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Alberto Naveira-Garabato

Alberto Naveira-Garabato
Alberto Naveira-Garabato

The 2008 Outstanding Young Scientist Award is awarded to Alberto Naveira-Garabato for his outstanding work on Southern Ocean mixing and its role in setting the global thermohaline circulation.

Dr. Naveira Garabato is a world expert on ocean mixing. More and more, he is publishing his analysis and results regularly in Nature and Science. He is concentrating on Southern Ocean mixing and whether or not it has the central role in setting the global thermohaline circulation. What sets the size of the thermohaline circulation is the outstanding question in oceanography and climate. Dr. Naveira Garabato has led and continues to lead a series of research cruises in the Southern Ocean to infer and measure directly the mixing in this critical region. The sections girdling the Scotia Sea of diapycnal diffusivity inferred from LADCP measurements by Naveira Garabato et al. [2004] have been extremely provocative, suggesting very vigorous mixing in the bottom 1000 m, and in some areas higher up in the water column.

His recent paper in Nature [Naveira Garabato et al., 2007] uses He-3 from the East Pacific Rise to get at diapycnal and isopycnal mixing and meridional advection along isopycnals in the Scotia Sea. In that paper he and coauthors have made a strong case for rapid cross-ACC advection in the energetic Scotia Sea at mid depth, and that is very exciting. He is the UK leader (and international co-leader with Dr. James Ledwell) for the upcoming international DIMES program that will involve injecting a purposeful tracer in the Southen Ocean and following the evolution of its structure over several years; analysing an array of current meter measurements to resolve the transfer of energy from mesoscales to internal wave scales; and measuring directly the mixing as a function of depth and density with turbulence probes. He is a young scientist who is willing to use LADCP, chemical tracers, moorings, and profilers to get at a major scientific problem. He is driven by curiosity, and unconstrained by marriage to one method.

Dr. Naveira Garabato is the outstanding young physical oceanographer in the United Kingdom. Ask any oceanographer in the UK and you will find that Alberto is universally considered to be the top young scientist. Recognising his talents, Kiel recently tried to recruit Dr. Naveira Garabato to move to Germany, a testament to his quality.