A group of scientists is again aboard the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross voyaging the length of the Atlantic as part of an exciting new project to measure the flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) between the atmosphere and the ocean.
British Antarctic Survey Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross sets sail on the AMT4OceanSatFlux campaign. (PML)
They are using a state-of-the-art ‘eddy covariance’ technique to gather measurements to validate a range of satellite data to gain regional and global estimates of this exchange of gas.
These measurements are needed for a better understanding of how anthropogenic emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas, influence the ocean’s role in the climate system. To date, the oceans have absorbed around 40% of past emissions of CO2. While this has a buffering effect on the atmospheric concentration of the gas, it is changing the chemistry of the ocean.
The absorption of CO2 is causing a gradual increase in the pH of the oceans, a phenomenon called ocean acidification. This is having an adverse effect on many important marine species such as corals, oysters, crabs and plankton, and because of the unprecedented rate of acidification, they may not have time to evolve mechanisms to ...