A technique designed to smooth a time series of values by taking the average of surrounding values (in this case 10 each side) plus the point in question. The surrounding values are first scaled by a set of weights, scaling towards zero the further from the central point.
The gradual extension of land by natural forces, as in the addition of sand to a beach by ocean currents, or the extension of a floodplain through the deposition of sediments by repeated flooding. [The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accretion (accessed: January 09, 2008).]
In the sea processes that are advective can be simply thought of as those that transport a property (eg heat, salinity) of, or substance (eg. plankton, pollutant) in, the water by the movement of the water from one place to another.
Study of causes, for example, of disease.
Species that would not naturally occur in a particular ecosystem.
Generation of the ammonia form of nitrogen
Deficiency of oxygen
A change within part of the climate system that can be attributed to human action, rather than natural causes.
Aragonitic and calcitic organisms
Organisms that use the aragonite or calcite form of calcium carbonate to form their mineral parts, such as shells.
Free-drifting profiling floats that measure the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000m of the ocean. Argo floats are able to surface and relay observations directly to receiving stations. Globally, there are ~3000 total floats deployed across all of the world's major oceans.
Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO)
A cyclical variation in the average sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean visible in records since 1880. The cycle appears to repeat approximately every 60-80 years.
Atmospheric pressure gradients
The difference in atmospheric pressure between two locations. The larger this is the greater the tendency for increased wind speeds.
The way that a contaminant is stored in the environment affects how much of it is available, relative to its actual amount, to harm organisms
The breakdown of a pollutant to a less harmful form by biological action
Are cycles that transfer energy and chemicals around marine ecosystems through life (bio) and its environment (geo).
Technical method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere into another form for storage.
Central England Temperature
The Central England Temperature is a time series of average monthly temperatures representative of an approximately triangular region of the United Kingdom enclosed by Bristol, Lancashire and London. Beginning in 1659, it is the world's longest continuous time series of observed temperatures.
Channel Coastal Observatory
The Channel Coastal Observatory is the data management centre for regional coastal monitoring programmes and is hosted by New Forest District Council, in partnership with the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
Climate model simulations
Computer experiments using General Circulation Models (GCMs) to simulate the climate of the Earth through time. The simulations can either replicate 'control' conditions, (i.e. where atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are not adjusted) or can represent various feasible climate change 'scenarios' (for example, slow, medium, or fast rises in greenhouse gas emissions).
A reference time period across which average climate conditions can be calculated often used to provide a bench mark with which to compare recent changes. A popular convention in climate change studies is to use the 1961-1990 period.
Where the coast is protected by engineering structures, the rising sea level results in a steepening of the intertidal profile, known as coastal squeeze
Continuous plankton recorder (CPR)
Developed by Sir Alister Hardy the CPR is a towed instrument that takes continuous samples of plankton in the ocean surface, on sections that span ocean basins. CPR surveys have been in operation for 75 years and now form a long, rich and valuable time-series of observations in the many marine ecosystems. Seewww.sahfos.ac.uk
The part of the ocean that does not cover the continental shelf margins (the shallower water adjacent to land masses).
Living or found in the deepest part of a body of water
Conversion of nitrogen species into forms unavailable for biological use, generally into nitrogen gas.
A statistical technique of converting output from a General Circulation Model which is typically presented as average conditions over predetermined set of gridded partitions of the globe (e.g. 10km by 10km squares), into data representative of a precise point within one of those grid boxes (e.g. a city). The techniques aim to refine the grid-box values into values incorporating some of the local characteristics of the precise location in question.
The functional position of an organism in its environment.
Of or relating to an organism that regulates its body temperature largely by exchanging heat with its surroundings; cold-blooded. [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ectothermic (accessed: January 09, 2008).]
Any of numerous fishes of the class Chondrichthyes, characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton and placoid scales and including the sharks, rays, and skates. [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Elasmobranch (accessed: January 09, 2008).]
An epiphyte is a plant which grows upon another plant
The undesirable disturbance to ecosystem health and water quality that arises from nutrient enrichment caused by human activity.
eXpendable BathyThermographs (XBTs)
A non-recoverable device deployed from moving ships used to record temperature as a function of ocean depth. Information is relayed to the source ship via a copper wire which eventually separates from the device.
Referring, geographically, to any region of Earth outside of the tropics i.e. north of the latitude 23.5°N or south of the latitude 23.5°S.
Ferries make repeated journeys and are used as platforms for packages of scientific instruments allowing important cost effective measurements of, for example nutrients and salinity, to be made.
Used to assess the frequency of strong winds a gale day is a day on which the wind speed at a height of 10m has a mean speed of greater than 34 knots averaged over 10-minute intervals (approximately Beaufort Force 8).
the net difference between the input and output of heat or water into a body of water. For example, in the case of the water budget of an ocean, typical inputs include rain or snowfall, river discharge and ice melt whilst the primary output is evaporation.
Pertaining to the physical properties of the oceans and seas- including its depth, temperature and salinity.
International Council for the Exploration of the Seas www.ices.dk
Plankton blooms that are toxic to fish.
The action bringing a non-native species to a new environment, as opposed to an extension of range.
Isostasy is the Equilibrium in the earth's crust such that the forces tending to elevate landmasses balance the forces tending to depress landmasses. [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/isostatic (accessed: January 09, 2008)]
A region of the North Atlantic Ocean located between southwest Greenland and northeast Canada. It is one of two main locations where cold, dense surface water sinks to produce south-flowing North Atlantic Deep Water, the other location being the Greenland Sea.
With regard to the coast/shore.
Description of the bio-geographic area broadly applicable from the western Iberia through to the south-wetern part of the British Isles.
Large benthos (e.g. crabs and starfish)
MBA Station E1 (MBA E1) is situated approximately 20 nautical miles from Plymouth. The MBA started collecting data at E1 in 1902 and continued until funding was withdrawn in 1987. Throughout the years various parameters have been measured at these stations (temperature, salinity, nutrients, zooplankton, phytoplankton, chlorophyll, benthos). The length of the Plymouth series makes these data essential for showing environmental change over decadal scales.
Mean Sea Level (MSL)
Is the level water surface (or "still water level"), measured with respect to some datum, when oscillatory motions such as waves and tides have been averaged out over a suitable period (e.g. monthly or annually).
The Marine Environmental Change Network (MECN) is a collaboration between organisations in England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland collecting long-term time series information for marine waters. It is coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) and is funded by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The goal of the network is to use long-term marine environmental data from around the British Isles and Ireland to separate natural fluctuations from global, regional and local anthropogenic impacts. See www.mba.ac.uk/MECN/about.htm
National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP)
The UK National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP) was established to provide a coordinated approach to environmental monitoring in coastal and estuarine areas. The programme brings together the statutory marine monitoring agencies throughout the UK around the need to provide reliable and harmonised information for the UK coastal area. See www.marlab.ac.uk/Delivery/standaloneCM.aspx?contentid=509
North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)
A pattern in the atmospheric pressure of the North Atlantic that is particularly important during the winter. The pattern is manifest by opposing systems of low pressure centred near Iceland and high pressure across the Azores and Iberia. The measurement is primarily used to distinguish between periods of generally stormy winters in the North Atlantic (when the pressure difference is large) and periods of reduced storminess (when the difference is low). See e.g. www.ldeo.columbia.edu/NAO/
Northern Annular Mode (NAM)
A pattern of climate variability covering the extra-tropical northern hemisphere. In the North Atlantic this is seen as the North Atlantic Oscillation but the NAM itself is a larger pattern that covers the Arctic, Pacific and land areas of the northern hemisphere. For a technical definition see http://transcom.colostate.edu/introduction.html
How the main element is contained within a nutrient molecule e.g. Nitrogen may be in nitrate, nitrite or other forms.
A strategic research programme of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) incorporating the UK's seven leading marine centres outlining key scientific goals and aims within marine science between 2007 and 2012.
A calcified structure used as part of the balance system in bony fishes. The mineral structure changes over time and annual banding can be seen in the otolith allowing scientists to estimate the age of a fish.
A glacier streaming from the edge of a body of ice located on a plateau. [A Dictionary of Geography, Oxford University Press, 1992, 1997, 2004. www.answers.com/topic/outlet-glacier, accessed January 09, 2008]
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are a type of chemical pollutant that is harmful in the marine environment.
