Navigation Links
Smart way for seafarers to track effects of climate change
Date:2/22/2013

Seafarers are being encouraged to take part in a unique global study, using a mobile phone app to record the effects of climate change.

The public science project will measure the amount of phytoplankton, minute organisms at the very start of the marine food chain, currently residing in the world's oceans.

Scientists fear the population of the microscopic beings is in decline due to rising sea temperatures and, if true, that could have consequences for every aspect of marine life.

The project is being spearheaded by Plymouth University's Marine Institute, which hopes to build a map of the oceans that charts the seasonal and annual changes of phytoplankton from now and into the future.

Plankton biologist Dr Richard Kirby, who is leading the study, said: "As the phytoplankton live at the surface of the sea they are being affected by rising sea temperatures due to climate change. A scientific paper published last year suggested the ocean's plankton population had declined by as much as 40 per cent since 1950. Like all marine creatures, phytoplankton have a preferred optimum sea temperature no matter where they are in the world and we need to know more about how they are changing in order to understand the effects on the ocean's biology."

To check the levels of phytoplankton in our oceans, marine experts have developed a free smart phone app for sailors and fishermen to use wherever they are in the world.

Because the phytoplankton each thinner than a strand of human hair exist at the sea's surface, mariners can carry out a simple experiment using an easy to make 'Secchi Disk'.

Attached to a measuring tape, the Secchi Disk is lowered over the side of a boat and the depth at which it disappears from sight estimates the amount of phytoplankton in the sea. This depth can then be uploaded to a database using the Secchi app.

Dr Kirby added: "The Secchi Disks are still used by marine scientists to study phytoplankton but there are too few scientists to survey the world's oceans as well as we would wish. This app enables seafarers around the world to take part in a science project and if we can just get a small percentage of the global population of sailors involved, we can generate a database that will help us understand how life in the oceans is changing. It would help us learn much more about these important organisms at a crucial time when their habitat is altering due to climate change."

The Secchi app has been developed by Dr Nicholas Outram and Dr Nigel Barlow, from Plymouth University's School of Computing and Mathematics, and the database will be maintained by Pixalytics Ltd, a company founded by Dr Sam Lavender, an Honorary Reader at the University.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alan Williams
alan.williams@plymouth.ac.uk
University of Plymouth
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Smarter lunchrooms make lunch choices childs play
2. Small, portable sensors allow users to monitor exposure to pollution on their smart phones
3. New clinical trial explores use of smartphone application for postpartum weight loss
4. Exercise is smart for your heart - and makes you smarter
5. ValidSoft Showcases SMART at Finovate Fall, NYC
6. App lets you monitor lung health using only a smartphone
7. Smart growth strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests
8. A smart fabric sets off the alarm
9. Project MICREAgents: Self-assembling smart microscopic reagents to pioneer pourable electronics
10. WaterSMART funds $1.7 million for science projects in desert and southern Rockies LCCs
11. New genomic sequencing method enables smarter anaysis of individual cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- RAM Group , Singaporean based technology ... biometric authentication based on a novel  quantum-state ... perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on a ... Group and its partners. This sensor will have widespread ... security. Ram Group is a next generation sensor ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... -- According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM ... and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global ... grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... coffee production and is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this ... complex evolutionary history of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the ... place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , ... Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, ... Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will allow ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... Each year in the United States ... enough to live an independent lifestyle and, even worse, the one-year mortality rate is ... doctors at the University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento) and Second Xiangya Hospital ...
Breaking Biology Technology: