Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA co-sponsors ocean voyage to probe climate-relevant gases

25.02.2008
More than 30 scientists will embark next week on a research mission to the Southern Ocean. Researchers will battle the elements to study how gases important to climate change move between the atmosphere and the ocean under high winds and seas.

NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation are sponsoring the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment, a six-week research expedition aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown, departing Feb. 28 from Punta Arenas, Chile. The Ronald H. Brown is a state-of-the-art oceanographic research platform and the largest research vessel in the NOAA fleet.

Scientists from dozens of universities and research institutions plan to measure turbulence, waves, bubbles, temperature and ocean color, and investigate how these factors relate to the air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide and other climate-relevant gases. The research will help improve the accuracy of climate models and predictions.

The world's oceans are estimated to absorb about 2 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year, which is about 30 percent of the total annual global emissions of carbon dioxide. Scientists know higher wind speeds promote faster exchange of gases, but there have been very few studies aimed at directly measuring these exchanges under real world conditions where other factors, such as breaking waves, can influence the process.

"NASA's ongoing effort to understand the global carbon cycle will benefit from the data this cruise will produce about the mechanisms that govern gas transfer in this remote part of the world's ocean," said Paula Bontempi, manager of NASA's ocean biology and biogeochemistry research program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "NASA's global satellite observations of ocean color that reveal so much about the health of our oceans also will be improved in this region as we validate what our space-based sensors see with direct measurements taken at sea."

NASA's Aqua satellite makes ocean color observations over the Southern Ocean every few days with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. The satellite, launched in 2002, uses six instruments to make global measurements of the atmosphere, land, oceans, and snow and ice cover.

The Southern Ocean covers a vast area and has some of the roughest seas on Earth.

"It is the largest ocean region where the surface waters directly connect to the ocean interior, providing a pathway into the deep sea for carbon dioxide released from human activities," said Christopher Sabine, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, and co-chief scientist on the cruise. "Understanding how atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed into these cold surface waters under high winds speeds is important for determining how the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide will respond to future climate change."

"We will be directly assessing the rate and mechanism by which the ocean is taking up carbon and releasing it," said cruise co-chief scientist David Ho of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y. "This is the first U.S.-led effort to use all the state-of-the-art tools that we have to quantify gas exchange in the Southern Ocean. After years of planning, it is extremely satisfying to see the experiment finally take place."

Steve Cole | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov
http://so-gasex.org
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/feb/HQ_08063_NASA_Southern_Ocean_Cruise.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Mutation that causes autism and intellectual disability makes brain less flexible

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

The sweet side of reproductive biology

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fading stripes in Southeast Asia: First insight into the ecology of an elusive and threatened rabbit

20.11.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>