A team of scientists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will launch a series of research flights over the remote Southern Ocean this month to better understand just how much carbon dioxide its icy waters can lock away.
( From the National Science Foundation) The ORCAS field campaign — led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) — will give scientists a rare look at how the air and seas surrounding Antarctica exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between the air and the seas surrounding Antarctica. The data they collect will help illuminate the role the Southern Ocean plays in soaking up excess carbon dioxide humans emit into the atmosphere.
“If we want to better predict the temperature in 50 years, we have to know how much carbon dioxide the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems are going to take up,” said NCAR scientist Britton Stephens, co-lead principal investigator for ORCAS. “Understanding the Southern Ocean’s role is important because ocean circulation there provides a major opportunity for the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the vast reservoir of the deep ocean.”
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