An international group of marine chemists, microbiologists and geologists coordinated by the marine chemist Gregor Rehder from the Leibniz Institute of Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde will put to sea on board of r/v Maria S. Merian on July 31, 2010. The cruise will focus on methane deposits in sediments of the Baltic Sea.
Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas and, considering a period of 100 years, it is 23-times more effective than carbon dioxide. Thus, scientists all over the world are searching for current and potential sources of methane. The Merian expedition MSM 16/1 will concentrate on methane emissions from Baltic Sea sediments. Beside the detection of current methane emissions into water and atmosphere, the main issue on the agenda is to investigate potential changes within the methane deposits due to an increase in water temperature and ongoing eutrophication.
The seafloor of the Baltic Sea is an ideal place for methane production. There is a continuous snow of organic matter reaching the floor where its decomposition causes oxygen consumption. In the layered water body of the Baltic Sea, this leads nearly permanently to oxygen deficiency in the bottom water and constant anoxia within the sediments (anaerobic conditions). These are most favourable condi-tions for methane producing bacteria. Mayor parts of their methane production will be stored and accumulated in the sediments. Other bacterial communities, which are specialised in using methane for generating energy, provide a barrier which keeps the methane effectively scavenged in the sediments: On a global scale it is estimated that less than 10 % of the methane produced in the sediments is released from the seafloor.
This bacterially directed interaction between methane production and methane oxidation – well known from anaerobic sediments all over the world – can be studied in the Baltic Sea in an ideal way. The hypothesis: if global warming causes changes in the bacterial interaction leading to an increased release of methane from the seafloor into the water and the atmosphere, a feedback reinforcing the greenhouse effect might be expected.
In the Baltic Sea, numerous methane deposits are already known due to earlier studies. The investigations during the Merian cruise will focus on these regions. By means of a multibeam echosounder detecting gas bubbles within the water column, of various acoustic systems which virtually can look into the sediments and with innovative sensors analysing the methane concentration in the water, key areas within the Arkona, Bornholm, Gothland and Bothnian Basins will be analysed in detail. In parallel, gravity corer and a variety of other coring devices will be deployed, for the purpose of sediment sampling in these regions.
The Merian cruise is part of the international research project Baltic Gas, which is jointly funded by BONUS – the Baltic Organisations Network for Funding Sciences EEIG. It is co-ordinated by the Danish microbiologist Bo Barker Joergensen, Center for Geomicrobiology at the University of Aarhus.
Gas hydrate research: Advanced knowledge and new technologies
23.03.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy