Vast portions of the oceans contain low levels of the nutrients that normally sustain life. Yet these areas are not devoid of life. Once thought to be biological deserts, recent research has shown that such nutrient-poor marine systems could significantly contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide that is trapped into the deep ocean, influencing Earth’s climate.
OUTPACE2015 Archives - State of the Planet
I’m writing from where L’Atalante is currently parked, 18S 170W, right in the middle of a giant, anomalously high sea surface chlorophyll patch. Such a high concentration of chlorophyll—a pigment that helps photosynthetic organisms harvest energy from sunlight, and the one that’s responsible for the green color of plants—can mean but one thing in the ocean: a phytoplankton bloom.
Greetings from the center of that eddy I mentioned in my last post! We’ve been here for five days so far, but tomorrow we are finally moving on.
Scientists from research institutions around the world are participating in a research expedition aboard the R/V L ‘Atalante to study how microorganisms in the South Pacific Ocean influence the carbon cycle. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Kyle Frischkorn is among them; this is the first in a series of posts in which Kyle shares what it’s like to do research at sea.