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:3/14/2016)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... the airing of a new series of commercials on Time ... 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, ... the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling ... in Hanover next week.   --> ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016 ... market research report "Identity and Access Management Market by ... Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by Deployment, by ... published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated to grow ... Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... OXFORD, England , May 23, 2016 ... Wednesday, May 25 th at 10:15 a.m. ET before ... about the role genetically engineered mosquitos can play in controlling ... known carrier of the Zika virus.      (Logo: ... genetically engineered male mosquito with a self-limiting gene. Trials in ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on a ... in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment to ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found ... cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a ... companies, today announced its official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard ... grateful to our customers for the privilege and honor of serving their product design ...
Breaking Biology Technology: