PhD Studentship – Carbon dioxide uptake and carbonate chemistry in UK shelf waters – University of East Anglia (UK)

Dept/School: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Project Supervisor(s): Dr U Schuster
Funding Availability: Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
Application Deadline: 12 March 2010

The problem: Net CO2 uptake by marine waters promotes ocean acidification, while reducing the increase of atmospheric CO2 and consequent global warming (Raven et al., 2005; Denman et al., 2007). The CO2 sink and the carbonate system in shelf waters display large spatial, seasonal and interannual variation (e.g. Thomas et al., 2004). The highly productive, global continental shelves are thought to be a CO2 sink, which is roughly balanced by a CO2 source in near-shore ecosystems (Chen and Borges, 2009). Gradually more CO2 data are becoming available for UK shelf waters. The research: This PhD studentship has the objective to assess CO2 uptake and carbonate chemistry in UK shelf waters. Extrapolation of the heterogeneous data set to larger shelf areas will demand the use of specialized empirical relationships, gridding and mapping tools. Our team has used such tools for extrapolating sparse pCO2 data (Schuster et al., 2009; Watson et al., 2009). Modelling may be used to gain a better understanding of the processes driving variation of the carbonate parameters, while satellite observations provide a synoptic data set for large areas. The specialized extrapolation tools and available data will be used for assessing the variability of the CO2 sink and carbonate chemistry for UK shelf waters. The PhD student will benefit from collaborations in the UK Ocean Acidification Programme. Requirements, training and opportunities: We seek an enthusiastic team player with strong scientific interests and self-motivation. She/he will have at least a 2.1 honours degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computing, or a branch of environmental science. Good numerical ability and experience in chemical analysis are an advantage. He/she will participate in at least one cruise, and will spend several weeks per year working at Cefas. The candidate will acquire transferable skills, while participating in research of global significance.

Funding Notes
Funding may be available for UK/EU students. If funding is awarded for this project it will cover tuition fees and stipend for UK students. EU students may be eligible for full funding, or tuition fees only, depending on the funding source. International students will not be eligible for this funding however they are still welcome to apply for this project but would have to find alternative funding.

Ref1: Chen, C.–T.A. and Borges, A.V. (2009) Reconciling opposing views on carbon cycling in the coastal ocean: continental shelves as sinks and near-shore ecosystems as sources of atmospheric CO2. Deep-Sea Research II 56: 578-590.
Ref2: Raven J., K. Caldeira, H. Elderfield, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, P. Liss, U. Riebesell, J. Shepherd, C. Turley and A.J. Watson (2005) Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Policy document 12/05,, The Royal Society, UK. ISBN 0 85403 617 2, 68pp,
Ref3: Schuster, U., A. J. Watson, N. Bates, A. Corbière, M. Gonzalez-Davila, N. Metzl, D. Pierrot, M. Santana-Casiano (2009) Trends in North Atlantic sea surface pCO2 from 1990 to 2006, Deep-Sea Research I 56, 620-629. doi: 10.1016.j.dsr2.2008.12.011.
Ref4: Thomas, H., Bozec, Y., Elkalay, K., Baar, H.J.W. de (2004) Enhanced open ocean storage of CO2 from shelf sea pumping. Science, 304, 1005-1008

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