Seasonal variability of the Ekman transport and pumping in the upwelling system off central-northern Chile (∼ 30° S) based on a high-resolution atmospheric regional model
Bravo, L., Ramos, M., Astudillo, O., Dewitte, B., & Goubanova, K.
Two physical mechanisms can contribute to coastal upwelling in eastern boundary current systems: offshore Ekman transport due to the predominant alongshore wind stress and Ekman pumping due to the cyclonic wind stress curl, mainly caused by the abrupt decrease in wind stress (drop-off) in a cross-shore band of 100 km. This wind drop-off is thought to be an ubiquitous feature in coastal upwelling systems and to regulate the relative contribution of both mechanisms. It has been poorly studied along the central-northern Chile region because of the lack in wind measurements along the shoreline and of the relatively low resolution of the available atmospheric reanalysis. Here, the seasonal variability in Ekman transport, Ekman pumping and their relative contribution to total upwelling along the central-northern Chile region (∼ 30° S) is evaluated from a high-resolution atmospheric model simulation. As a first step, the simulation is validated from satellite observations, which indicates a realistic representation of the spatial and temporal variability of the wind along the coast by the model. The model outputs are then used to document the fine-scale structures in the wind stress and wind curl in relation to the topographic features along the coast (headlands and embayments). Both wind stress and wind curl had a clear seasonal variability with annual and semiannual components. Alongshore wind stress maximum peak occurred in spring, second increase was in fall and minimum in winter. When a threshold of −3 × 10−5 s−1 for the across-shore gradient of alongshore wind was considered to define the region from which the winds decrease toward the coast, the wind drop-off length scale varied between 8 and 45 km. The relative contribution of the coastal divergence and Ekman pumping to the vertical transport along the coast, considering the estimated wind drop-off length, indicated meridional alternation between both mechanisms, modulated by orography and the intricate coastline. Roughly, coastal divergence predominated in areas with low orography and headlands. Ekman pumping was higher in regions with high orography and the presence of embayments along the coast. In the study region, the vertical transport induced by coastal divergence and Ekman pumping represented 60 and 40 % of the total upwelling transport, respectively. The potential role of Ekman pumping on the spatial structure of sea surface temperature is also discussed.
Seasonal variability of the oxygen minimum zone off Peru in a high-resolution regional coupled model
Vergara, O., Dewitte, B., Montes, I., Garçon, V., Ramos, M., Paulmier, A., & Pizarro, O.
In addition to being one of the most productive upwelling systems, the oceanic region off Peru is embedded in one of the most extensive oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) of the world ocean. The dynamics of the OMZ off Peru remain uncertain, partly due to the scarcity of data and to the ubiquitous role of mesoscale activity on the circulation and biogeochemistry. Here we use a high-resolution coupled physical/biogeochemical model simulation to investigate the seasonal variability of the OMZ off Peru. The focus is on characterizing the seasonal cycle in dissolved O2 (DO) eddy flux at the OMZ boundaries, including the coastal domain, viewed here as the eastern boundary of the OMZ, considering that the mean DO eddy flux in these zones has a significant contribution to the total DO flux. The results indicate that the seasonal variations of the OMZ can be interpreted as resulting from the seasonal modulation of the mesoscale activity. Along the coast, despite the increased seasonal low DO water upwelling, the DO peaks homogeneously over the water column and within the Peru Undercurrent (PUC) in austral winter, which results from mixing associated with the increase in both the intraseasonal wind variability and baroclinic instability of the PUC. The coastal ocean acts therefore as a source of DO in austral winter for the OMZ core, through eddy-induced offshore transport that is also shown to peak in austral winter. In the open ocean, the OMZ can be divided vertically into two zones: an upper zone above 400 m, where the mean DO eddy flux is larger on average than the mean seasonal DO flux and varies seasonally, and a lower part, where the mean seasonal DO flux exhibits vertical–zonal propagating features that share similar characteristics than those of the energy flux associated with the annual extratropical Rossby waves. At the OMZ meridional boundaries where the mean DO eddy flux is large, the DO eddy flux has also a marked seasonal cycle that peaks in austral winter (spring) at the northern (southern) boundary. In the model, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is 70 % larger at the southern boundary than at the northern boundary. Our results suggest the existence of distinct seasonal regimes for the ventilation of the OMZ by eddies at its boundaries. Implications for understanding the OMZ variability at longer timescales are discussed.
The OMZ and nutrient features as a signature of interannual and low-frequency variability in the Peruvian upwelling system
Graco, M., Purca, S., Dewitte, B., Castro, C., Morón, O., Ledesma, J., Flores, G., & Gutiérrez, D.
Over the last decades, the Humboldt Current upwelling ecosystem, particularly the northern component off the coast of Peru, has drawn the interest of the scientific community because of its unique characteristics: it is the upwelling system with the biggest catch productivity despite the fact it is embedded in a shallow and intense oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). It is also an area of intense nitrogen loss and anammox activity and experiences large interannual variability associated with the equatorial remote forcing. In this context, we examined the oceanographic and biogeochemical variability associated with the OMZ off central Peru from a monthly time series (1996–2011) recorded off the coast of Callao (12° 02′ S, 77° 29′ W). The data reveal a rich spectrum of variability in the OMZ that includes frequencies ranging from seasonal to interannual scales. Due to the efficient oceanic teleconnection off Peru, the observed variability is interpreted in the light of an estimate of the equatorial Kelvin wave contribution to sea level anomalies considering the peculiarities of its vertical structure (i.e., the first two baroclinic modes). The span of the data set allows us to contrast two OMZ regimes. The strong regime is associated with the strong 1997–1998 equatorial Pacific El Niño, during which the OMZ adjusted to Kelvin-wave-induced downwelling conditions that switched off the upwelling and drastically reduced nutrient availability. The weak regime corresponds to the post-2000 period associated with the occurrence of moderate central Pacific El Niño events and enhanced equatorial Kelvin wave activity, in which mean upwelling conditions are maintained. It is shown that the characteristics of the coupling between physics and biogeochemistry is distinct between the two regimes with the weak regime being associated with a larger explained variance in biogeochemical properties not linearly related to the ENSO oceanic teleconnection. The data also reveal a long-term trend from 1999 corresponding to a deepening of the oxygen-deficient waters and warming. The implications of our results for understanding the OMZ dynamics off Peru are discussed.
Vertical energy flux at ENSO time scales in the subthermocline of the Southeastern Pacific
Vergara, O., Dewitte, B., Ramos, M., & Pizarro, O.
The question of how energy is redistributed in the ocean has renewed the interest for the processes leading to midlatitude subthermocline variability at low frequency. Here we investigate a process that has been disregarded although potentially relevant for climatic studies dealing with the planetary energy budget. The focus is on the Southeastern Pacific where an efficient oceanic teleconnection takes place, linking the remote surface equatorial momentum forcing with the subthermocline through the vertical propagation of low‐frequency long‐wavelength extratropical Rossby waves (ETRW). A high‐resolution model is used to document the vertical energy flux associated with ETRW at interannual to decadal time scales. The analysis of a long‐term (1958–2008) simulation reveals that the vertical energy flux can be interpreted to a large extent as resulting from the coastally forced ETRW as far south as 35°S, so that heat content variability can be predicted along theoretical trajectories originating from the coast below the thermocline. It is shown that the vertical energy flux associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation forms beams below the thermocline that account for a large fraction of the total vertical energy flux at interannual time scales. Extreme El Niño events are the dominant contributor to this flux, which is hardly impacted by mesoscale activity. The energy beams experience a dissipation processes in the ocean below 1000 m that is interpreted as resulting from vertical turbulent diffusion. Our results suggest that the ETRW at ENSO time scales are strongly dissipated at the surface but still can modulate the heat content in the deep ocean of the Southeastern Pacific.
Palabras claves: Extratropical Rossby wave, Energy flux, El Niño, Humboldt currents system
ENSO Atmospheric Teleconnections and Their Response to Greenhouse Gas Forcing
Yeh, S., Cai, W., Min, S., McPhaden, M., Dommenget, D., & Dewitte, B., Collins, M., Ashok, K., Soon‐Il, A., Bo‐Young, Y., Jong‐Seong, K.
El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most prominent year‐to‐year climate fluctuation on Earth, alternating between anomalously warm (El Niño) and cold (La Niña) sea surface temperature (SST) conditions in the tropical Pacific. ENSO exerts its impacts on remote regions of the globe through atmospheric teleconnections, affecting extreme weather events worldwide. However, these teleconnections are inherently nonlinear and sensitive to ENSO SST anomaly patterns and amplitudes. In addition, teleconnections are modulated by variability in the oceanic and atmopsheric mean state outside the tropics and by land and sea ice extent. The character of ENSO as well as the ocean mean state have changed since the 1990s, which might be due to either natural variability or anthropogenic forcing, or their combined influences. This has resulted in changes in ENSO atmospheric teleconnections in terms of precipitation and temperature in various parts of the globe. In addition, changes in ENSO teleconnection patterns have affected their predictability and the statistics of extreme events. However, the short observational record does not allow us to clearly distinguish which changes are robust and which are not. Climate models suggest that ENSO teleconnections will change because the mean atmospheric circulation will change due to anthropogenic forcing in the 21st century, which is independent of whether ENSO properties change or not. However, future ENSO teleconnection changes do not currently show strong intermodel agreement from region to region, highlighting the importance of identifying factors that affect uncertainty in future model projections.
Palabras claves: ENSO, Ocean mean state, Atmospheric teleconnections, Extreme event, Anthropogenic forcing, Climate models
From whaling to whale watching: Identifying fin whale critical foraging habitats off the Chilean coast
Sepúlveda, M., Pérez-Álvarez, M., Santos-Carvallo, M., Pavez, G., Olavarría, C., Moraga, R., & Zerbini, A.
1. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) have been documented along the coast of Chile since the early 20th century; however, information on their ecology and movement patterns remains poorly known.
2. In the spring of 2015, six implantable satellite tags were deployed on fin whales around the marine reserves of Isla Chañaral and Islas Choros‐Damas (approximately 29°S) to evaluate their movements and habitat use off the coast of Chile. A switching state–space model was used to estimate the predicted track of the whales as well as behavioural modes classified as ‘transiting’ and ‘area‐restricted search’ (ARS).
3. Whales were tracked for periods ranging between 4 and 162 days (mean = 68 ± 52 days), covering an average distance of 3225.7 ± 2871.6 km. Five of the six whales remained at middle latitudes for prolonged periods of time, moving in a north–south pattern near the coast, and spending most of their time in ARS behaviour (72.5% of the locations). Only one individual showed a clear southbound migratory behaviour, and remained in transit behaviour for most of the period it was followed.
4. These results suggest that some of the fin whales that are observed in Chile do follow a migration to high latitudes, whereas others remained at middle latitudes, probably using critical habitats as feeding grounds during the summer. This information not only contributes new information on the behaviour and foraging patterns of this species, but is also of particular interest to promote the growing whale‐watching activity, and also to better inform conservation and management efforts for this species in Chile.
Palabras claves: Coastal, Endangered species, Feeding, Mammals, Marine reserve, Ocean, Recreation, Satellite telemetry
Geophysical and geochemical constraints on the age and paleoclimate implications of Holocene lacustrine cores from the Andes of central Chile
Tiner, R., Negrini, R., Antinao, J., McDonald, E., & Maldonado, A.
A Holocene paleoclimate record was constructed using two lacustrine cores from the high‐elevation Chilean Andes at ∼30°S latitude. Coarser and more poorly sorted grain‐size distributions and higher C/N ratios were interpreted as evidence for increased storm activity. Wet conditions prevailed from ∼10.8 to 9.5k cal a BP, then transitioned to dry conditions from ∼9.5 to 5.7k cal a BP interrupted by stormy conditions from ∼8.3 to 7.6k cal a BP. Wet conditions returned from ∼5.7k cal a BP to the present, interrupted by aridity from ∼4.1 to 2.2k cal a BP. This paleoclimate record is consistent with others from the region. The wet periods were probably caused by the influence of the Southern Westerlies, while dry conditions resulted from the influence of the Southeast Pacific Anticyclone. The increased storminess from ∼8.3 to 7.7k cal a BP may have been sourced from latitudinal shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and subsequent weakening of the Westerlies, allowing the incursion of convective storms from east of the Andes. This sequence of events is consistent with synoptic conditions during modern easterly sourced storm activity. It is also consistent with modeling studies of the effect on the Southern Hemisphere of the rapid cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean during the 8.2‐ka event.
Palabras claves: Elqui, Holocene, Lakes, Paleoclimate, Paleomagnetic secular variation
New insights into the use of stable water isotopes at the northern Antarctic Peninsula as a tool for regional climate studies
Fernandoy, F., Tetzner, D., Meyer, H., Gacitúa, G., Hoffmann, K., Falk, U., Lambert, F., & MacDonell, S.
