Philip Sutton

Philip Sutton
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | NIWA

PhD

About

88
Publications
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Publications

Publications (88)
Book
This book integrates the perspectives and experiences of 37 authors coming from the governmental (Federal and State), academic, private, non-profit, and tribal sectors. Partnerships in Marine Research: Case Studies, Lessons Learned, and Policy Implications provides a thorough assessment of this important approach to Marine Research. It starts by lo...
Chapter
A global deep-ocean observing system, the Argo Program, was enabled by technology advances and implemented by a multi-national partnership of academic and governmental institutions and scientists, national agencies, and commercial providers. Development of the autonomous profiling float made Argo possible. Formation of key partnerships made it a re...
Technical Report
Vector Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal (VAST) models were applied to research trawl survey and environmental data to provide updated information on stock status for seven deepwater sharks. Deepwater sharks were found to be ubiquitous around New Zealand, with each species shown to have a unique distributional pattern. Deepwater shark “hotspots” in Ne...
Technical Report
Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are a highly migratory species, widespread in the Pacific Ocean, with the New Zealand region encompassing only a small part of the species’ range. Although a number of different stock structures have been proposed for swordfish, there is no clear evidence of subpopulations across the Pacific. Despite some degree of regio...
Article
Fisheries harvest has pervasive impacts on wild fish populations, including the truncation of size and age structures, altered population dynamics and density, and modified habitat and assemblage composition. Understanding the degree to which harvest-induced impacts increase the sensitivity of individuals, populations and ultimately species to envi...
Article
Full-text available
In the past two decades, the Argo Program has collected, processed, and distributed over two million vertical profiles of temperature and salinity from the upper two kilometers of the global ocean. A similar number of subsurface velocity observations near 1,000 dbar have also been collected. This paper recounts the history of the global Argo Progra...
Article
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During austral summers (DJF) 1934/35, 2017/18 and 2018/19, the New Zealand (NZ) region (approximately 4 million km2) experienced the most intense coupled ocean-atmosphere heatwaves on record. Average air temperature anomalies over land were + 1.7 to 2.1 °C while sea surface temperatures (SST) were 1.2 to 1.9 °C above average. All three heatwaves ex...
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Abstract This paper describes the development of New Zealand's Earth System Model (NZESM) and evaluates its performance against its parent model (United Kingdom Earth System Model, UKESM) and observations. The main difference between the two earth system models is an embedded high‐resolution (1/5°) nested region over the oceans around New Zealand i...
Article
We test the paradigm that in a future warmer ocean, shallower winter mixing will lead to less net primary production (NPP), by investigating whether warming between 2002 and 2018 led to changes in NPP in the Tasman Sea/New Zealand region. The 2002–18 trend in sea surface temperature (SST) was positive over most of the region, and was driven by incr...
Article
Full-text available
The Subantarctic zone is one of the largest High‐Nutrient Low‐Chlorophyll zones of the Southern Ocean. Despite widespread iron limitation, phytoplankton accumulation (chlorophyll a (chla) > 0.3 mg m⁻³) often occurs near islands and bathymetric features such as on the Campbell Plateau, southeast of New Zealand. To investigate the processes responsib...
Conference Paper
A recent risk assessment for chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, and chimaeras) found some deepwater sharks were at relatively high risk of adverse impacts from fishing. Quantitative data for these species is limited, and some available information has been found to be unreliable. With a better understanding of spatial distributions, our knowledge of th...
Article
Deployment of Deep Argo regional pilot arrays is underway as a step toward a global array of 1250 surface-to-bottom profiling floats embedded in the upper-ocean (2000 m) Argo Program. Of the 80 active Deep Argo floats as of July 2019, 55 are Deep Sounding Oceanographic Lagrangian Observer (SOLO) 6000-m instruments, and the rest are composed of thre...
Article
Full-text available
The Argo Program has been implemented and sustained for almost two decades, as a global array of about 4000 profiling floats. Argo provides continuous observations of ocean temperature and salinity versus pressure, from the sea surface to 2000 dbar. The successful installation of the Argo array and its innovative data management system arose opport...
