Jane Temoshok, October 16, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 16, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 19.8º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 1 – 2 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 6/8

Science Log

LIDAR – Brandi McCarty & Scott Sandberg, ETL

Light and sound. LIDAR and RADAR. Both of these are used by scientists to observe the world. RADAR uses radio waves and LIDAR uses light waves. In this case, Brandi and Scott, from ETL in Colorado, use light waves, rather than sound waves, to observe clouds. They have a fully equipped van that was placed on the deck of the BROWN back in Seattle. Their major interest is observing the water vapor and wind velocity below and within stratus clouds. The instruments measure from 300 meters off the surface of the ocean up to about 4000 meters in the atmosphere.

Clouds have different functions. Depending upon how far they are away from the surface and what they are made from, clouds can act as a barrier to heat energy from the sun or as a blanket to keep heat trapped below.

Think of being in a hot desert. You would probably put on a light cloth to keep the burning sun out and keep you cooler. When the temperature drops though, you would want that cloth to keep your body heat in and not let it escape. Clouds are a lot like that. Mother Nature does a good job of keeping the planet at the right temperature. Now scientists want to figure out how she does it.

Brandi and Scott are working to collect lots of data that other scientists will use to make weather predictions. You can imagine that all the data that the ETL groups pull together from this trip could provide atmospheric scientists with lots of information to keep them busy for a long time.

Travel Log

R&R on NOAA Ship BROWN

In the evenings many of the scientific members as well as crew members enjoy playing games or cards, reading, or doing needlepoint. However the primary form of entertainment on the BROWN is watching videos. There is a big screen TV in the lounge. Crew member Mike puts out a schedule for the week of the videos that will be shown each night so you can plan ahead. He has hundreds and hundreds to choose from! Crew member Dave opens the ship store for us to buy popcorn or candy. The profits made at the store help to purchase new videos.

Temoshok 10-16-01 tvlounge

Scientists and crew members relax in the BROWN’s TV lounge.

Question of the day: Why is it important for all the “portholes” (windows) on the ship to be covered during the night?

Keep in touch,
Jane

 

Jane Temoshok, October 15, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 15, 2001

Latitude: 19º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 18.4º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 3 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Moorings

The overall purpose of this cruise called EPIC on NOAA Ship BROWN is to collect data in a variety of forms that will allow scientists a better understanding of the science of climate change. In charge of this leg of the trip is a scientist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts named Bob Weller. Although there is science going on all the time onboard, a major event of the cruise will be to retrieve and replace a mooring at 85W. A mooring is a type of buoy, something that is set into the ocean with a long rope that leads down to an anchor. Hopefully it stays put for a year and up to 4 years. Attached to the mooring are many, many scientific instruments that will collect data over a long time. This particular mooring is very large and has been in the ocean for a year. We expect to reach it sometime this afternoon and we will stay “on station” for 5 or 6 days until the job is done.

Much of the large equipment on board the ship is here solely for the purpose of retrieving this mooring. It weighs thousands of pounds and is extremely expensive. It is also a dangerous procedure when being lifted out of the water. Imagine the biggest crane you have ever seen at a construction site moving big things around. Now imagine that the crane and the items being moved are both bobbing on the water. That gives you an idea of what will be going on. Bob brought 3 men who are experts in this type of mooring operation along, Jeff, Willy and Paul. They have been training us on how to handle the ropes and the winches and some other equipment to make it go smoothly. It will take about a day just to lift it on board safely (several hours just to reel in the rope!). Then we spend the next day cleaning it and putting it away. I wonder what kinds of things will be stuck on it?

On board, there is a brand new mooring ready to be put into the same spot. That will take another whole day! Following that the scientists spend time making sure that all the instruments are working properly before we continue on our cruise.

During these days “on station” the other scientific groups will be launching balloons, studying clouds, taking water samples, and measuring wind speeds. The crew is hoping to go fishing near the mooring and have a bar-b-que! I’m just hoping for continued good weather.

Travel Log

As we travel east and change longitude we change time zones. So this morning, we “lost” an hour, which means we are now only 1 hour different that east coast time. Some people on board forgot to set their clocks and missed breakfast!

Question of the day: Sea life (mussels, barnacles, little fish) can be a problem for the scientists. They often attach themselves to the ropes and instruments and can interfere with the data being collected. Sharks may even bite into the cables and poke holes in them. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent this. Can you think of ways that might help?

