Carbon dioxide uptake and chemistry in UK shelf waters

The problem: Net uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the oceans and shelf seas reduces the increase of atmospheric CO2 and consequent global warming, but also promotes ocean acidification (Raven et al., 2005). The North Sea constitutes a net CO2 sink with large spatial and temporal variation on time scales of hours to years (e.g. Bakker et al., 1996; Thomas et al., 2004, 2007). There is a clear need for longterm, accurate observations of carbonate chemistry in combination with ecosystem indicators in UK shelf waters. The research: This PhD studentship has the objective to assess CO2 uptake and carbonate chemistry, their variation and the processes driving this variation in UK shelf waters. The student will participate in the collection of discrete and near-continuous inorganic carbon data on the Cefas Endeavour, notably at SmartBuoy sites and during ecosystem surveys. The approach includes trialling an autonomous CO2 sensor on a SmartBuoy to quantify the high-frequency variation of carbonate chemistry at one location. Tools for data interpretation may consist of laboratory experiments, modelling, empirical relationships, mapping techniques, and satellite observations (e.g. Watson et al., 2009). The student will benefit from (inter-)national collaborations in the UK Ocean Acidification ( and EU CarboChange Programmes and the link to policy at Cefas ( 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 chemistry, mathematics, physics, computing, or a branch of environmental science with good numerical ability and experience in chemical analysis. He/she will participate in seagoing research and will be trained in marine CO2 measurements. The student will be enrolled in the UEA Science Graduate School and the Cefas Student Network. 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.

Dept/School: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Project Supervisor(s): Dr D Bakker & Dr U Schuster
Funding Availability: Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
Application Deadline: 19 November 2010

Ref1: Bakker, D.C.E., Baar, H.J.W. de, Wilde, H.P.J. de, (1996) Dissolved carbon dioxide in Dutch coastal waters. Marine Chemistry 55, 247-263.
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. The Royal Society, Policy document 12/05, UK. ISBN 0 85403 617 2, 68 pp,
Ref3: 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.
Ref4: Thomas, H., Prowe, A.E.F., Heuven,S. van, Bozec, Y., Baar, H.J.W. de, Schiettecatte, L.S., Suykens, K., Koné, M., Borges, A.V., Lima, I.D., Doney, S.C. (2007) Rapid decline of the CO2 buffering capacity in the North Sea and implications for the North Atlantic Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 21, GB4001, doi:10.1029/2006GB002825.
Ref5: Watson, A.J., Schuster, U., Bakker, D.C.E., Bates, N., Corbière, A., González-Dávila M., Friedrich, T., Hauck, J., Heinze C., Johannessen T., Körtzinger A., Metz N., Olaffson, J., Oschlies, A., Pfeil, B., Olsen A., Oschlies, A., Santano-Casiano, J.M., Steinhoff T., Telszewski M., Ríos, A., Wallace, D.W.R., Wanninkhof R. (2009) Tracking the variable North Atlantic sink for atmospheric CO2. Science 326 (5958), 1391-1393.

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