Article
Full-text available
The Argo Program has been implemented and sustained for almost two decades, as a global array of about 4000 profiling floats. Argo provides continuous observations of ocean temperature and salinity versus pressure, from the sea surface to 2000 dbar. The successful installation of the Argo array and its innovative data management system arose opport...
Article
Full-text available
Marine heatwaves (MHWs) pose an increasing threat to the ocean’s wellbeing as global warming progresses. Forecasting MHWs is challenging due to the various factors that affect their occurrence, including large variability in the atmospheric state. In this study we demonstrate a causal link between ocean heat content and the area and intensity of MH...
Article
Full-text available
During austral summer (DJF) 2017/18, the New Zealand region experienced an unprecedented coupled ocean-atmosphere heatwave, covering an area of 4 million km2. Regional average air temperature anomalies over land were +2.2ºC, and sea surface temperature anomalies reached +3.7ºC in the eastern Tasman Sea. This paper discusses the event, including atm...
Article
Full-text available
New Zealand (NZ) is an island nation with stewardship of an ocean twenty times larger than its land area. While the challenges facing NZ’s ocean are similar to other maritime countries, no coherent national plan exists that meets the needs of scientists, stakeholders or kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of NZ’s ocean in a changing climate. The NZ marine...
Article
Full-text available
Ocean temperature changes around New Zealand are estimated from satellite sea surface temperature (SST) products since 1981, two high resolution expendable bathythermograph transects (HRXBT) since 1986 and 1991, and Argo data since 2006. The datasets agree well where they overlap. Significant surface warming is found in subtropical waters. Greatest...
Article
Several fast, narrow boundary currents flow along the eastern margin of New Zealand forming part of the western boundary current system of the South Pacific. In this study, using over 20 years of satellite altimeter observations and in situ data, we investigate the mean and variability of the current transports at seasonal, interannual and decadal...
Article
The variability of Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) in the Southwest Pacific is investigated using a 28-year-long time series (1986 to 2014) of high-resolution expendable bathythermograph data north of New Zealand (PX06) and a shorter time series, the Roemmich-Gilson monthly Argo optimal interpolation for the 2004-2014 period. The variability in STMW...
Article
This paper investigates the mechanisms causing interannual variability of upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature (SST) in the southwest Pacific. Using the ECCOv4 ocean reanalysis it is shown that air-sea heat flux and ocean heat transport convergence due to ocean dynamics both contribute to the variability of upper ocean temperatures...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Since 2012, we have investigated a newly documented group of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus sp.) in the New Zealand region. Field research has focused on multi-disciplinary data collection regarding the ecology of blue whales occurring in the South Taranaki Bight (STB) region of New Zealand (40.15 S, 173.30 W). The STB region incurs significant...
Article
Multidecadal trends in ocean heat and freshwater content are well documented, but much less evidence exists of long-term changes in ocean circulation. Previously, a 12-yr increase, 1993 to 2004, in the circulation of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre interior was described. That analysis was based on differences between early Argo and 1990s hydrog...
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Full-text available
More than 90% of the heat energy accumulation in the climate system between 1971 and the present has been in the ocean. Thus, the ocean plays a crucial role in determining the climate of the planet. Observing the oceans is problematic even under the most favourable of conditions. Historically, shipboard ocean sampling has left vast expanses, partic...
Article
Full-text available
We review the advances in ‘blue water’ physical oceanography of the seas around New Zealand since the last major review in 1985. By 1985, a basic description had been made of the circulation around New Zealand. Since then, dramatic increases in data from satellites, hydrographic cruises, surface drifters and profiling floats have improved knowledge...
Article
Global Drifter Program (GDP) drifter data and Argo float data from 2006 to 2013 are used to provide quantitative description and comparison of the mean near-surface (15 m) and 1000 m velocity fields in the New Zealand region. These fields are estimated both from bin-averaging the drifter/float velocities and by fitting non-divergent streamfunctions...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation),...