Due to recent atmospheric and oceanic warming, the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging regions of Antarctica to understand in terms of both local- and regional-scale climate signals. Steep topography and a lack of long-term and in situ meteorological observations complicate the extrapolation of existing climate models to the subregional scale. Therefore, new techniques must be developed to better understand processes operating in the region. Isotope signals are traditionally related mainly to atmospheric conditions, but a detailed analysis of individual components can give new insight into oceanic and atmospheric processes. This paper aims to use new isotopic records collected from snow and firn cores in conjunction with existing meteorological and oceanic datasets to determine changes at the climatic scale in the northern extent of the Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, a discernible effect of sea ice cover on local temperatures and the expression of climatic modes, especially the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), is demonstrated. In years with a large sea ice extension in winter (negative SAM anomaly), an inversion layer in the lower troposphere develops at the coastal zone. Therefore, an isotope–temperature relationship (δ–T ) valid for all periods cannot be obtained, and instead the δ–T depends on the seasonal variability of oceanic conditions. Comparatively, transitional seasons (autumn and spring) have a consistent isotope–temperature gradient of +0.69 ‰ ◦C−1. As shown by firn core analysis, the near-surface temperature in the northern-most portion of the Antarctic Peninsula shows a decreasing trend (−0.33 ◦C year−1) between 2008 and 2014. In addition, the deuterium excess (dexcess) is demonstrated to be a reliable indicator of seasonal oceanic conditions, and therefore suitable to improve a firn age model based on seasonal dexcess variability. The annual accumulation rate in this region is highly variable, ranging between 1060 and 2470 kgm−2 year−1 from 2008 to 2014. The combination of isotopic and meteorological data in areas where data exist is key to reconstruct climatic conditions with a high temporal resolution in polar regions where no direct observations exist.
Alpha-helical domain from IL-8 of salmonids: Mechanism of action and identification of a novel antimicrobial function
Santana, P., Salinas, N., Álvarez, C., Mercado, L., & Guzmán, F.
In this work, the potential antimicrobial role and mechanism of action of α-helix domain of trout and salmon IL-8 against Eschericia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus was investigated. By an in silico analysis of the primary structure of IL-8 from Oncorhynchus mykiss and salmo salar, it was evidenced that γ-core motif was present, as in the vast majority of kinocidins. The α-helix domain of IL-8 (αIL-8) was synthesized by solid phase peptide synthesis and showed a tendency to form an α-helix conformation, as revealed by circular dichroism. Additionally, it was demonstrated that αIL-8 from both species showed antimicrobial activity against E. coli, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Membrane permeabilization and co-localization assay, as well as scanning electron microscopy, showed that these peptides were accumulated on the cell surface and in the cytoplasm, suggesting that they were capable of permeabilizing and disrupt the bacterial membranes and interact with cytoplasmic components. Our results represent the first analysis on the antimicrobial function of IL-8-derived peptide from salmonids.
Palabras claves: Interleukin-8, Synthetic peptide, Antimicrobial activity, Salmonids
Understanding the antimicrobial properties/activity of an 11-residue Lys homopeptide by alanine and proline scan
Carvajal-Rondanelli, P., Aróstica, M., Álvarez, C., Ojeda, C., Albericio, F., Aguilar, L.F., Marshall, S.H., Guzmán, F.
Previous work demonstrated that lysine homopeptides adopt a polyproline II (PPII) structure. Lysine homopeptides with odd number of residues, especially with 11 residues (K11), were capable of inhibiting the growth of a broader spectrum of bacteria than those with an even number. Confocal studies also determined that K11 was able to localize exclusively in the bacterial membrane, leading to cell death. In this work, the mechanism of action of this peptide was further analyzed focused on examining the structural changes in bacterial membrane induced by K11, and in K11 itself when interacting with bacterial membrane lipids. Moreover, alanine and proline scans were performed for K11 to identify relevant positions in structure conformation and antibacterial activity. To do so, circular dichroism spectroscopy (CD) was conducted in saline phosphate buffer (PBS) and in lipidic vesicles, using large unilamellar vesicles (LUV), composed of 2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) or bacterial membrane lipid. Antimicrobial activity of K11 and their analogs was evaluated in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 exposed to the Lys homopeptide at MIC concentration showed blisters and bubbles formed on the bacterial surface, suggesting that K11 exerts its action by destabilizing the bacterial membrane. CD analysis revealed a remarkably enhanced PPII structure of K11 when replacing some of its central residues by proline in PBS. However, when such peptide analogs were confronted with either DMPG-LUV or membrane lipid extract-LUV, the tendency to form PPII structure was severely weakened. On the contrary, K11 peptide showed a remarkably enhanced PPII structure in the presence of DMPG-LUV. Antibacterial tests revealed that K11 was able to inhibit all tested bacteria with an MIC value of 5 µM, while proline and alanine analogs have a reduced activity on Listeria monocytogenes. Besides, the activity against Vibrio parahaemolyticus was affected in most of the alanine-substituted analogs. However, lysine substitutions by alanine or proline at position 7 did not alter the activity against all tested bacterial strains, suggesting that this position can be screened to find a substitute amino acid yielding a peptide with increased antibacterial activity. These results also indicate that the PPII secondary structure of K11 is stabilized by the interaction of the peptide with negatively charged phospholipids in the bacterial membrane, though not being the sole determinant for its antimicrobial activity.
Palabras claves: Lysine homopeptide-antimicrobial activity-Ala, Pro scanning-membrane rupture