Team Bee: Defense Attempt #2

Dack 11/8/08 13:15
So in order to get back on track, we must rethink our plan of attack. We can't deny the problem, but our task is to minimize LA's liability with science. We must force ourselves (no matter how hard it is) to believe that LA is innocent and that the findings of the plaintiff are as holey as Swiss cheese, using science. Based on the scribblings I made while our first defense attempt was being destroyed, I believe we need to:

  1. find conflicting data (somebody mentioned some rubber duckies were found in the Atlantic; maybe we can use this to our advantage?)

Matt G. 11/09/08 18:53: Yes, we certainly can. Let's look those data.

  1. find evidence contrary to the popular opinion (that LA is at fault/that the patch is an issue)

Matt G. 11/09/08 18:53: We can try, I don't know how much luck we'll have with this one.

  1. state assumptions against the gyral model Jared drew on the board

Matt G. 11/09/08 18:53: Definitely.

  1. use the OSCURS model to show stuff doesn't go into the patch (I am the least enthusiastic about this because some of the results I got were impossible and Andreas will probably ask us explain the math behind the model, which I don't want/know how to do)

Matt G. 11/09/08 18:53: I agree we should use some model runs. Maybe we can look for some background info on it to help?

Remember, we can "invent" an expert witness if need be. Eric mentioned a source claiming sea cucumbers or sponges prefer to ingest plastics than sand. I haven't looked into this, or if this is helpful in any way, but it's something to consider. Any evidence contrary to plaintiff's is good evidence

Also, what should we ask Dr. Kirwan on Tuesday?

Ingraham, W.J. Jr. and R.K. Miyahara, 1988. Ocean surface current simulations in the
North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (OSCURS-Numerical Model). US Department of
Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Technical Memorandum,
National Marine Fisheries Service F/NWC-130. 155 pp.
I think this will probably give us the OSCURS equations
I can't find the article though, just references to it

Posted by Matt G at 17:08 10 November 2008:
In Knauss, pp. 128-130: The Ocean Circulation: A First Look

  • See Equation 6.26
  • Characteristic winds - trade winds from east at low latitudes, westerlies at mid/high latitudes
    • What happens during El Nino events? Do these events have any affect on this circulation pattern?
  • Ekman transport in wind-driven layer will push water into the center of the gyre
  • Deepens thermocline, establishes mound of surface layer water in center of gyre
  • We can look at vertical profiles from these floats to look at this thermocline
  • Steady-state - geostrophic currents established w/horizontal PG
  • Frictional downslope flow out of the gyre will exactly balance Ekman flow into gyre

So what does this all mean?

  • How accurate is this simplified discussion? Over what size time scales does it apply? How does that relate to the problem at hand?
Sea surface heights lower off the coast of LA than in the center of the gyre
El Nino/ La nina on deposition
Wind data off California coast w/ el nino- mentions a poleward current (opposite of simple current model)

Dack 11/11 @ 9:15
Link to paper from Alaska Fisheries Science Center describing history of OSCURS model and how it works (1997)

Posted by Matt G at 10:02 17November 2008:
Found this article sited in the first article above

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