Referring to the historical climate prior to the commencement of direct observations of the atmosphere and oceans using instruments (the so-called 'instrumental period').
In the water column.
Phenology is the study of the biological timing in response to environmental conditions.
The duration of an organism's daily exposure to light, considered especially with regard to the effect of the exposure on growth and development. [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/photoperiod (accessed: January 09, 2008).]
From Poikilothermic: having a body temperature that varies.
Post glacial transgression (or post-glacial inundation)
Rising sea-levels at the end of an ice age results in the inundation of areas that had been land.
Instruments designed to measure the distance between the platform where the instrument is housed (e.g. an aircraft or satellite) and the surface beneath, by timing the reflection of emitted radio waves.
A project involving use of a general circulation climate model, or weather forecasting model, to calculate a geographically complete set of weather, or climatic, variables. Usually the model is provided a spatially incomplete set of observations and, from these, calculates the most likely values of the variable over the areas where observations are missing.
An instrument designed to measure the reflected energy of a microwave pulse fired at the Earth's surface. Through interpreting the energy reflected it is possible to measure wind velocities.
Sensible and latent heat fluxes
The exchange of energy between the ocean and the atmosphere either through direct thermal exchanges, such as convection or conduction (sensible heat flux) or indirectly via the energy stored in water vapour as a result of the heat input required to convert liquid water into vapour (latent, or evaporative, heat).
Spawning Stock Biomass (SSBs)
An estimate of the total weight of fish from a given stock which are involved in the spawning process at spawning time. It is derived from estimates of numbers of fish at each age in the stock at spawning time, multiplied by the proportion mature at each age, and finally multiplied by the estimated average weight of an individual fish at each age.
The IPCC published a new set of scenarios in 2000 for use in the Third Assessment Report (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios - SRES). The SRES scenarios were constructed to explore future developments in the global environment with special reference to the production of greenhouse gases and aerosol precursor emissions. The SRES team defined four narrative storylines labelled A1, A2, B1 and B2.
Of the distribution, deposition, and age of sedimentary rocks.
The zone deeper than the shore that is permanently covered in water.
Long period sea surface waves that are not locally generated.
Latitudes of the Earth characterised by moderate, non-extreme climates, distinguished from polar, desert and tropical climatic regimes.
The Atlantic Heat Conveyor or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC)
The present oceanic circulation system within the Atlantic Ocean, of which the Gulf Stream is a major part, characterized by the net northwards transport of heat and water at the surface, and a cooler return southwards flow at depth.
The increase in volume of a liquid (in this case sea water) as a response to warming.
A layer of water characterised by rapid changes in temperature - separating the upper 'mixed-layer' of the ocean from the cooler deep water layer - both of which have generally little relative change in temperature with depth.
An oceanographic instrument, typically attached to ships, designed to measure the temperature and salinity of a body of water.
A variety of instruments designed to measure changes in sea level.
The energy cascade through the ecosystem (food chain) described by its trophic structure.
The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) provides scenarios that show how our climate might change and co-ordinates research on dealing with our future climate.
The UKCIP02 climate change scenarios, prepared for the UK climate impacts programme and published in 2002, present four different descriptions of how climate may change, based on four different emission scenarios.
Is the next climate change information package for the UK, consisting of five reports and an interactive website. The project brings together climate science from the Met Office to provide information to decision makers, academics and others, on the current climate, and possible future changes. Its interactive website will provide customisable climate change projections when it is launched in late 2008.
UK Sea Level Index
Designed by POL to help with sea level analyses. It is the average residual from the UK's five longest sea level records, having first removed the 1920-1990 trend from them.
Are annually layered sediment formations
A bacterial disease of migratory and salt-water fish.
Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS)
The World Meteorological Organisation's Voluntary Observing Ships programme is a scheme recruiting ocean-going vessels to collect and report meteorological observations. At present there are approximately 4000 ships involved in the programme.
The distance between the trough and peak of a wave.
The time interval between two successive wave peaks (or troughs).
The Defra strategic wave monitoring network for England and Wales provides a single source of real time wave data from a network of wave buoys located in areas at risk from flooding. www.cefas.co.uk/WaveNet