Sargassum movement is at the whim of winds and currents”says Professor Bob Marsh, professor of oceanography and climate at the University of Southampton.
“We are learning that Sargassum is strongly influenced by winds and currents, in some years growing more profusely in nutrient rich waters of the Amazon outflow, then swept either west to the Caribbean or east towards west Africa, according to the whim of those highly variable currents and winds. With improved understanding of cause and effect, the annual proliferation and drift of Sargassum may be skilfully predicted up to many months in advance!
Over the next two years, we look forward to refining our predictions of Sargassum growth and drift, working alongside partners in Jamaica, Barbados and Ghana, ground-testing our predictions against observed beaching events in each country. By the end of SARTRAC, our aspiration is that seasonal predictions will be routinely shared and put to use by partners across the tropical Atlantic as they tackle the ongoing challenges of seasonal inundation by Sargassum.”
Listen now to Bob’s 5 minute interview, where he explains these findings.