AOS Faculty Profile
Professor, Ph.D. Columbia University
Address: 306A Sayre Hall
M44 Guyot Hall
Phone: (609) 258-6585
Dr. Jorge L. Sarmiento is the George J. Magee Professor of Geoscience and Geological Engineering, Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University. He obtained his PhD at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University in 1978, and then served as a post-doc at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA in Princeton before joining the Princeton University faculty in 1980. He has published widely on the oceanic cycles of climatically important chemicals such as carbon dioxide, on the use of chemical tracers to study ocean circulation, and on the impact of climate change on ocean biogeochemistry. He has participated in the scientific planning and execution of many of the large-scale multi-institutional and international oceanographic biogeochemical and tracer programs of the last two decades. He was Director of Princeton's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program from 1980 to 1990 and 2006 to 2015, and is Director of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science. He is also serves as Director of the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project (SOCCOM). He has served on the editorial board of multiple journals and as editor of Global Biogeochemical Cycles. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Statement of Research
Ocean Biogeochemistry and Circulation
My research aims to improve our understanding of the fundamental processes controlling the ocean-atmosphere distribution of climatically important chemicals, in particular the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and how these have changed through time. The research covers a wide span of processes such as ocean chemistry, biology, and circulation in the past, present and projected future and includes the effects of anthropogenic perturbations. The approaches I use include analysis of a variety of observations, many of which we obtain from oceanographic cruises, as well as the development of sophisticated process models to incorporate in global general circulation models of both the ocean and atmosphere.
For the past decade, the major focus of my research has been on the fate of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and changes in land use. My group and I have developed general circulation models of the ocean constrained with tracers of ocean circulation and oceanic observations of dissolved inorganic carbon to estimate uptake of anthropogenic CO2. We have used atmospheric general circulation models constrained with atmospheric CO2 observations to estimate transport of CO2 in the atmosphere and carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere as well as the ocean. We are working in conjunction with ocean biologists to develop ecosystem models for predicting photosynthetic uptake of carbon in the surface ocean, as well as remineralization of organic matter in the deep ocean. We have used coupled atmosphere-ocean models of climate warming to study the impact of anthropogenic climate warming on the ocean carbon cycle, and are presently engaged in a major collaborative effort to develop a new earth system model that will predict climate change and the global carbon cycle simultaneously. We have participated in the scientific planning and execution of most of the large-scale oceanic observational programs of the last two decades and have contributed to national and international planning for studies of the global carbon cycle.
Some Recent Publications:
Behrenfeld, M.J., Y. Hu, R. T. O'Malley, E. S. Boss, C. A. Hostetler, D. A. Siegel, J. Sarmiento, J. Schulien, J. W. Hair, X. Lu, S. Rodier, A. J. Scarino,, 2016. Discovering polar phytoplankton annual cycles with a space-based lidar, Nature Geoscience. Annual boom–bust cycles of polar phytoplankton biomass revealed by space-based lidar. Nature Publishing Group, 1–7. http://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2861.
Carter, B. R., T. L. Frölicher, J. P. Dunne, K. B. Rodgers, R. D. Slater, and J. L. Sarmiento, 2016. When can ocean acidification impacts be detected from decadal alkalinity measurements?. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 30: 595-612, .
Morrison, A. K., S. M. Griffies, M. Winton, W. G. Anderson, & J. L. Sarmiento, 2016. Mechanisms of Southern Ocean Heat Uptake and Transport in a Global Eddying Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 29(6), 2059–2075. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0579.1.
Williams, N. L., L. W. Juranek, K. S. Johnson, R. A. Feely, S. C. Riser, L. D. Talley, J. L. Russell, J. L. Sarmiento, and R. Wanninkhof, 2016. Empirical algorithms to estimate water column pH in the Southern Ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL068539.
Buermann, W., C. Beaulieu, B. Parida, D. Medvigy, G.J. Collatz, J. Sheffield, S. Sitch, J. L. Sarmiento, 2016. Climate-driven shifts in continental net primary production implicated as a driver of a recent abrupt increase in the land carbon sink. Biogeosciences, 13: 1597-1607. doi:10.5194/bg-13-1597-2016.
Westberry, T. K., P. Schultz, J. P. Dunne, M. R. Hiscock, S. Maritorena, J. L. Sarmiento, D. A. Siegel, M. J. Behrenfeld, 2016. Annual cycles of phytoplankton biomass in the Subarctic Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 30, doi:10.1002/2015GB005276.
Cheung, W. W. L., T. L. Frölicher, R. G. Asch, M. C. Jones, M. L. Pinsky, G. Reygondeau, K. B. Rodgers, R. R. Rkaczewski, J. L. Sarmiento, C. Stock, and J. R. Watson, 2016. Building confidence in projections of the responses of living marine resources to climate change. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsv250–14. http://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv250.