Toil and trouble

Kilo Moana scientists are at the fore of acidification research

With Second Mate Kim Krueger at the controls, the Kilo Moana slows to a crawl as a dot on a screen shows it inching toward the Holy Grail of ocean acidification. Known as Station ALOHA, it is here that the effects of the changing chemistry of the atmosphere have been observed on the world’s oceans with the most precision.

But there is nothing to see: it’s simply a point in the open ocean at the center of a circle six nautical miles across where scientists have been measuring 40 chemicals, notably carbon dioxide, for two decades. The ship glides to the spot, located at 22° 45’ North, 158° West, about 115 km north of Honolulu. Krueger stops the electric motors and switches on a computer that manages the propellers and rudder to keep the ship within two feet of its position over the ocean bottom three miles below.

Christopher Pala, Honolulu Weekly, 21 April 2010. Full article.

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