Navigation Links
Voyage to Southern Ocean aims to study air-sea fluxes of greenhouse gases
Date:2/26/2008

Scientists will embark this week from Punta Arenas, Chile, on the tip of South America, to spend 42 days amid the high winds and waves of the Southern Ocean. Here they hope to make groundbreaking measurements to explain how huge fluxes of climate-affecting gases move between atmosphere and sea, and vice-versa.

The cruise, which departs Feb. 28, should provide important information on how the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide moves between the ocean and atmosphere, said the cruises chief scientist, David Ho of Columbia Universitys Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Comprising 30 percent of global seas, the Southern Ocean is a source of great uncertainty, he said. So its potentially important to our understanding of the global system.

Humans put about 6 billion metric tons of CO2 into the air each year, mainly by fossil-fuel burning and deforestation. About a third is thought to be absorbed by oceans, and a third by plants or other components of land. The rest stays in the airmuch of the reason why atmospheric CO2 is now building and climate is warming. However, there are huge uncertainties in the calculationsmade so far mostly through indirect means--and fluxes seem highly variable from year to year, with some parts of the oceans habitually giving up CO2 while others absorb it. (The Southern Ocean usually absorbs it.) "Understanding how atmospheric carbon dioxide reacts with these cold surface waters is important for determining how the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide will respond to future climate change, said Christopher Sabine, an oceanographer at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA, NASA and the National Science Foundation are cosponsoring the cruise.

About 30 scientists from over a dozen institutions will traverse an area above Antarctica more than 1,000 miles east of Punta Arenas, aboard the 274-foot NOAA ship Ronald Brown. Here high, freezing winds unimpeded by landmasses roar much of the time, and waves can routinely top 30 feet. The conditions are a little grim, but its ideal for study, said Ho. He said that higher wind speeds correlate with faster exchange of gases, but there have been few studies aimed at directly measuring these exchanges under real-world conditions. The scientists say that wind speed itself probably does not drive gas exchange; the drivers are hard-to-observe phenomena driven by the wind, including turbulence and bubbles created by cresting waves. Another factor is the amount of phytoplankton taking CO2 from the water, which is usually measured by color. To figure out what is going on, the crew will dangle arrays of complicated instruments just above the water surface, and in the water column. That will be a challenge, since the bow will be plunging off those big waves, noted Sabine.

NASAs ongoing effort to understand the global carbon cycle will benefit from the data this cruise will produce, said Paula Bontempi, manager of NASAs ocean biology and biogeochemistry research program. "NASA's global satellite observations of ocean color will be improved, as we validate what our space-based sensors see with direct measurements taken at sea."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Antarctic expedition provides new insights into the role of the Southern Ocean for global climate
2. Southern California institutions to collaborate on stem cell research
3. Climate change and life in the Southern Ocean
4. MIT Holding, Georgia Southern University, and MEVLABS successfully test the PROVECTOR
5. New southernpeas developed by ARS, cooperators
6. Climate change has major impact on oceans
7. Oceans fiercest predators now vulnerable to extinction
8. Valuing ocean services in the Gulf of Maine -- New approaches for conflict resolution
9. Map is first to track global human influences on ocean ecosystems
10. First map of threats to marine ecosystems shows all the worlds oceans are affected
11. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Voyage to Southern Ocean aims to study air-sea fluxes of greenhouse gases
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... WonderWorks, Myrtle Beach’s ... showcase the future of deep space exploration and inspire space enthusiasts. The exhibit ... and includes a guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don Thomas. , The ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... in EMEA and North America this May on the ... 16-18 , Donald H. Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute will ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Franz Inc ... (CL) development tools, and market leader for Semantic Graph Database technology, ... available within the most effective system for developing and deploying applications to solve ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... Metrology Partners.     , Covalent’s Analytical Services unit provides high-quality data to ... measured within 24 hours of receipt. There are no price premiums, and customers ...
Breaking Biology Technology: