Marine Oil Spills, invasive species, ecological connectivity, supply of nutrients to ocean ecosystems, regulation of the Marine Protected Areas, efficiency of artificial iron fertilisation – what do these problems have in common? They are all influenced by the ocean circulation. In this talk I will take you on a fascinating journey of lagrangian ocean modelling and how it helps to address these challenging questions. I will describe how we model ocean circulation and how “dropping” virtual floating particles into the model helps us to address connectivity between various parts of the ocean.
One of the examples I will discuss is the recent emergency simulations our group has performed for the assessment of the spread of the pollutants from the Sanchi oil tanker. The Sanchi tanker collision occurred on the border between the Yellow and East China seas in January 2018, an area with complex, strong and highly variable surface currents. The langangian model showed the timescale of the propagation and the most likely pathways. Another example I will show is how ocean connectivity may alter under changing climate and which areas may expect the most dramatic change in their ocean ecosystems.