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The marine carbon cycle from North to South along the Galathea route

Professor, PhD Katherine Richardson Christensen, Afd. for Marin Økologi, Biologisk Institut, Aarhus Universitet

Scientists from 5 different institutions in Denmark are proposing a project to be performed on the Galathea III expedition. The purpose of the studies proposed is to investigate the role of the ocean in absorbing “extra” CO2 introduced to the atmosphere through human activities. Measurements will be made continuously onboard the ship over the entire cruise track. In this manner, it will be possible to develop a global estimate of the role of different ocean regions in ocean-atmosphere carbon exchange. Such studies are crucial in order to improve modelling activities aimed at predicting future atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and in order to discern the role of the oceans in mediating global climate change. Physical and chemical measurements will be made in the atmosphere. In the ocean, measurements will be made on biological processes relating to the turnover of carbon in surface waters. In addition, physical, chemical and biogeochemical measurements will be made in surface waters. Many measurements can be made while the ship is sailing (on air and water pumped onboard). For others, the ship will either have to stop and take samples or slow down in order to be able to tow instruments after it. The proposed study is linked to a number of international research initiatives and the Galathea route gives an absolutely unique opportunity to study the ocean on the global scale.

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