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Researchers meet to refine carbon budget for US East Coast
Date:1/23/2012

A group of 35 researchers from institutions all along the eastern seaboard gathered at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science last week to further integrate and refine field measurements and computer models of carbon cycling in the waters along the U.S. East Coast.

An understanding of the behavior and fate of carbon within the ocean, including its productive coastal area, is needed to most accurately predict the rate and magnitude of global warming and to effectively plan for climate-change impacts such as sea-level rise and increasing ocean acidity.

The "U.S. East Coast Carbon Cycle Synthesis Workshop," coordinated by the North American Carbon Program and the national Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry program, was organized and led by VIMS professor Marjy Friedrichs, Dr. Raymond Najjar of the Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Wei-Jun Cai of the University of Georgia. The workshop was sponsored by NASA.

The workshop's goal, says Friedrichs, was to "further quantify the carbon budget along the U.S. East Coast by synthesizing observations and modeling results from the many different groups that are working on the issue." Researchers from nearly 20 different institutions from Maine to Florida took part in the two-day meeting.

Participants will use the knowledge gained during the workshop to guide and coordinate future research and modeling efforts, with the ultimate goal of creating a single integrated carbon budget for the East Coast that best represents the flow of carbon within and between the many different components of the coastal zoneincluding estuaries such as Chesapeake Bay, rivers, tidal wetlands, coastal waters, seafloor sediments, the atmosphere, and living organisms. The study is part of a larger effort to understand the carbon balance of North America and adjacent oceans, which play a key role in the global carbon cycle.

Interest in the carbon budget of the coastal ocean stems from the recognition t
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Contact: David Malmquist
davem@vims.edu
804-684-7011
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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