MODIS SST and Chl Validation and Analysis

Subject: Science
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 838
Topics: Chemistry, Ecology, Experiment, Physics

The data produced shows the general behavior of the environment as a result of various factors. The factors play a critical role in shaping the ocean/sea as a habitat for many organisms. There are common events that affect the stability of organisms as well as the temperature in the ocean. Our center of focus is the sea surface temperature. It refers to the temperature that keeps on changing on the surface of the sea. As has been noticed, there is the relationship between the SST and concentration of chlorophyll. There is the notable trend between the SST and Chlorophyll that in turn depend on the environmental conditions. The experiment involved the use of both MODIS’ satellite image and the boat-based equipment. The two sets of data also revealed data that were significantly related to one another. 

To understand the phenomenon, it is important to understand the heating effect between the water bodies and the land. It is important to note that land heats faster than the sea and looses hit faster than the sea. There are several reasons that can be used to justify the above occurrence. First, water silvery reflected most heat directed to it (Deser et al. 125). On the other hand, land being darker has the potential of absorbing more heat. When land has absorbed heat, the heat is used to heat the air above it. As a result, the air on the continent becomes hotter. That causes a gradient between the temperature of air above the continent and that above the ocean.

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The difference between temperatures of the air on the continent causes air to move from one direction to another. Hot air is lighter while cold air is heavier. The temperature gradient results to the movement of cold air from the ocean to the land. On the other hand, warm air also moves from the land to the sea. This is the principle of upwelling (Otero et al. 1135). It explains why the land has a higher impact on the shores as compared to a distance from the shores. The movement of the wind does not only affect the water bodies but also other organisms that depend on water as their habitat. The mechanism of change in temperature alters the stability of the sea. 

As mentioned earlier, temperature changes causes alteration of the sea temperature. Upwelling occurs when there is a temperature deficit in the sea. When warm air above the sea heats the water surface, the density of the water reduced. On the other hand, if the sea surface temperature is cold, the density of water is increased (Ginzburg et al. 260). As a result, the sea ends up having different temperatures at the top and bottom of the sea. Obviously, the denser water shifts from the top to bottom while the lighter water shifts from the bottom to the top. The movement is referred to as upwelling. It is a major occurrence that is a threat to aquatic life. As realized in the experiment, the SST levels were monitored in relation to the chlorophyll concentration.

The results of the study find that it is getting colder to the south direction, and getting warmer to the North direction. In addition, the warmer the SST, the higher the concentration of chlorophyll. One of the main reasons for the occurrence of the phenomenon is upwelling that results to the pushing up of the deep waters the surface of the ocean. The warmth could be increasing towards the north because strong winds are blowing from the south to the north (Ginzburg et al. 260). That causes warm water to move from the south to the north. Cold water from below replaces the warm water. The cold water come along with nutrients that organisms such as phytoplankton feed on. The result is an increase on the concentration of chlorophyll.

The warmer the region, the higher the concentration of chlorophyll. As had been mentioned, the warmer SST is affected by being swept away by the strong wind. That gives way for the cold water from the bottom. The cold water come with nutrients that phytoplankton feed on. As a result, there is high concentration of chlorophyll in such areas. The results of the study are consistent with other studies. Though the two methods did not produce the same results, there was a positive correlation between the results. Otherwise, a major problem was calibration of the two methods so that they could produce slightly close results. Future studies should be able to properly calibrate their methods to be standard. 

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  1. Deser, Clara, et al. “Sea surface temperature variability: Patterns and mechanisms.” Annual review of marine science 2 (2010): 115-143.
  2. Ginzburg, Anna, Andrey Kostianoy, and Nickolay Sheremet. “Sea surface temperature variability.” The Black Sea Environment (2008): 255-275.
  3. Otero, Mark Pumarino, and D. A. Siegel. “Spatial and temporal characteristics of sediment plumes and phytoplankton blooms in the Santa Barbara Channel.” Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 51.10 (2004): 1129-1149.
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