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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Arctic Cruise 2012: Cruise Plan and Map

Proposed track for the August 2012 cruise.
Track of the August 2012 cruise. [larger version]

On August 25, 2012, a team of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole Science Center, and the University of South Florida (USF) boarded the USCGC Healy in Barrow, Alaska, to begin a 4-week journey in the Arctic Ocean. The team measured baseline seawater chemistry of the Arctic Ocean in order to improve understanding of ocean acidification in polar regions. The scientists worked side-by-side with other scientists aboard who were gathering data about the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS, Law of the Sea), the primary mission of the Healy cruise.

USGS Senior Scientist Lisa Robbins (CO-PI on the USGS and NSF Arctic ocean acidification project), Paul Knorr (USGS), Jonathan Wynn (USF-Geology and Lead PI on the NSF Arctic ocean acidification project), Bogdan Onac (USF-Geology), and Kate McMullen (USGS) were on board the Healy collecting seawater and mineral samples and analyzing data.

The onboard team will take water samples using the University of South Florida's Multi-parameter Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (MICA), discrete water samples, and a Rosette sampling unit. This sampling strategy will provide shipboard measurements of alkalinity, pCO2, dissolved inorganic carbon, carbonate, pH, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, conductivity, temperature, and depth information to the scientists in order to obtain a better understanding of the regional ocean chemistry. The land-based team will analyze the Arctic data feeds and are analyzing samples collected during the cruise. The ocean acidification research is funded by the USGS Coastal and Marine Program and USGS Office of the Regional Executive—Alaska, the National Science Foundation Polar Programs, and in partnership with the University of South Florida and U.S. Coast Guard.

Read more about studying ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean in USGS Fact Sheet 2012-3058 - Studying Ocean Acidification in the Arctic Ocean.

Video Podcast - Ocean Acidification: Research on Top of the World

The Arctic Ocean is one of the most remarkable bodies of water on the planet. It houses large charismatic predators like polar bears, whales, and seals; critical species like shell fish and phytoplankton; and an array of organisms found nowhere else on Earth. The Arctic Ocean is also the most inaccessible and least explored ocean. Its remoteness has kept it ecologically pristine. But the Arctic is where climate change impacts are strongest and where global changes are underway.

Download video: MP4, OGG, WEBM, MOV | transcript

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