Recent drought conditions in the North Pacific Ocean near Hawaii have caused a decrease in the strength of the carbon dioxide sink, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature. A team funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by scientists Dave Karl and Roger Lukas of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaii used 15 years of time-series measurements to compare the precipitation, salinity and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at Station ALOHA, located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 100 kilometers north of Oahu.
The study shows that a decrease in the tendency of the ocean to take up CO2 is due to an increase in the waters salinity, which is a direct result of the drought seen in much of the North Pacific Ocean over the past five years.
"Our study can be considered an oceanic analogue of the long standing atmospheric measurement program at the Mauna Loa Observatory," says Karl. "The results from this study were unexpected; we didnt realize how much difference salinity can make when modeling the carbon cycle."
According to John Dore, a SOEST researcher and lead author of the study, rainfall patterns and ocean CO2 are inexorably linked. "We all recognize the impacts of drought on land, but its effects on the biogeochemistry of the ocean have tended to go unnoticed," says Dore.
The Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program is an ongoing field study designed to determine temporal variability in physical, chemical and biological processes in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG), one of Earths largest habitats. The program began in October 1988 with the establishment of the benchmark sampling site, Station ALOHA, at 22o45N, 158oW. Nearly every month for the past 15 years, a team of interdisciplinary scientists with common research objectives have been making shipboard measurements, conducting experiments and testing a broad range of ecological hypotheses.
"This extended period of time-series measurements is very rare," says Lukas. "Along with a sister station in Bermuda, Station ALOHA has the longest records of comprehensive biogeochemical and physical measurements anywhere in the world."
The data have already revealed unexpected variability in habitat changes and in the response of the organisms living there. The present study is but one important example. "These interesting results are another example that shows the importance of longterm observations to ocean research," says James Yoder, director of NSFs division of ocean sciences, which funded the research. "Ocean observatories of the future will provide the capability to tease out important signals that are missed during the comparatively short duration of oceanographic expeditions."
Scientists involved in the HOT project have recently received new funding (with other colleagues) from NSF to establish an autonomous ocean observatory at Station ALOHA, reusing an abandoned fiber optic telephone cable to extend the Internet from their offices to the seafloor three miles below the ocean surface. From there, the cable travels upward into the surface layer, providing the capability for real-time observations of ocean processes. "With this observatory we will move much of the sampling from the ship to our desktops," says Lukas. "But, there will always be a need for us to go to sea, both to maintain the observatory, and to make measurements that require water sampling."
During this next five-year observation period, the measurement program will move toward more autonomous detection of ocean characteristics by connecting instrumented moorings to the ALOHA observatory and using autonomous underwater vehicles and gliders to provide spatial context around the site.
The research was also funded by the State of Hawaii.
Water cooling for the Earth's crust
22.11.2017 | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)
Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment
22.11.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy