevier, 2014-04-13) Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Sandwith, Zoe O. ; Williams, William J.
    The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly as the global climate warms but it is not well known how these changes are affecting biological productivity and the carbon cycle. Here we study the Beaufort Gyre region of the Canada Basin in August and use the large reduction in summertime sea ice extent from 2011 to 2012 to investigate potential impacts of climate warming on biological productivity. We use the gas tracers O2/Ar and triple oxygen isotopes to quantify rates of net community production (NCP) and gross oxygen production (GOP) in the gyre. Comparison of the summer of 2011 with the summer of 2012, the latter of which had record low sea ice coverage, is relevant to how biological productivity might change in a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean. We find that, in the surface waters measured here, GOP in 2012 is significantly greater than in 2011, with the mean basin-wide 2012 GOP = 38 ± 3 mmol O2 m− 2 d− 1 whereas in 2011, mean basin GOP = 16 ± 5 mmol O2 m− 2 d− 1. We hypothesize that this is because the lack of sea ice and consequent increase in light penetration allows photosynthesis to increase in 2012. However, despite the increase in GOP, NCP is the same in the two years; mean NCP in 2012 is 3.0 ± 0.2 mmol O2 m− 2 y− 1 and in 2011 is 3.1 ± 0.2 mmol O2 m− 2 y− 1. This suggests that the heterotrophic community (zooplankton and/or bacteria) increased its activity as well and thus respired the additional carbon produced by the increased photosynthetic production. In both years, stations on the shelf had GOP 3 to 5 times and NCP 2 to 10 times larger than the basin stations. Additionally, we show that in 2011, the NCP/GOP ratio is smallest in regions with highest ice cover, suggesting that the microbial loop was more efficient at recycling carbon in regions where the ice was just starting to melt. These results highlight that although satellite chlorophyll records show, and many models predict, an increase in summertime primary production in the Arctic Basin as it warms, the net amount of carbon processed by the biological pump during summer may not change as a function of ice cover. Thus, a rapid reduction in summertime ice extent may not change the net community productivity or carbon balance in the Beaufort Gyre.
  • Article
    Beaufort Gyre freshwater reservoir : state and variability from observations
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-06-24) Proshutinsky, Andrey ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Toole, John M. ; Carmack, Eddy C. ; McLaughlin, Fiona A. ; Williams, William J. ; Zimmermann, Sarah ; Itoh, Motoyo ; Shimada, Koji
    We investigate basin-scale mechanisms regulating anomalies in freshwater content (FWC) in the Beaufort Gyre (BG) of the Arctic Ocean using historical observations and data collected in 2003–2007. Specifically, the mean annual cycle and interannual and decadal FWC variability are explored. The major cause of the large FWC in the BG is the process of Ekman pumping (EP) due to the Arctic High anticyclonic circulation centered in the BG. The mean seasonal cycle of liquid FWC is a result of interplay between the mechanical (EP) and thermal (ice transformations) factors and has two peaks. One peak occurs around June–July when the sea ice thickness reaches its minimum (maximum ice melt). The second maximum is observed in November–January when wind curl is strongest (maximum EP) and the salt input from the growing ice has not yet reached its maximum. Interannual changes in FWC during 2003–2007 are characterized by a strong positive trend in the region varying by location with a maximum of approximately 170 cm a−1 in the center of EP influenced region. Decadal FWC variability in the period 1950–2000 is dominated by a significant change in the 1990s forced by an atmospheric circulation regime change. The center of maximum FWC shifted to the southeast and appeared to contract in area relative to the pre-1990s climatology. In spite of the areal reduction, the spatially integrated FWC increased by over 1000 km3 relative to climatology.
  • Article
    Mechanisms of Pacific Summer Water variability in the Arctic's Central Canada Basin
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-11-10) Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Proshutinsky, Andrey ; Golubeva, Elena ; Jackson, Jennifer M. ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; McCall, Margaret ; Platov, Gennady A. ; Toole, John M. ; Williams, William J. ; Kikuchi, Takashi ; Nishino, Shigeto
    Pacific Water flows northward through Bering Strait and penetrates the Arctic Ocean halocline throughout the Canadian Basin sector of the Arctic. In summer, Pacific Summer Water (PSW) is modified by surface buoyancy fluxes and mixing as it crosses the shallow Chukchi Sea before entering the deep ocean. Measurements from Ice-Tethered Profilers, moorings, and hydrographic surveys between 2003 and 2013 reveal spatial and temporal variability in the PSW component of the halocline in the Central Canada Basin with increasing trends in integrated heat and freshwater content, a consequence of PSW layer thickening as well as layer freshening and warming. It is shown here how properties in the Chukchi Sea in summer control the temperature-salinity properties of PSW in the interior by subduction at isopycnals that outcrop in the Chukchi Sea. Results of an ocean model, forced by idealized winds, provide support to the mechanism of surface ocean Ekman transport convergence maintaining PSW ventilation of the halocline.
  • Article
    Freshwater and its role in the Arctic Marine System : sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-03-30) Carmack, Edward C. ; Yamamoto-Kawai, Michiyo ; Haine, Thomas W. N. ; Bacon, Sheldon ; Bluhm, Bodil A. ; Lique, Camille ; Melling, Humfrey ; Polyakov, Igor V. ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Williams, William J.
    The Arctic Ocean is a fundamental node in the global hydrological cycle and the ocean's thermohaline circulation. We here assess the system's key functions and processes: (1) the delivery of fresh and low-salinity waters to the Arctic Ocean by river inflow, net precipitation, distillation during the freeze/thaw cycle, and Pacific Ocean inflows; (2) the disposition (e.g., sources, pathways, and storage) of freshwater components within the Arctic Ocean; and (3) the release and export of freshwater components into the bordering convective domains of the North Atlantic. We then examine physical, chemical, or biological processes which are influenced or constrained by the local quantities and geochemical qualities of freshwater; these include stratification and vertical mixing, ocean heat flux, nutrient supply, primary production, ocean acidification, and biogeochemical cycling. Internal to the Arctic the joint effects of sea ice decline and hydrological cycle intensification have strengthened coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere (e.g., wind and ice drift stresses, solar radiation, and heat and moisture exchange), the bordering drainage basins (e.g., river discharge, sediment transport, and erosion), and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., Arctic greening, dissolved and particulate carbon loading, and altered phenology of biotic components). External to the Arctic freshwater export acts as both a constraint to and a necessary ingredient for deep convection in the bordering subarctic gyres and thus affects the global thermohaline circulation. Geochemical fingerprints attained within the Arctic Ocean are likewise exported into the neighboring subarctic systems and beyond. Finally, we discuss observed and modeled functions and changes in this system on seasonal, annual, and decadal time scales and discuss mechanisms that link the marine system to atmospheric, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems.
  • Article
    Declining O2 in the Canada Basin Halocline consistent with physical and biogeochemical effects of Pacific summer water warming
    (American Geophysical Union, 2023-03-05) Arroyo, Ashley ; Timmermans, Mary‐Louise ; Le Bras, Isabela ; Williams, William ; Zimmermann, Sarah
    The Arctic Ocean's Canada Basin (CB) has seen significant changes in ocean properties in the past two decades. A prominent change has been a warming of the Pacific Summer Water (PSW) layer in the central CB. The corresponding change in dissolved oxygen (O2) is analyzed here to provide additional insight into PSW physics and biology, pathways, and evolution. O2 observations are analyzed between 2003 and 2021 from the Joint Ocean Ice Study/Beaufort Gyre Observing System (JOIS/BGOS) field program, which samples CB hydrographic and biogeochemical properties. In the central CB, warming of the PSW layer over 2003–2021 has been accompanied by O2 decreases over this time in the layer. Nutrients and other biogeochemical properties are analyzed to quantify the combined influences of both physical changes and biological changes on the evolution of O2 concentrations in the CB PSW. In the upper portion of the PSW, O2 decreases can be entirely accounted for by surface warming (and corresponding decrease in O2 solubility) of its source waters in the Chukchi Sea region. In the deeper portion of the PSW layer, the observed O2 changes are larger, and are accounted for by a combination of the decreased solubility effect due to warming, and increased organic matter breakdown in warmer waters. Decreasing O2 in a warming Arctic Ocean is consonant with O2 trends in the warming global oceans, and highlights the need for continued observations and analyses.
  • Article
    Analysis of the Beaufort Gyre freshwater content in 2003-2018
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-12-11) Proshutinsky, Andrey ; Krishfield, Richard A. ; Toole, John M. ; Timmermans, Mary-Louise ; Williams, William J. ; Zimmermann, Sarah ; Yamamoto-Kawai, Michiyo ; Armitage, Thomas ; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry S. ; Golubeva, Elena ; Manucharyan, Georgy E. ; Platov, Gennady A. ; Watanabe, Eiji ; Kikuchi, Takashi ; Nishino, Shigeto ; Itoh, Motoyo ; Kang, Sung-Ho ; Cho, Kyoung-Ho ; Tateyama, Kazutaka ; Zhao, Jing
    Hydrographic data collected from research cruises, bottom‐anchored moorings, drifting Ice‐Tethered Profilers, and satellite altimetry in the Beaufort Gyre region of the Arctic Ocean document an increase of more than 6,400 km3 of liquid freshwater content from 2003 to 2018: a 40% growth relative to the climatology of the 1970s. This fresh water accumulation is shown to result from persistent anticyclonic atmospheric wind forcing (1997–2018) accompanied by sea ice melt, a wind‐forced redirection of Mackenzie River discharge from predominantly eastward to westward flow, and a contribution of low salinity waters of Pacific Ocean origin via Bering Strait. Despite significant uncertainties in the different observations, this study has demonstrated the synergistic value of having multiple diverse datasets to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of Beaufort Gyre freshwater content variability. For example, Beaufort Gyre Observational System (BGOS) surveys clearly show the interannual increase in freshwater content, but without satellite or Ice‐Tethered Profiler measurements, it is not possible to resolve the seasonal cycle of freshwater content, which in fact is larger than the year‐to‐year variability, or the more subtle interannual variations.