SCALE Logo - White Background
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NEWS FEED
1 week ago
Successful recovery of SWIFT buoy 21 last night. Hair raising recovery where it was dragged underneath a floe before beaching itself on top of one. Our #SAAgulhas2 crew is soo resourceful! @PolarGliders https://t.co/BAwbbOvfQe SCALExperiment photo
1 week ago
Ok.. this is clearly revealing who is tweeting. We have no social media on the ship and chief scientist @tommyrkeogh sends the tweet to land based team @MarcelloVichi ... 😉 https://t.co/OoIRXT0oeD
SCALExperiment photo
Marcello Vichi @MarcelloVichi
Successful recovery of SWIFT buoy 20. The buoy measured waves and metocean variables since it was deployed on our way south https://t.co/UHakq2FlCF
1 week ago
Our fantastic @CPUT whale team is working hard during the marine mammal survey along the ice edge. This a group of orcas from a few days ago. @ClimateWhales https://t.co/xAaxRUWjx4 SCALExperiment photo
2 weeks ago
The ship is back to open ocean and steaming along the ice edge. Successful deployment of McLane pump to filter large quantities of water. https://t.co/AaQCCQFoQy SCALExperiment photo
2 weeks ago
Third half in the middle of sea ice in the Southern Ocean! @Springboks https://t.co/1bUeWWYSoE SCALExperiment photo
PROPOSED RESEARCH PLAN
WINTER CRUISE
  • 3 weeks: July 2019
  • GoodHope line to ice edge
  • Deep CTDs for hydrography and trace elements complying with minimum requirements for GO-SHIP & GEOTRACES
  • Obtain winter seasonal boundary conditions
  • Deploy gliders in Subantarctic Zone (SAZ), Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) and Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ)
  • MIZ process study and ice sampling
SPRING – SUMMER CRUISE
  • 6 weeks: Oct – Dec 2019
  • GoodHope line to ice edge
  • Interdisciplinary platform to sample ocean surface and interior through a CTD transect and 3 experimental sites coinciding with glider stations
  • Deep CTDs for hydrography and trace elements (GEOTRACES compliant)
  • MIZ process study and ice sampling
LATE SUMMER CRUISE
  • December 2019 – February 2020
  • Two additional transects of GoodHope line during logistics voyages with underway focus
  • Retrieve and calibrate gliders
ScaleFigure500k

Figure: The integrated (ship-glider) observational approach for SCALE showing the location of the GoodHope line and three representative seasonal glider experimental sites in the SAZ, PFZ and MIZ.

The seasonal cycle is an important mode of variability that couples the physical mechanisms of climate forcing to ecosystem response in phytoplankton diversity, primary production and carbon export.

Model simulations tend to overestimate the magnitude and miss the timing of the Southern Ocean seasonal cycle. This drives the need for more biogeochemical data sets that address the problem of model biases; firstly to identify them and secondly to characterize the associated mechanisms that will allow improved projections.

SCALE (Southern oCean seAsonaL Experiment) is a novel interdisciplinary experiment that spans seasonal to decadal time scales in the south east Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. SCALE contributes both long-term and experimental observations towards a greater understanding of the role of fine scale dynamics in shaping the phasing and magnitude of the Southern Ocean seasonal cycle through novel integrated ship and robotics experiments.

SCALE HYPOTHESIS

Changes in seasonal modes of variability are a more sensitive indicator of long-term trends than changes in the magnitude of annual means.

KEY RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
  1. Advance our understanding of the climate sensitivity of the Southern Ocean through a better understanding of seasonal cycle dynamics in the upper 1000 m.
  2. Observe decadal changes in ocean interior storage of carbon, geotraces and heat.
  3. Provide interdisciplinary post graduate student training through advanced skills development and observational technological innovation.

We will be requesting endorsement from several international programmes (e.g. SOOS, SOCCOM, CLIVAR, SOLAS, GEOTRACES, GO-SHIP and IOCCP) and invite international participation that is inline with SCALE research objectives. 

GET INVOLVED →

INTEGRATED SCIENTIFIC THEMES
AIR-SEA-ICE FLUXES

The exchange of gases, aerosols, heat and momentum is a key factor influencing long-term climate variability and trends. These fluxes are critical to understanding the links between carbon and climate, aerosols and albedo and the influence of terrestrial particles on ocean biogeochemistry.

BIOLOGICAL CARBON PUMP

Changes in climate are likely to affect the composition, abundance, and productivity of phytoplankton, with feedbacks that threaten the ecosystem services they provide, namely sustaining biodiversity, fueling the food web and fisheries, and mediating global climate through an altered efficiency of the biological carbon pump.

PHYSICS TO TOP PREDATORS

The Southern Ocean is subject to strong frontal (meso to sub-mesoscale) activity due to the instabilities of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Nutrient pulses associated with frontal dynamics have the ability to propagate throughout the food chain from lower trophic levels (phytoplankton) to top predators (seabirds and marine mammals).

DECADAL CHANGES IN OCEAN INTERIOR

The Meridional Overturning Circulation is a global reaching system of surface and deep ocean currents. It is the primary mechanism for the transport and storage of heat, carbon, salt, freshwater and nutrients (including geotrace elements) between ocean basins; connecting the surface ocean and atmosphere with the huge reservoir of the deep sea.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR POLAR ENGINEERING

To advance the scientific basis for ice-going vessels, the SA Agulhas II has been the subject of full-scale engineering measurements since 2012. These measurements focus on structural dynamics of the hull and propulsion systems, wave slamming and human comfort. The sensor infrastructure and advanced data analytics position the ship as an ideal platform to explore digital twin technology to assess the state and behaviour of the vessel in near real time within its operational context. These powerful platforms promise to advance education, research, innovation and industrial development related to shipping, oceans and polar research.

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NATIONAL PARTNERS

CSIR
Pedro Monteiro 
Sandy Thomalla 
Thato Mtshali
Sarah Nicholson
Thomas J. Ryan-Keogh
Rebecca Garland
DEA
Hans Verheye
Azwianewi Makhado
US
Susanne Fietz
Alakendra Roychoudhury
Annie Bekker
UCT
Marcello Vichi 
Katye Altieri 
Isabelle Ansorge 
Sarah Fawcett
Peter G. Ryan
University_of_Pretoria
Thulani Makhalanyane
Nico de Bruyn
SOCCO-enlarged
Pedro Monteiro 
Sandy Thomalla 
Thato Mtshali
Sarah Nicholson
Thomas J. Ryan-Keogh
CPUT
Ken Findlay
David Walker
NMMU

Pierre Pistorius

UWC
Brett Kuyper
Mike Davies-Coleman
SAWS
Warren Joubert
Johan Stander
logo-alsa
Ria Olivier

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

CNRSLOGO cmjn FILAIRE

Ryan Reisinger

LOCEAN

Marina Levy

UG

Sebastiaan Swart

Tazmania

Emma Cavan

bristol

Dudley Shallcross

lemar
Eva Bucciarelli
Géraldine Sarthou
Hélène Planquette
FU
Prof. Angela Knapp
Dr. Sven Kranz
© SCALE 2018