Article
Increasing heat content of the global ocean dominates the energy imbalance in the climate system1. Here we show that ocean heat gain over the 0–2,000 m layer continued at a rate of 0.4–0.6 W m−2 during 2006–2013. The depth dependence and spatial structure of temperature changes are described on the basis of the Argo Program's2 accurate and spatiall...
Article
The Southwest Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (SPICE) is an international research program under the auspices of CLIVAR. The key objectives are to understand the Southwest Pacific Ocean circulation and the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) dynamics, as well as their influence on regional and basin-scale climate patterns. South...
Article
A Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) is required to estimate mean transport in the ocean, to combine with altimetry to derive instantaneous geostrophic surface velocities, and to estimate transport from shipboard hydrography. A number of MDTs are now available globally but differ most markedly in boundary currents and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current....
Article
The Tasman Front is a narrow band of eastward flowing subtropical water crossing the Tasman Sea from Australia to North Cape, New Zealand. It is the link between the two subtropical western boundary currents of the South Pacific, the East Australian Current (EAC) off eastern Australia and the East Auckland Current (EAUC) off northeastern New Zealan...
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Sufficient data to describe spatial distributions of rare and threatened populations are typically difficult to obtain. For example, there are minimal modern offshore sightings of the endangered southern right whale, limiting our knowledge of foraging grounds and habitat use patterns. Using historical exploitation data of southern right whales (SRW...
Article
A multi-disciplinary examination of the drivers of dissolved methane was carried out during a phytoplankton bloom located in a subtropical mesoscale eddy. This investigation related temporal signals in methane concentrations with other biophysical and biogeochemical parameters in the upper waters (<300 m) of the southwest Pacific Ocean. In the surf...
Article
Ocean mean dynamic topography (MDT) is essential for deriving total surface geostrophic currents and estimating transport from hydrography. A number of MDTs are now available that rely on different combinations of observations and assumptions. The estimates of MDT in boundary currents regions are of particular concern because these currents transpo...
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Full-text available
1] Diatom blooms play a central role in supporting food-webs and sequestering biogenic carbon to depth. Oceanic conditions set bloom initiation, whereas both environmental and ecological factors determine bloom magnitude and lon-gevity. Our study reveals another fundamental determinant of bloom dynamics. A diatom spring bloom in offshore New Zealan...
Article
An 11-d quasi-Lagrangian surface layer experiment to the east of Norfolk Island tracked a 140-m-deep drifting vertical array (DVA) of instruments, including conductivity sensors, thermistors, and current meters. These are the first in situ data from the area to measure large-amplitude internal waves. The observations show isotherm peak-to-peak excu...
Article
The ocean surrounding the Kermadec Islands is unique in the greater New Zealand region. Situated c. 1000 km northeast of New Zealand near the centre of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the area is largely isolated and includes the largest marine reserve in New Zealand. This study seeks to describe the physical environment of the ocean surroundin...
Article
Sea surface height (SSH) changes result from changes in steric height (SH) and mass. We investigate total SH and mass from co-located measurements of SSH and SH in the upper 1500 dbar (SH0-1500). SSH changes are decomposed into SH0-1500 and other contributions, where other includes SH changes below 1500 dbar and mass changes. This is done using sat...
Article
Deep-sea fishes have been poorly sampled globally, and overall knowledge of demersal fish distributions and the drivers of community composition and diversity remain limited. Here, we used nine comparable datasets with species-level identification of fishes from research surveys around the world to test the hypothesis that deep-sea demersal fish as...
Article
Full-text available
In only 10 years, the Argo Program has grown from an idea into a functioning global observing system for the subsurface ocean. More than 3000 Argo floats now cover the world’s ocean. With these instruments operating on 10-day cycles, the array provides 9000 temperature/salinity/depth profiles every month that are quickly available via the Global Te...
Article
Dunn, M. R., Rickard, G. J., Sutton, P. J. H., and Doonan, I. J. 2009. Nursery grounds of the orange roughy around New Zealand. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66: 871–885. The orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) is a deep-sea species with a centenarian lifespan, a life-history feature that may enable the stocks to withstand prolonged periods...
