May 2009 Archives

Right whale forecasts

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These results are Dan's, but he's indisposed and the results are too cool not to blog.  Dan fit a MaxEnt model for right whales in Cape Cod Bay based on hindcasts of Calanus and Pseudocalanus for 2003-2006 as well as SST, chlorophyll, and bathymetry.  He then applied the habitat model to the 2009 copepod estimates and satellite data to predict right whale habitat.  I extracted whale sightings from the PCCS reports and plotted over his images.  By and large, the PCCS sightings fall within areas of high habitat suitability (5/18/09 Note: figures with sightings have been removed).  The correspondence will probably (hopefully?) improve if we produce habitat maps for the specific survey time, rather than the nearest 8 day image.  Now, here's are forecasts for 5/9 and 5/17:
Note that the habitat area is predicted to shrink, and we expect that the whales should be moving to deeper, Calanus-dominated habitats like the Great South Channel

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