Keep in touch,
Jane

 

Jane Temoshok, October 14, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 14, 2001

Latitude: 15º S
Longitude: 89º W
Air Temp: 19.2.0º C
Sea Temp: 19.3º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 4 ft.
Swell Wave: 4 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Wes Atkins & Robert Schaaf- Weather Balloons, University of Washington

Wes and Robert study the atmosphere. To do this they send up a big helium balloon that has a small box dangling from a string. In the box has an antenna that can communicate with up to 8 satellites, and several sensors that measure things like temperature, pressure, and moisture. The fancy name for this balloon and sensor package is called a radiosonde. The information that comes back to their computers is called an upper-air sounding. The data is graphed to show what’s going on in that atmosphere, on that day, in that location. Wes and Robert are part of a team that launches balloons every 3 hours! The idea is that the more data they collect the more accurate their “profile” or picture of the atmosphere will be. Also, they look for changes in the atmosphere as the ship moves along its track.

Another thing Wes and Robert are also interested in the sizes of raindrops. Have you ever been out in a light, misty rain? Compare that feeling to the big fat raindrops during a thunderstorm. What makes some rain drops tiny and some raindrops really big? For this experiment they use a special paper soaked in a chemical called “meth blue”. They put this out for a short period of time in a plastic tub. When the rain falls on the blue paper it leaves a mark which can be measured using a special tool – like a round ruler. They examine the sizes of the drops to learn about the clouds from which they came.

Travel Log

As you can tell from the data above, the sea is remaining pretty calm. The weather changes constantly from windy and gray to bright and clear. Every half hour is different. Today I saw a beautiful rainbow off in the distance.J (No pot of gold though.L) Still haven’t seen any other ships out here. We are very much alone at sea. This suits some people on board just fine. The crew (meaning the people who work on the boat all year long) really enjoy the solitude. They generally get news via email and whenever the ship puts into port, which can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. That’s a long time to go without hearing from your loved ones! There is a phone on board, but it costs $10 for just 3 minutes! There isn’t any TV on board but they do show 2 videos every night on a big screen in the lounge. There is a store on the ship where you can buy popcorn and candybars for the movie. Dinner is served really early (by my clock anyway) at 4:30! The kitchen closes by 5:30 so you better get your food by then or your on your own. The food is excellent, with a printed menu each day. I think the hardest working people onboard are the cooks! Can you imagine serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 50 people everyday? And they give us lots of choices too. Tonight we could choose from a complete turkey dinner (just like on Thanksgiving), Italian spaghetti with sausages, or salmon loaf.

Question of the day: How do updrafts affect the size of a raindrop? Do you think the size changes? If so, which way?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 13, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 13, 2001

Latitude: 11ºS
Longitude: 91ºW
Air Temp: 19.7 ºC
Sea Temp: 19.9 ºC
Sea Wave: 3-4 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 3/8

Science Log

Energy from the Sun

The sun is the source of all energy on the Earth. The sun gives us this energy in the form of light and heat. Where does all that energy go? Why? How can it be measured? These are some of the questions many of the scientists on board are asking.

Toby Westberry and Olga Polyakov are scientists that have 2 instruments to help them understand how solar energy behaves in the ocean. The first is the SPMR which is a tool used to measure how much light penetrates the water. The more light = the more heat. You can see in the photo that it is a small black device attached to a long cord.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbsbmrlaunch

Scientist Toby Westberry holds the SPMR, a tool used to measure how much light penetrates the water.

Toby and Olga lower the SPMR over the side and let it sink to 300 meters. Then they reel it back in just like a fishing pole. It tells them the “color” (wavelength) of the light at different depths. They do this over and over again in different locations in the ocean. Why? We know that the ocean water is not the same temperature in all places on the planet. Can you think of why this might be?

Well Toby and Olga know that there are tiny living organisms in the ocean that play a role in how warm or cool the temperature is. They are called phytoplankton. It seems that the more phytoplankton there is near the surface of the water, the more heat is trapped there.

Here’s an excellent explanation from Mrs. Richards of what’s happening that might help you to understand the process:

Imagine a nice clear swimming pool. The sun’s heat energy can penetrate all the way to the bottom of the pool because the water is so clear. Whatever heat energy hits the pool will be dispersed throughout the water somewhat evenly. Makes sense, right?

Now imagine that the pool has a layer of scum and algae at the top. Face it, you just haven’t done a very good job at cleaning the pool, and your allowance just isn’t big enough to make the job worthwhile. Now, the sun’s heat energy can’t pass all the way to the bottom of the pool because the scum is blocking the light. The very top of the pool water is going to capture almost all of the sun’s heat energy, and the bottom layers of water will be darker and colder. Imagine how the temperature of the water will be affected by the amount of scum in the water.

Knowing how much phytoplankton is hanging around would certainly help understand how the sun’s energy is being used. For this experiment they use a CTD. (Boy they sure use a lot of abbreviations for things!) This instrument is really big and needs a big machine called a winch to lift it in and out of the water.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbctd

The CTD is lowered in and out of the water by a winch.

It has 12 tubes that fill up with water, each at a different depth.When the CTD is back on the ship, Toby and Olga fill labeled plastic bottles with the water.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbctdcoll

Toby and Olga fill labeled bottles with the water collected at each depth.

Then their work begins. First they run all the water samples through a filter to figure out how much phytoplankton was in the sample.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbolgalab

Scientist Olga Polyakov works with the water samples in the lab.

Remember each tube on the CTD took in water at a different depth. So each bottle will tell a different story. They use this information to create a data graph which is used with other information to tell how the sun is heating the ocean.

Travel Log

Sea birds! I don’t know how they do it or where they came from but all of a sudden 5 “boobies” showed up over the ship. What was amazing is that they hardly ever flap their wings, yet they fly as fast as the ship. The ship is moving forward at about 10 miles an hour and has big engines to push it. These birds just seem to glide along over us. Beautiful!

Temoshok 10-13-01 bird

A booby flies over NOAA Ship RONALD H. BROWN.

Question of the day: What is an updraft and what causes it?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 12, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 12, 2001

Latitude: 7 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 21.2 ºC
Sea Temp: 21.1ºC
Sea Wave: 3 -4 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

ARGO

An ARGO Float is a small (about 3 feet in length) black tubular shaped instrument that measures temperature and salinity in the water. It’s interesting particularly because it is so simple. The middle part of the instrument, called a bladder, is made of a thick rubber material that can inflated like a balloon. It has a pump inside that inflates or deflates the bladder which changes its volume while keeping the mass the same. A deflated state has an increased density which makes the ARGO sink to a depth of 900 meters below the surface. There it drifts for 10 days collecting data. Then the bladder is inflated so the ARGO rises to the surface and transmits its data to a satellite. When the transmission is complete, it deflates again and begins the whole process anew. This will go on for four years! As part of an international project Dr. Weller, our Chief Scientist, and a group of scientists hope to have 3000 of these in the water all over the world collecting data. We will be deploying a total of 6 at the points marked on the photo. The one you see in the photo was deployed at 2.5 ºS.

Temoshok 10-12-01 argo

An ARGO Float is a small (about 3 feet in length) black tubular shaped instrument that measures temperature and salinity in the water.

Temoshok 10-12-01 argomap

Map of ARGO float deployments. We will be deploying a total of 6 floats at the points marked on the photo.

Temoshok 10-12-01 argoplan

The ARGO float deployment plan.

Temoshok 10-12-01 wellerargo

Dr. Weller, our Chief Scientist, holds an ARGO float.

Temoshok 10-12-01 wellerargo2

This ARGO float was deployed at 2.5 ºS.

Travel Log

Pilot Whales – My first sighting of whales. So beautiful and graceful. Not good for picture taking though because they blend in so well with the ocean. The weather is fine with a high cloud cover and light winds and no rain.

The crew says this is the calmest water they’ve been in all year! Lucky me!

Question of the day: What would happen to an ordinary styrofoam cup at at depth of 900 m.?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 11, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 11, 2001

Latitude: 4 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 21.0 ºC
Sea Temp: 19.0 ºC
Sea Wave: 1 – 2 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Clouds

Today I met with meteorologist Dr, Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado. She is head of a group that has done cloud studies in the Arctic. On this trip one of the things Dr. Uttal wants to determine is how similar marine clouds are to Arctic clouds. To do this she and her associate Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer. The whole trailer is on the deck of the RON BROWN. Think of the trailer as a big package of instruments. Duane’s job is to keep the machinery running. In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.

Dr. Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Uttal's associate, Duane Hazen.

Dr. Uttal’s associate, Duane Hazen.

Dr. Uttal and Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer.

Dr. Uttal and Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer.

In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.

In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.

Here is how Dr. Uttal explains what’s going on:

What is a cloud?
________________

A cloud is gazillions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals floating together up in the sky. Some clouds make rain and snow. Some clouds do not. In EPIC we are looking at both kinds of clouds.

What is a Radiometer?
_____________________

Think of a pokemon which has a special power that no other pokemon has. There are many things in the world around us that are just like that. For instance tiny droplets of water floating in the air are beaming certain energies that only water droplets have. If we know what the water droplet energy is like (and we do!), we can measure it and find out how much water there is in a cloud. A radiometer is a special instrument that we have here on the RON BROWN for measuring the special energy of a water droplet so we always know how much water is in the clouds over the ship. The energy of a water droplet can be named by how fast it is. A water droplet has three energies, 20 GHz, 32 GHz and 90 GHz. A GHz is 1,000,000,000 cycles per second.

What is a radar?
_________________

A radar is different from a radiometer because instead of looking for natural energy from something like a water droplet, it beams out its own energy, bounces it off of things in the sky (like water droplets in a cloud), and measures the reflected energy. By looking at the reflected energy, the radar can tell you things about a cloud that are different then what the radiometer tells you. It can tell you about how high a cloud is, how big the droplets are, and how fast the droplets are falling. The radar energy is 35 GHz.

What do you get when you look up with a radar and a radiometer?
_______________________________________________________________

When you put the data from a radar and radiometer together, you can figure out even more things, like how many cloud droplets there are, where the water is located in the cloud, and get an even better guess of how big the droplets are.

What does all this information tell you?
________________________________________

Right now people do not know very much about how clouds reflect sunlight from the sun, reflect warmth that is coming up from the earth, and change things like the temperature on the surface where we live. These things will change depending all the cloud height, how much water it has, how big the droplets are, and how fast they are falling. In EPIC, we want to know which kinds of clouds might make the ocean warmer, and which might make the ocean colder. This can have a big effect on where fish and other ocean animals might want to live and what kind of weather happens over the ocean.

Dr. Uttal is a scientist on board but she is also a mother and wife back in Colorado. Taniel and her husband Rusty, have 2 children – Kalvin, 6th grader at Baseline Middle School and Miranda, a 4th grader at Flatirons Elementary School.

Travel Log

Today I spent time on “the bridge” of the ship. This is the area that controls all the functions of the ship. The captain and his officers are responsible for all that goes on, much like the principal of the school is in charge. The best view can be had from the bridge and there are video cameras that look out over all the decks. The highlight was seeing a pod of porpoises swimming nearby. So graceful! I’m going to keep my eye out for whales.

Question of the Day: What is the fastest creature living in the sea?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 10, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 10, 2001

Latitude: 1 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 22.5 ºC
Sea Temp: 19 ºC
Sea Wave: 0 – 1 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 6/8

Science Log

Everyone was working in full swing today. Weather balloons being released, water samples being collected, data from every possible source was being analyzed. The big event of the day though, was coming upon the first buoy. A buoy is relatively small, about the size of a small monkey bar set – just big enough for one or two people to climb onto. It has a long rope with an anchor attached at the bottom so it is supposed to stay put. But many times the currents and winds are too strong and it drifts a bit, making it hard to find in the big ocean. Fortunately, it has a sensor on it that helps the ship locate it. This buoy was placed out here last year. It is full of sensors that store information like temperature and salinity (how much salt is in the water) and winds. Using that information, scientists can chart even the smallest changes over long periods of time. Unfortunately this buoy was damaged a while ago and stopped transmitting. Perhaps a ship ran into it or maybe a shark took a bite out it. Today 2 scientists went out in a small boat (see photos) and climbed aboard the buoy and repaired it. Lucky for them, the seas were very calm, but even so, it is very dangerous work. They found the buoy quite damaged probably from a collision with a ship. The buoy was fixed and is now transmitting again.

The sea was very calm, but even so, repairing a buoy is dangerous work.

Two scientists traveled to the buoy in a small boat and climbed aboard to repair it. They found the buoy quite damaged, probably from a collision with a ship.

The scientists fixed the buoy and now it is transmitting again.

Travel Log

Repairing the buoy took about 2 hours. During that time some of the crew enjoyed fishing off the back of the boat. As Jennifer mentioned in her logs, the bottom of the buoy and the rope that leads down to the anchor act as a special habitat for sea life. Barnacles and mussels attach themselves to the rope and then small fish come to feed on them, The food chain grows quite large so that in a year’s time many big fish, including sharks, can often be seen by a buoy. Today one of the crew caught a 25 pound mahi which was deliciously grilled up for dinner.

Today we also had our first emergency drills. Each person on board is responsible for knowing what to do, where to go, and what to bring for each of the three types of emergencies. The first is your basic fire drill. But since you can’t get off the ship easily, you have to know where to go to be safe. The second one is the “abandon ship” drill. This one is tough because each person must get to her room, put on a life vest, and carry a large orange duffle bag with your “gumby” suit in it down to a lifeboat. A gumby suit is a big bulky rubbery suit that will keep you warm and dry if you have to go into the water. You put it on right over your clothes and it’s really tough to do. I was told that it will be even be harder to do in the middle of a dark and cold night! The last drill is the “man overboard” alarm. What do you do if you were to see someone fall off the ship? Three things: keep your eye on him, throw something in the water that will float like a life ring, and yell for help. Safety is a big concern when you are on a ship.

Question of the Day: How does the ship get fresh water for its passengers?

Keep in touch,
Jane