A relatively large number of algae grow in the North Sea. These form the basis for a much richer food chain than that found in the Atlantic Ocean. Dutch-sponsored researcher Yann Bozec calculated that coastal seas such as the North Sea remove about three times as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than would be expected on the basis of their small surface area.
The measured annual increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is only 60 percent of the annual emissions from fossil fuels. The other 40 percent is absorbed by the seas and oceans. Yann Bozec investigated how the North Sea fulfils this task.
Up until now, little was known about the concentrations and transport cycle of CO2 in the North Sea. This lack of data was rectified with four expeditions, each of one-month duration, with the oceanographic research vessel Pelagia from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Per expedition the researchers made a vertical water profile at 97 locations. Travelling between locations they also measured the levels of CO2, nutrients (phosphate, nitrogen and silicate), and the amount of algal growth. This resulted in the most extensive and accurate data set ever for a coastal sea.
Dr Yann Bozec | alfa
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