Future ocean in a chamber

Australian scientists will create a ‘future ocean’ under the sea ice off Casey this summer, using four underwater chambers to measure the impact of ocean acidification on seafloor (‘benthic’) communities. (…) The four semi-enclosed chambers will be deployed on the seafloor, 10 to 20 m beneath the Antarctic sea ice off Casey station, between November 2014 and March 2015.

During the Antarctic ‘Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment’ (antFOCE) experiment, a team of scientific divers, technicians and engineers, will increase CO2 concentrations in the water in two of the chambers. This will decrease the pH of the water (by 0.4 pH units), without changing light or nutrient concentrations. A further two chambers will be used as ‘controls’ to track natural fluctuations in pH in the surrounding water. This will allow the team to compare the response of benthic communities exposed to current seawater pH levels, and the more acidic pH levels predicted under future CO2 emission scenarios. (…)

Johnstone G. & Stark J., 2014. Future ocean in a chamber. Australian Antarctic Magazine 27:4-5. Article.


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