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!
Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
19.07.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
19.07.2018 | National Science Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences