Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Cover image for Vol. 121 Issue 7

Impact Factor: 3.318

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 27/184 (Geosciences Multidisciplinary)

Online ISSN: 2169-9291

Associated Title(s): Journal of Geophysical Research

Tracking the Indonesian Throughflow

JGR: Oceans article in the news

An article recently published in JGR: Oceans (Piété et al.,2013) focuses on the use of sound waves taking a “snapshot” of the uppermost layers of the ocean in groundbreaking high detail. The article -- -- also is the focus of a June 17 news story on

World Oceans Day, June 8: The Importance of the Global Ocean System

By Eric Des Barton, Editor in Chief of Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

What once seemed remote in the depth of the ocean abyss or in the far polar seas is increasingly in the consciousness of us all. The importance of the global ocean system to daily concerns such as commerce, food supply, transport, leisure, defense, weather and energy is ever more recognized at this time of uncertain change. Decreasing polar ice cover, ocean acidification, changes in sea level, circulation and productivity, with their intricate relations to global warming, are seen to have direct impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, particularly but not only those living in island and coastal communities. Conversely, the recent observation that plastic waste has accumulated to a hitherto unsuspected and alarming degree in the subtropical convergences tangibly illustrates the magnitude of human contaminating influence on the seas. The papers published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans cover basic and interdisciplinary research in all areas of marine science, including fundamental processes and their response to changing forcing.

The following examples selected by the editors highlight recent results in a selection of these areas of interest:

1. The changing Arctic Ocean: Selected by Editor Andrey Proshutinsky

This paper documents unprecedented changes in sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean and provides observational evidence of intensification of global warming.

Kwok, R., G. F. Cunningham, M. Wensnahan, I. Rigor, H. J. Zwally, and D. Yi (2009), Thinning and volume loss of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover: 2003–2008, J. Geophys. Res., 114, C07005,

2. Direct anthropogenic and sea level impact on tides: Selected by Editor Alejandro Jose Souza

The research reported here explores how rising Sea Level may alter the tidal regime in an area of extreme tides and have strong implications for the construction of Tidal Power Plants, which themselves can affect tidal range.

Holly E. Pelling and J.A. Mattias (2013), Sea level rise and tidal power plants in the Gulf of Maine, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, DOI:

3. Powerful ocean eddies and their impacts on the global ocean circulation: Selected by Editor Lie-Yauw Oey

This investigation of the ubiquity of ocean eddies based on numerical modeling of the world ocean reveals thousands of eddies with diameter >200 km, lifetimes >6 months, and vertical extents from the surface to >1 km or to the bottom. Eddies play a key role in transport of heat, salt, chemical species, and organisms and can have a large impact on biological productivity.

Petersen, M. R., S. J. Williams, M. E. Maltrud, M. W. Hecht, and B. Hamann (2013), A three-dimensional eddy census of a high-resolution global ocean simulation, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 118, 1759–1774, DOI:

4. Global warming, increased or modified upwelling and fisheries: Selected by Editor in Chief Eric Des Barton

This paper explores the changes in intensity, duration and onset of coastal upwelling in the North Pacific system in relation to an expected strengthening of alongshore winds caused by increasing land-ocean temperature contrast in line with Bakun's hypothesis. Upwelling is the basis of a large part of the ocean's productivity and fisheries; changes in its characteristics will have major economic and climatic implications.

Brian Bylhouwer, Debby Ianson and Karen Kohfeld (2013), Changes in the onset and intensity of wind-driven upwelling and downwelling along the North American Pacific coast, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, DOI:

5. Biogeochemical processes in a changing world ocean: Selected by Editor S. Bradley Moran

This interdisciplinary examination of the importance of iron inputs and utilization in the climatically sensitive Southern Ocean indicates how possible future changes in sea ice cover and mixed layer depth may impact on the ocean system. Feedbacks from a changing ocean in turn may alter the supply of iron for certain continental sources.

Boyd, P. W., K. R. Arrigo, R. Strzepek, and G. L. vanDijken (2012), Mapping phytoplankton iron utilization: Insights into Southern Ocean supply mechanisms, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C06009, DOI:

6. Shore and beach response to changing wind and wave climate: Selected by Editor Thomas H.C. Herbers

Field observations of the wave-induced flow in submerged sea grass are presented that yield new insight in biophysical interactions on beaches, and may help to understand the effects of a changing wave climate on near shore ecosystems.

Luhar, M., E. Infantes, A. Orfila, J. Terrados, and H. M. Nepf (2013), Field observations of wave-induced streaming through a submerged seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadow, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 118, 1955–1968, DOI:

7. Ocean-atmosphere interaction and climate: Selected by Editor Chunzai Wang

This reanalysis via modeling with data assimilation finds that long term variability of the El Niño shows considerable decadal scale variability but little indication of long term trend. The phenomenon appears to have been stronger before 1920 than during the mid-20th Century.

Giese, B. S., and S. Ray (2011), El Niño variability in simple ocean data assimilation (SODA), 1871–2008, J. Geophys. Res., 116, C02024, DOI:

To see a slideshow of images for some of these papers, go to

The Weather Channel— 18 February 2013
East Coast Faces Rising Seas from Slowing Gulf Stream

“Experts on the sea level rise triggered by climate change have long known that it will proceed faster in some places than others. The mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. is one of them, and the reason — in theory, anyway — is that global warming should slow the flow of the Gulf Stream as it moves north and then east toward northern Europe.”
Ezer et al.,Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 6 February 2013,

AGU Journals Increase in Importance According to 2010 Impact Factors [PDF].