Scott Doney

What's New:

Through the National Climate Assessment, I am synthesizing science information on climate change impacts on the oceans; I hope to energize discussion about adaptation options.

Senior Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Scott Doney's work focuses on marine ecosystem dynamics and the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle. His early research involved characterizing the large-scale ocean circulation using transient tracers (tritium, 3He, chlorofluorocarbons). Tracers provide key information on the pathways and rates of water flow, a crucial step for quantifying the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide generated by human activity. He has developed a hierarchy of advanced numerical models for studying ocean ecology and biogeochemistry. Combining field data, satellite remote sensing, and numerical simulations, he has explored the impact of diverse factors on ocean biology including upper ocean mixing, community structure, meoscale eddies, and the limited availability of iron.

Dr. Doney is currently examining the impact of human-induced climate change on marine ecosystems and potential feedback mechanisms. For example, preliminary results suggest significant increases in the amount of biologically useable nitrogen produced by ocean microbes (and a corresponding increase in the ocean storage of carbon) under a future warmer climate. He is also leading the construction of a global carbon-climate model through the Community Climate System Model, a partnership between national laboratories and university investigators. Through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Joint Program, he is involved in graduate level teaching on marine biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, and numerical methods and modeling. He has played an active leadership role in large-scale oceanographic programs such as Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) and World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and is leading a group that is designing an implementation strategy for the next U.S. ocean carbon program.