Article
Observations of tidal flows in Te Aumiti (French Pass), the fastest such flows in New Zealand, were conducted in 2006 using a vessel‐mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), pressure sensors, a current meter mooring, drifters, and microwave radar. The suite of measurements revealed spring tide currents exceeding 4 m s, but only in the thro...
Article
A time series of the net geostrophic transport through the Tasman Sea (representing the flow of the East Australian Current (EAC) Extension) is determined from a full-depth CTD section, 15 years of high-density XBT transects, and satellite altimetry data. A section between Sydney and Wellington (PX34) has been occupied four times per year since 199...
Article
In HNLC oceanic regions, iron (Fe) controls phytoplankton productivity yet large gaps remain in our understanding of iron's biogeochemical cycle. Here we present the first comprehensive winter dataset for dissolved Fe (dFe) and nitrate (NO3) distributions (0-1000 in depth) between 40S-52S, which transects the Subantarctic zone (SAZ), west of New Ze...
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Full-text available
South Pacific thermocline waters are transported from the subtropical gyre center in the westward flowing South Equatorial Current, towards the southwestern Pacific Ocean-a major circulation pathway that redistributes water from the subtropics to the equator and southern ocean. The transit in the Coral Sea is potentially of great importance to trop...
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An increase in the circulation of the South Pacific Ocean subtropical gyre, extending from the sea surface to middepth, is observed over 12 years. Datasets used to quantify the decadal gyre spinup include satellite altimetric height, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) hydrographic and float survey of the South Pacific, a repeated hydrogr...
Article
In October 2001, we observed a deep-ocean phytodetritus deposition event on Chatham Rise beneath the Subtropical Front (STF). The origin of this phytodetritus was probably an extensive phytoplankton bloom that occurred in the STF in the preceding weeks. We assessed the spatial distribution of the deposition event using video images from benthic lan...
Article
In October 2001, we observed a deep-ocean phytodetritus deposition event on Chatham Rise beneath the Subtropical Front (STF). The origin of this phytodetritus was probably an extensive phytoplankton bloom that occurred in the STF in the preceding weeks. We assessed the spatial distribution of the deposition event using video images from benthic lan...
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Full-text available
We investigated the relationship between climate variation and year‐class strengths for hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) in New Zealand waters. Our analyses extended those of a previous study, by using an additional 6 years’ data and considering some additional predictands (total year‐class strength and proportion migrating) relating to an alternat...
Article
Full-text available
Large fluctuations in sea surface height (SSH) occurred in the southwest Pacific between New Zealand and Fiji in the late 1990s. A model of SSH including steric heating and wind-driven Rossby waves explains more than 40% of the observed SSH variance in the region over the 12 years of satellite measurements. The modelled SSH also agrees with dynamic...
Article
Ocean temperature changes between 1991 and 2005 in the eastern Tasman Sea were analysed. This area was chosen because of a combination of data availability, low mesoscale variability and because of its importance in determining the climate of the downwind New Zealand landmass. A large warming extending to the full depth of the water column (c. 800...
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Full-text available
The role of oceanic advection in seasonal-to-interannual balances of mass and heat is studied using a 12-yr time series of quarterly eddy-resolving expendable bathythermograph (XBT) surveys around the perimeter of a region the authors call the Tasman Box in the southwestern Pacific. The region contains the South Pacific's subtropical western bounda...
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Full-text available
The Argo profiling float project will enable, for the first time, continuous global observations of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean in near-real time.This new capability will improve our understanding of the ocean's role in climate, as well as spawn an enormous range of valuable ocean applications. Because over 90% of the...
Article
The Southland Current is a northward flow of water along the south‐east coast of New Zealand. This current has been studied many times since the early 1960s, with particular emphasis on an associated narrow coastal band of warm, salty water of subtropical origin, separated from offshore cold, fresh Subantarctic Water (SAW) by the Southland Front. P...