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Gulf of Mexico Regional Climatology

 

The Gulf of Mexico is an economically and ecologically productive region that is particularly vulnerable to human impact due to oil drilling and intense fishing. It is a regionally and globally important body of water that connects to the Gulf Stream system via the Florida Current, and features a diverse collection of aquatic habitats. Long term climate variability within the region can impact Gulf Stream strength and oceanic heat transport, as well as the economic activity and ecological stability of the entire Northwest Atlantic. This climatology serves as a physical oceanography baseline for NOAA Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas.

Data

Gulf of Mexico Regional Climatology

This climatology uses all the Gulf of Mexico data available in the WOD as of the end of 2010. Datasets are described in World Ocean Database 2009.

Temperature

DataFigures

Salinity

DataFigures

Citation

Boyer, Tim P.; Biddle, Mathew; Hamilton, Melanie; Mishonov, Alexey V.; Paver, Christopher; Seidov, Dan; Zweng, Melissa (2015). Gulf of Mexico Regional Climatology (NCEI Accession 0123320). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. doi:10.7289/V5C53HSW.

Note: This is a preliminary version of the regional climatology that will eventually be replaced. Many more data have been added to the World Ocean Database since work on the regional climatology commenced. The climatology will be recalculated using these new data.

Climatologies updated 10/05/2011. Previous climatologies contained incorrect depth values for temperature and salinity at one-degree and one quarter-degree grids. One tenth degree climatologies were also updated.

Mean Fields

  • Temperature
  • Salinity
  • Oxygen
  • Phosphate
  • Silicate
  • Nitrate

Area

The entire Gulf of Mexico, the Northern Caribbean Sea, a small part of the western Atlantic Ocean along the US coast and a small part of the Pacific Ocean along the Mexican coast.

Longitude
98.0° W to 75.0° W
Latitude
15.0° N to 35.0° N

Horizontal Resolution

All Variables
1x1 latitude/longitude grid
Annual and Seasonal Temperature/Salinity
Available on a 1/4 degree grid

Note: Some annual and seasonal composting periods are available on a 1/10th degree grid

Temporal Resolution

Each climatology has an annual (all-data), seasonal, and monthly time period calculation.

Seasons

Winter (Jan.-Mar.), Spring (Apr.-Jun.), Summer (Jul.-Sep.), Fall (Oct.-Dec.)

Vertical Resolution

Oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, and silicate are available on 33 standard levels from the surface to 5500 m depth for the annual time period and to various depths for seasonal and monthly time periods as per Table 1a.

Table 1a
LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)
10812515600221300293500367000
210915016700231400304000377500
3201020017800241500314500388000
4301125018900251750325000398500
55012300191000262000335500409000
67513400201100272500346000  
710014500211200283000356500  

Temperature and salinity are available on 102 standard levels with higher vertical resolution, also from the surface to 5500 m (Table 1b) depth for annual and seasonal time periods, and from the surface to 1500 m (57 standard levels) for the monthly time period.

Table 1b
LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)LevelDepth (m)
10241754710007023009346001166900
25252004810507124009447001177000
310262254911007225009548001187100
415272505011507326009649001197200
520282755112007427009750001207300
625293005212507528009851001217400
730303255313007629009952001227500
8353135054135077300010053001237600
9403237555140078310010154001247700
10453340056145079320010255001257800
11503442557150080330010356001267900
12553545058155081340010457001278000
13603647559160082350010558001288100
14653750060165083360010659001298200
15703855061170084370010760001308300
16753960062175085380010861001318400
17804065063180086390010962001328500
18854170064185087400011063001338600
19904275065190088410011164001348700
20954380066195089420011265001358800
211004485067200090430011366001368900
221254590068210091440011467001379000
23150469506922009245001156800  

Additional Fields

  • Statistical means (before objective analysis)
  • Standard deviation
  • Standard error
  • Data distribution
  • Observed minus analyzed
  • Difference of time period from annual climatological mean

Units

Temperature
°C
Salinity
Unitless on the Practical Salinity Scale-1978 [PSS], oxygen units are ml/l
Phosphate, Nitrate, and Silicate
Micromoles/liter

Bathymetry

One-Degree and 1/4-Degree
The mean of an ETOPO2 grid square
1/10th-Degree
The mean of an ETOPO1 grid square

Method

The method followed for calculating mean climatological fields is as detailed in Locarnini et al., 2010 for Temperature, Antonov et al., 2010 for Salinity, Garcia, et al., 2010a for Salinity, and Garcia et al., 2010b for Phosphate, Silicate, and Nitrate. Additional details on the 1/4 degree climatological calculation are found in Boyer et al., 2005. The table from this publication giving radius of influence for the analysis procedure can be filled out with values for the 1/10th degree procedure as follows:

Pass1-deg radius of influence1/4-deg radius of influence1/10th deg radius of influence
1892 km321 km253 km
2669 km267 km198 km
3446 km214 km154 km

Antonov, J.I., D. Seidov, T.P. Boyer, R.A. Locarnini, A.V. Mishonov, H.E. Garcia, O.K. Baranova, M.M. Zweng, and D.R. Johnson, 2010. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 2: Salinity. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 69, 184 pp. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/1259

Boyer, T., S. Levitus, H. Garcia, R.A. Locarnini, C. Stephens, J. Antonov, 2005. Objective analyses of annual, seasonal, and monthly temperature and salinity for the world ocean on a 0.25 degree grid. International Journal of Climatology, 25(7), 931-945.

Boyer, T.P., J.I. Antonov, O.K. Baranova, H.E. Garcia, D.R. Johnson, R.A. Locarnini, A.V. Mishonov, T.D. O’Brien, D. Seidov, I.V. Smolyar, M.M. Zweng, 2009. World Ocean Database 2009. S. Levitus, Ed., NOAA Atlas NESDIS 66, 216 pp. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/1195

Locarnini, R.A., A.V. Mishonov, J.I. Antonov, T.P. Boyer, H.E. Garcia, O.K. Baranova, M.M. Zweng, and D.R. Johnson, 2010. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 1: Temperature. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 68, 184 pp. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/1259

Garcia, H.E., R.A. Locarnini, T.P. Boyer, J.I. Antonov, O.K. Baranova, M.M. Zweng, and D.R. Johnson, 2010a. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 3: Dissolved Oxygen, Apparent Oxygen Utilization, and Oxygen Saturation. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 70, 344 pp. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/1259

Garcia, H.E., R.A. Locarnini, T.P. Boyer, J.I. Antonov, M.M. Zweng, O.K. Baranova, and D.R. Johnson, 2010b. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 4: Nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, silicate). S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 71, 398 pp. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/1259