Bangor scientist explores CO2 in Arctic ice

A Bangor University scientist is taking part in a study in the Arctic Sea to look into how ice affects the movement of carbon dioxide between sea and air.

Dr Laura Edwards will spend six weeks camping on the edge of the sea ice 750 miles (1,200 km) from the geographic North Pole with an expedition team.

The 36-year-old from the School of Ocean Sciences said previously it was believed ice acted as a barrier to CO2.

But she said it is now thought that is not the case.

“It was believed that the sea ice acted as a barrier to the movement of CO2 between the sea and the air, but it it now thought that it is not the case,” said Dr Edwards, who has a doctorate in glaciology.

‘Great contribution’

“The field work I’m involved with aims to measure the rate of transfer of CO2 between the sea and air through the sea ice,” she added.

Dr Edwards said not many measurements of this type had been made and the expedition will be a “great contribution” to understanding the processes in the Arctic as well as globally.

She added that whilst the fact the sea absorbs CO2 may seem a good thing for the atmosphere, higher levels could potentially have serious consequences for marine life.

“Just getting the date for the Arctic winter period will be a major result in itself,” said Dr Edwards, who will be staying at an ice base with the nine-strong expedition team.

“The prospect is exciting but a little daunting.”

BBC, 25 February 2005. Full article.

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